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March 31, 2010 / Malcolm Dalebö

April Jobs on the Allotment

Vegetables

  • Sow onions, beet and winter cabbage outdoors.
  • Sow your first carrots.
  • Finish planting of late potatoes and earth up earlies.
  • If frost is forecast, protect tender young early potato shoots. Earth them up or cover with newspaper, net curtain or horticultural fleece overnight.
  • At the end of the month plant cauliflowers.
  • Start successional sowing of peas, beans, lettuce, courgettes, squash, sweetcorn, outdoor tomatoes, leeks, Brussels sprouts, sprouting brocolli, kale, calabrese, cauliflowers, radish and tender herbs such as coriander and basil.
  • Plant Jerusalem artichoke tubers.
  • Plant asparagus crowns.
  • Plant out onions sown from seed earlier in the spring.
  • Pot up tomato seedlings when they develop true leaves above the more rounded seed leaves.
  • Support your peas! Peas sown last year or earlier this year need to be supported by either pea netting or twiggy sticks.
  • Prepare runner bean supports, this will save you time later in the year.
  • Shade seedlings in the greenhouse or on windowsill on sunny days. Tender young seedlings can quickly wilt and die.
  • Continue to prick out seedlings before they become straggly.
  • Dig in overwintered green manures,  3-4 weeks before you want to use the ground, or before the plants start to become tough, or begin to flower. Using a sharp spade, turn the plants back into the soil, chopping them up as you go.
Fruit
  • There’s still time to feed fruit, hungry feeders such as blackcurrants, plums, cherries, pears and cooking apples can all be fed with sulphate of ammonia.
  • Ventilate strawberries under cloches and add straw manure.
  •  Spray peaches with water to help fruit set.
  •  Cut back newly planted raspberries. 
  •  Keep an eye out for pests.
General care
  • Support pea plants with sticks, twigs, green support mesh, or wire netting.
  • Thin out rows of seedlings as soon as they are large enough to be handled.
  • Protect early outdoor sowings from frost with fleece and polythene.
  • Continue to force chicory and seakale.
  • Dig up selected chicory roots, pot them up, and position them in a dark warm place (10-13°C; 50-55°F), with an upturned pot over them.
  • Prepare runner bean supports and trenches for sowing (in May) or planting out (in June).
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