Jobs for April

Spring is well and truly here but be prepared for unexpected weather as April can be a very unpredictable month.  Even though the days are warm there is still a risk of frost at night so be patient and take care not plant or sow outside to early.

Aubergines, brussel sprouts, broad beans, cabbages, carrots, celeriac, chillies, cucumbers, florence fennel, kohl rabi, peas, 
salad leaves, shallots, sprouting broccoli, sweet peppers, tomatoes and turnips.
Celery can also be sown now, frequent irrigation is a crucial part for this crop.

Strawberries, water plants in well to help them become established.
Pears, to plant, dig a hole no deeper than the roots but three times wider than their diameter.
Blueberries, this fruit likes acidic soil, this is vital for the plant to grow well.
Raspberries, prune the canes on a regular basis to ensure healthy growth throughout the season.
Asparagus, hand weed around the crowns to avoid damaging tender stems.
Potatoes, aim to get all your potatoes planted out by the end of the month.  Plant out chitted second early potatoes in the first two weeks of the month and main crop potatoes in the second two weeks.

General jobs
Thin out seedlings sown the previous month, according to packet instructions.
Keep and eye out for aphids on your crops, these pests suck the sap from plants resulting in loss of vigour and distorted growth.  The aphids feed on foliage, stems and flowers and sometimes the roots of plants.  Some species can carry viruses which can cause problems for crops like tomatoes, cucumbers and soft fruits.  Hoverflies, ladybirds, lacewings and parasitic wasps love aphids and are their natural enemies so encourage them to your plot buy planting flowers to attract them.  You can find out more information on this on our website here
Focus on improving your soil.  There are a number of ways to do this depending on the type you have.  If your ground is heavy and clay or light and sandy, digging in a bulky organic matter will really help.  This material could be compost, well rotted manure, composted bark or leafmould.  The best time for improving clay soil is in the autumn as the soil will be further broken down by rain and frosts.  Light sandy soil can be tackled in spring

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