April 2022

April is the month when we plant tomatoes and early potatoes and get summer greens under way.

There are lots of good things in our garden at the moment – the green manure crop which is a mix of field peas which were mainly eaten by birds (despite the bird netting being very tightly pinned down), hairy vetch and winter rye.  I thought it wasn’t pulling away so I added the old favourite, blue lupins. And finally we have strong germination and good growth.

The late brassicas are using early Spring warmth to mature.

Spring leafy greens are coming away – Cos and Canasta lettuces and mesclun can all handle the spring chill. Don’t forget to refresh your yeast traps as the slugs are prolific at this time of the year.

Then there are the things that are struggling.  I didn’t cover the tamarillo and frost and cold got rid of all its leaves, but I’ve given the trunk a cut to stimulate new growth and we think it might pull away.  The trunk is definitely alive.

And the avo (which is already a replacement) is probably for the chop.  I know they sulk, but is this more than just sulky?  Rob suggests giving it another couple of weeks and if no sign of life, then replace.  If we do, we’ll make a little raised bed for it this time, as possibly its roots have become too wet.

And I continue to struggle with the garlic.  We applied sulphur for the rust, then as the plants got knocked back, we applied Eco-flo lime in case the sulphur had acidified the soil.  

I might be premature with my struggle stories as an increase in temperatures this month and the New Moon phase in a week’s time might well sort things out. 

Speaking of lime, if your worm farm or cold compost is smelling a bit acidic, the addition of a couple of handfuls of garden lime will re-balance it.

The tomato seedlings are coming along.  Not sure if they’ll be ready for planting out in this month’s First Quarter but if yours are more advanced than this, then the middle of this month is a great time to get tomatoes in. 

Before planting, prepare your bed well.  Tomatoes are in the soil for 4-5 months so the soil will have big demands placed on it.  Aeration, compost, nitrogen, rock dust before planting.  Gypsum and neem granules at the time of planting.  We’ll go over this when we do it, but for early birds, check this page out… Tomatoes.

This is our bed designated this year for tomatoes.  At the moment there are finished crops in here, just waiting till we’re ready to prepare the bed.  I’m letting the spent rocket and mizuna plants go to seed and the sprouting broccoli will go to seed shortly as well.  Their flowers will provide food for the bees and other beneficial insects in the meantime.  We had a good amount of food from these plants and this is just part of the cycle.

Peas and beans will be sown either next week or the following in the cells they’ll be planted out from.  They don’t like much root disturbance, so we don’t sow them in punnets and prick them out like we did with the tomatoes.

And the seed potatoes are being soaked in liquid seaweed each week and sat on the windowsill to encourage chits to grow.  These will go in at the end of the month.

The beauty shot was going to be the onions which are looking good with all the rain we’ve had recently.

But then I spied these two kingfisher… having a chat about the avo… 😊

Have a great week in the garden!

From Jan and Rob