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by Chilli-head 4th May 2021, 8:26 am

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default Peak planting in the April garden

Post by Chilli-head 4th April 2021, 9:56 am

Well, it is for me. It seems to me almost everything grows best from an April sowing, with just the exceptions of tender crops sown direct like French beans, or long season crops that spend their life under glass.

I put in Spring onions, radish, leeks and indoor cucumbers on Friday. Oh, and some pluhs of rocket that I dot along by the path for easy salad pickings.

My Aged P has managed to sow his own tomatoes this year - I had to post him some fresh seed, but he seems pretty pleased with them. I hope he doesn't forget to look after them ... I'll still keep some spare plants back for him just in case of disaster. He is so much happier with garden pottering to do !


Last edited by Chilli-head on 4th May 2021, 10:00 am; edited 1 time in total
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default Re: Peak planting in the April garden

Post by Dandelion 8th April 2021, 9:53 pm

I've been trying to grow more flowers over the last couple of years, to encourage bees. I have a giant box of cottage garden seeds, but I think I may well wait until very late April or even May to sow them, as seeds soil directly into the earth never do well with our cold clay soil.

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

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default Re: Peak planting in the April garden

Post by Florence 9th April 2021, 3:16 pm

Somebody stop the snow showers. Wind drops, sun comes out, temperature drops, snow showers. Not growing weather today.
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default Re: Peak planting in the April garden

Post by Dandelion 12th April 2021, 9:40 pm

We woke up to snow (again) today - we had planned a visit to a National Trust property near us so we could have a walk in different surroundings, and a picnic. We nearly didn't go, but eventually left later then expected, and by then the temperature was warmer. Glad we went as it was beautiful, sitting and looking at the river Wye, but it's really crazy weather for growing things. I'm taking a lot of plants inside in the evenings and putting them back again in the mornings.

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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default Re: Peak planting in the April garden

Post by FloBear 13th April 2021, 8:50 am

Apart from cardboarding my veg bed - and covering with compost promptly so it doesn't blow away again - I have done very little. I can't believe how cold it is for April.
Yesterday we erected the main chicken house as my girls will soon be winging their way back to me. Just have to cobble together design and make a secure enclosure with the eglu run then we'll be ready. Unfortunately I won't be able to fence off part of the garden as in my previous house because it's just too darn small!


Last edited by FloBear on 13th April 2021, 8:52 am; edited 1 time in total
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default Re: Peak planting in the April garden

Post by Florence 13th April 2021, 8:51 am

Can we have spring please? Snow and frost after Easter is really pushing it.
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default Re: Peak planting in the April garden

Post by Ploshkin 13th April 2021, 1:31 pm

Freezing weather hampering progress here too. I'm fed up with juggling plants to stop them getting too cold at night. Im so cross with myself because I've been covering things in the polytunnel just about every night (then it get up to nearly 40° during the day). One night there was no frost forecast, it said 4°- 5° so I didn't and a frost caught my potatoes and figs!
Ive spent the last few afternoons changing the layout of the polytunnel beds to make better use of the crop bars and have less stuff growing next to the plastic which can make things harder to pick and plants close to the plastic tend to get slugged. I will see how it fares over the next couple of seasons.
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default Re: Peak planting in the April garden

Post by Chilli-head 13th April 2021, 3:56 pm

I am going to have to get on with rebuilding my cold frame soon. The tomatoes are taking over the greenhouse, and I have too many as I sowed enough to have spares for Dad, but he has managed to do his own this year (which is great). I wonder if any of the neighbours want any ...

My rhubarb is trying to run to flower again. I thought it was maybe that I was doing something wrong, but Dad says his is too - perhaps it's the weather ?
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Post by Florence 13th April 2021, 3:58 pm

With the rhubarb, probably the early warm weather and now it's as dry as mid summer here. It's confused.
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default Re: Peak planting in the April garden

Post by Chilli-head 13th April 2021, 5:20 pm

I'm going to put a load of dung on it, and if it still wants to go to seed next year, it's compost.

I can't be having coaxing something that doesn't want to grow. The main thing I've learned in all these years - if something doesn't like your conditions, don't persevere, grow something else that wants to grow. Now what really wants to grow in my garden is Italian rocket, parsley, coriander, and oregano. So much so, I don't really have to sow any Very Happy I suspect this means I have poor soil ...
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Post by Florence 13th April 2021, 5:29 pm

Erm on my plot that's hairy bittercress otherwise known as hundreds and thousands cos if you let it flower you'll have 100s and 1000s over night. Trouble is you can't eat it. Laughing
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Post by Chilli-head 13th April 2021, 5:41 pm

Florence wrote:Erm on my plot that's hairy bittercress otherwise known as hundreds and thousands cos if you let it flower you'll have 100s and 1000s over night. Trouble is you can't eat it. Laughing

At least you can dig it up. I have horsetails at the allotment - nothing deters them.
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Post by Florence 13th April 2021, 6:08 pm

It comes only second to dandelions as pet weed locally. However if you really want to be depressed there's an article on how to cultivate it here

You just don't want to know that though do you? Rolling Eyes
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default Re: Peak planting in the April garden

Post by Ploshkin 13th April 2021, 6:29 pm

I struggled for years with a rhubarb plant, every year it produced flower heads and I was lucky to get a couple of crumbles worth of rhubarb. I dug it up about 4 years ago and bought a new crown which I planted in a different spot though no more than 10m away. I've had good crops and no flowers each year.
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Post by Florence 13th April 2021, 6:30 pm

How peculiar.
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Post by FloBear 14th April 2021, 8:41 am

I think with rhubarb, some varieties are just more prone to running to seed and certain conditions just exacerbate this. The rhubarb I inherited in this garden is fruiting (?stalking) nicely so I have high hopes that it's a good one for here.
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default Re: Peak planting in the April garden

Post by Ploshkin 14th April 2021, 8:53 am

I often wondered if my original, which was a poor doer, had a virus. Even the stalks I did get were stunted.
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default Re: Peak planting in the April garden

Post by Dandelion 18th April 2021, 9:53 pm

Talking of weeds (and BTW, why would anyone want to deliberately grow horsetails??), I have a weed which is new to the garden, probably dropped by a bird. I think it's Barren Strawberry - it's certainly from that family. Small white flowers, greyish leaves, and it's a very efficient spreader. I spent part of yesterday digging it out from the side of the wildlife pond, but I suspect it's one of those which grows again if you leave any bits of root in the soil so I'll leave the soil bare until I'm sure it's not going to reproduce again. Interestingly another weed which grows everywhere is Herb Bennet - both from the strawberry family, so maybe I should grow more actual strawbs as I obviously have the right conditions!

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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default Re: Peak planting in the April garden

Post by Chilli-head 18th April 2021, 10:13 pm

IIRC horsetails were grown by Victorians to clean pans with. The silicones that help herbicides to roll off imparts a non-stick property to pots and pans.

It's not just the small leaf area and the silicones that protect horsetails from herbicides - they are quite an ancient plant with a chemistry which is less affected by glyphosate. I've tried glyphosate, pelargonic acid, combinations of the above, and can say with certainty that neither are terribly effective.
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Post by Chilli-head 19th April 2021, 11:54 am

Is it just me, or is this year racing by ? I planted out my greenhouse tomatoes in their final positions yesterday - it seems like only a few weeks ago I was sowing seed, and not much more than a week since I put them into 5" pots, now they are 12-18" high.

And suddenly it is time to be sowing squashes, cabbages, beans and sweetcorn, but the greenhouse is already bursting, and my cold frame is in a pile of pieces still. Argh !
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Post by Florence 19th April 2021, 3:05 pm

Maybe it's racing by but up here there's still frost in the greenhouse
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default Re: Peak planting in the April garden

Post by Dandelion 19th April 2021, 9:16 pm

My tomatoes are in the greenhouse, but not planted up yet as we're still expecting frost later in the week here. It will be so nice to finally leave them in there and not having trays of them teetering on windowsills!

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Post by freebird 20th April 2021, 4:43 pm

I've just moved all my seedling tomatoes and the three experimental overwintered cuttings into the greenhouse - and look what I found on the Rose de Berne cutting:

Peak planting in the April garden 20210410
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default Re: Peak planting in the April garden

Post by FloBear 20th April 2021, 7:35 pm

Wow! Is it quite an early variety? Or have you fooled it into thinking summer's arrived Smile
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Post by freebird 20th April 2021, 7:43 pm

No it's not an early variety. I took sideshoot cuttings in October as an experiment, to see if I could keep plants over winter and try for earlier crops, as the plants would already be established. The cuttings have actually been flowering all winter, but this is the first fruit I have seen.

I have to say, though, that some of the plants from seed sown this year, are starting to make flower buds, so they are catching up fast. It remains to be seen whether my experiment will be worth repeating.
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