April is one of the busiest months for a vegetable gardener. Now is the time to get outside and get your hands dirty.
YOUR APRIL TO DO LIST
- Planting your garden.
In most areas the temperature is beginning to warm up enough to start working your garden soil that is if you have not done it yet. If you have, start planting your vegetables. If you are still not sure where to start I am in the process of developing my ebook titled "Vegetable Garden Layout". Watch your email box for a special deal when it is completed.
- The beginning of April is time to plant potatoes (if you did not do this in March)onions, leeks, radishes and brassicas.
- Plant your salad greens, lettuces, swiss chard later in the month.
- Start heat loving vegetables like zucchini, cucumber, tomatoes, eggplants and basil indoors in propagating trays.
- Remember to check the seed packet for instructions when planting your seeds.
- Check out
growing vegetable seeds
for more planting tips.
- Keeping a journal.
Keeping track of what, when and where you are planting your vegetables is very important for a successful vegetable garden. I will have "My Vegetable Garden Journal" available to you soon. This is a wonderful, easy to use journal to help and inspire you.
- Now is the time to start mulching.
Using a good mulch in your vegetable garden is a valuable practice. If you have garlic growing, now is the time to add more mulch to the beds. Mulch can suppress weeds, keep soil moist, warm the soil at this time of year, and it adds organic matter to your garden soil. Here is a list of
to use for mulch.
- Start weeding your garden.
Getting into a routine of weeding now, will make your life easier in the summer months. Here are my
weed control tips
to help you.
- Start a new compost pile.
If you have compost from last season spread it on your garden beds. Now you can start a new pile by layering debris from your garden, kitchen waste, straw or hay, coffee grounds from your local coffee shop and seaweed (if you live near a beach). Keep adding to it during the spring and summer; by the fall you will have another batch of compost to add to your garden beds. Learn more about
- Insects and pests are starting to show up in your garden.
- Cutworms and maggots are active this month. Cutworms are large 3/4 - 1 inch grayish brown fat worms. They chew young seedlings off at the base of the plant.
- Slugs are also starting to move around this month. They like moist shady areas and are attracted by new plant growth.
VEGETABLES OF THE MONTH
April is the month for planting your greens and brassicas
Greens include lettuce, salad greens, oriental greens, spinach and swiss chard. They all like rich, cool, moist conditions to grow their best.
Here are my tips for growing great greens:
- These can be seeded directly or transplanted into the garden.
- It is best to succession plant these veggies. I do a new planting every 2 weeks so I have fresh greens all season.
- Fertilize with manure or compost tea every few weeks.
- Mulch lightly with hay, straw or grass clipping.
- Start harvesting when plants are about 4 inches high. Cut the outside leaves leaving the center to grow more leaves to extend the harvest. You can usually get 2 or 3 harvests if you do it this way.
- Cover with a shade cloth if temperature is really warm, especially in the summer months.
Brassicas are a family of vegetables which include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and kale. These vegetables also like the cool weather of spring.
Here are my tips for growing great brassicas:
- Larger heads are produced if plants are spaced further apart. Plant every 6 inches then harvest smaller heads on every second plant, leaving the others to grow longer.
- Water regularly at the base of the plant when young. Once the plant matures less water is needed.
- Keep the base of the plant free of weeds by mulching around it.
- Fertilize with manure or compost tea mid season especially if the leaves are a yellowish color.
- Harvest the head by cutting it off at the base with a sharp knife. Kale can be harvested similar to greens to extend the harvest.
Learn more about
growing tips for all these veggies
April is a busy gardening month so get outside and have fun. Check in with
for the simplest steps to having your own vegetables.
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Welcome to the world of vegetable gardening!