:April is generally a great month to plant vegetables that can be harvested in winter and early spring. We’ve usually had some good rain to soak the ground after the summer drought but the soil is still warm enough to encourage new roots to develop. That means that plants establish themselves quickly and grow away strongly so long as they are protected from strong prevailing winds.
SEEDS TO SOW
Best results always come when using good quality seed-raising potting mix and sowing the freshest seeds. Kings Seeds, a great local supplier, stock a huge range of reliable flower, herb and vegetable seeds with varieties suitable for every season and situation.
If you don’t have the time or space for a vegetable garden you might like to try sowing the following varieties into pots and containers approximately the size of a 10L bucket filled with potting mix or a mixture of potting mix and good quality compost:
At the end of the month broad beans can be either sown direct into the garden or into pots for transplanting later.
VEGETABLES TO PLANT
Seedlings of cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, leek, spring onion, beetroot, silver beet, perpetual spinach, peas, kale, snow peas, lettuce and divisions of rhubarb can all be planted now.
Unfortunately our wonderful Autumn weather also suits the Cabbage White butterfly and this means that (because we don’t want to use poisonous sprays or powders on our food crops) seedlings of cabbage, broccoli, kale and cauliflower will need to be protected for at least the next few weeks to prevent caterpillar infestation.
I cover my crops with Quarantine Cloth over hoops made of alkathene pipe and securely anchored to the ground with planks and bricks to prevent any chance of the butterflies laying their eggs on the underside of the leaves .
First-early potatoes can be planted mid to late July so it’s a good idea to purchase seed potatoes towards the end of this month so that they can be prepared for planting by being chitted. This involves standing the potatoes upright in a seed tray, egg carton or similar and placing them in a light, warm, dry spot to allow the ‘Eyes’ to develop into shoots and so give our spuds a head start when we plant them out.
CONTRIBUTED BY CHRIS GREEN, SuperGran Volunteer