What to Grow in April

With snow and frosts behind us, is finally time for some gardening!

 

It’s time to start sowing indoors, but there are many choices that can be sown directly outdoors too, in a well prepared soil.

 

These are our 10 picks to grow in April, enjoy!

Sow indoors:

Now is the time to start sowing summer plants that will later be transplanted outdoors.

Aubergine/Eggplant

Aubergine Eggplant
Aubergine (or eggplant) seeds should be planted in pots and left for about 10 weeks . Then they should be transplanted at 25-30 cm depth. It’s a plant that needs a lot of sun ( between 10-12 hours per day) and never be exposed to frost (minimum temperature 10-12ºC)

Courgette/Zucchini

zucchini courgette
To grow courgettes you will need plenty of light and warm weather, although it is not too demanding regarding to soil, adapting easily to any kind.  Sow seeds in pots in couples and transplant the strongest one. Go for successional sowing if you don’t want a zucchini glut.

Pumpkins

pumpkin

Seeds can be sown in 2 ways. The first is planting directly in the garden in early spring and put a plastic or plastic bottle covering the ground so that it is protected from frost. The second way is to sow seedlings indoors or plant them in pots, keeping them  indoors until the frosts are behind.

Cucumber

cucumber
Cucumbers can be sowed in pots and transplanted for early crops. Sow two or three seeds three or four weeks before the last in pots with humus. Remove the smallest or weakest plant to keep just one plant per pot. Transplant outdoors at a distance of 1.2m x 0.5m (cucumber plants are big!), when plants have two to four true leaves.

Tomato

tomato

Sow indoors and transplant the small plants to the garden or large pot one week after the last frost. The tomato plant needs a lot of sun, so it’s not worth even trying to plant tomatoes in your garden or terrace if they do not receive at least 6 hours of daily sunshine.

Sow/plant outdoors:

There are plenty of vegetables that you can start sowing directly indoors, here is a small selection:

Beetroot

beetroot

At planting time (While it tolerates light frosts, optimum growth temperature is between 15 and 18ºC), sow directly into the soil in 2cm deep rows. It’s recommended to soak the seeds in water a couple of days earlier to promote germination. When plants first begin to grow leaves it’s time to thin them to get more space for plants that are growing smoothly.

Swiss chard

chard

Chard seeds are also put to soak in water for one or two days before planting. Then the seeds are planted 2.5 cm deep in the soil directly. If we want to plant in rows in an garden, seeds are planted at 8 cm distance between one and the other. Given that the swiss chard need al lot of space for roots, the rows are separated by 45 cm. If we are going to plant in a pot, put one plant per pot.

Cauliflower

cauliflower

Typically, cauliflower is a winter plant, but there a summer varieties we can plant now. If the flower starts to turn pink or purple it’s advisable to cover it with leaves as direct sun makes it mature very quickly. They should be harvested when they are firm and hard, and they can stay well for about a week hung upside down in a cold place.

Kohlrabi

kohlrabi
Kohlrabi plants don’t grow much, reaching as much as 30cm in height, and its very fast growing, developing in a couple of months from the time of planting to harvest. It should be harvested when the tubers are underdeveloped, as they can quickly harden and lose quality.

Spinach

spinach

The best time to plant different varieties of spinach is in early spring, as the plant needs little heat to grow. To sow spinach seeds, you have to make a small hole in the ground about 2 cm deep. You can grow spinach in rows with up to 12-15 seeds per meter and 30 cm row spacing.

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We are finally getting some sunny and warm(ish) weather and start sowing some seeds in pots. We have sowed #courgette and  #aubergine  seeds, as well as some #flowers. Yo can see what’s in our plot here (click “Show Plot”).

 

How is you spring gardening?

 

What to Grow in February

Baby it’s cold outside! If you can’t wait for spring to grow vegetables in your garden (why should you?), you can sow and plant these plants (under cloches if you live in a cool area) during this month.

 

Here is the Greenius list of veggies to grow in February (see here posts  from January and December):

 

Broccoli

Broccoli
This plant can withstand winter. Plants are set 45cm apart and rows are separated by 75 cm. Like all members of the cabbage family, broccoli needs to be constantly moist, this means we should water every time the soil is about to get dry.

 

Spinach

Spinach
Spinach prefers rich, moist soils, but can grow in any soil as long as it has sufficient organic matter. It is sown in February and March, directly. It is best associated with carrot, cabbage, beets and cauliflower, and harvested between 45 and 60 days.

Endives

Endives

Juicy, crispy and fresh at the same time, endives grow at a temperature starting from 8ºC, developing best when the temperature is between 16-20ºC. Regularity is important at the time of sowing, both seed spacing (20-30cm) and depth (4-15cm).

Chives

Chives
This herb comes from fresh and cold climates so has a certain resistance to frost. The best soil for the growing chives should be slightly chalky but moist, well drained and very rich in nutrients. Dry leaves are not used because they lose their aroma; However, you can freeze them. Space plants 5 cm apart and harvest in 7-11 weeks.

Kohlrabi

Kohlrabi

Kohlrabi seeds should be sown in rows separated from each other by 30cm at a depth of 5cm. Next cover with compost and water. Thinning will take place 5 or 6 weeks later, leaving only one plant every 20cm. Maintenance consists basically on mulching to maintain a certain level of coolness. A first harvest may take place between 8 and 10 weeks later, when the swollen part of the stem is the size of a tennis ball. This last point is important because if it keeps growing it will no longer be edible.

Carrots

Carrot

You can start sowing early varieties of carrots now. They will take about 3 weeks to show themselves and the first leaves look like grass. Maintain moisture with light regular watering. Harvest in 3-4 months.

Cabbage

Cabbage

Sow now in seed trays and transplant them in the garden in 4-6 weeks. There are many varieties of cabbage, so if you love them you can have cabbage growing all year round.

Lettuce

lettuce
There are many varieties of lettuces, so to start growing some now you must choose a variety that suits the climatic conditions of your area. Lettuce should not be planted all at once, but successionally. This will allow us to harvest for longer periods and avoiding lettuce to became too bitter.

Raspberries and blackberries

blackberries raspberries
You can now plant these fruit bushes if the soil is not frozen or waterlogged, and enjoy them in summer.

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How is winter treating your garden? We had snow for a few days last so i am not sure how our crops will fare. Garlic seems doing fine, at least. And now it’s raining non stop, I think I will have to stay out of the garden for a few days still. You can see what’s growing in our plot right now here (click “Show Plot”).