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 March

With spring around the corner, gardeners all over the world (or at least in the north hemisphere) are getting excited for some renewed activity in the garden, after the cold, cold winter.

 

Some general tips for this month: Apply a good amount of compost to prepare for spring transplants; increase watering frequency to compensate for higher temperatures, and place a layer of leaves, straw or humus to keep the soil temperature and moisture.

 

There is a wide variety of vegetables, herbs and fruits you can grow in March, even directly in the garden if there are not going to be more frosts in your area:

Borage

borage
Borage adapts well to all types of soils, but grows best in sandy ones. It also adapts well to all types of climates and even to part shade.  It is sowed in rows about 30 cm apart, and once planted the seeds need to be covered with soil as they need darkness to complete the germination process.

Coriander

coriander
You can grow this herb for its leaves or dried seeds. Choose a site that receives full sun. It is necessary that the soil is well drained and  with a good amount of fertilizer, like most herbs. Sow seeds 1/2 inch deep, after all danger of frost has passed. Remove the leaves at 4 inches and cover with mulch to conserve moisture and prevent weeds when plants emerge. Check young plants to ensure they do not dry.

Dill

dill

Dill doesn’t tolerate dry soils. It doesn’t get well with a dry environment so soil with regular moisture helps the plant to withstand dry conditions. Sowing is very superficial, not more than 1 cm deep and we will have the germinated seed in just two weeks. Dill is very fast growing.

Kale

kale
This trendy plant is tolerant to both heat and cold, in fact frost makes kale sweeter. You can sow kale seeds directly outdoors as soon as the soil temperature reaches about 8ºC. Cover the seeds with ½ inch of soil, separating the plants from 45 and 60cm. Water the plants as needed, and keep the soil moist but do not water them too much.

Turnip

tumip

Once one of the most consumed vegetables in Europe (before potato), when sowing turnip plants should be spaced 8-10 cm apart, seeds going about 13 mm. deep. It is important to water in abundance and keep the roots from becoming too large and fibrous. Regarding the soil, it should be light and fertile, best if you also have organic matter or compost.

Corn Salad

com salad

Before you sow corn salad, you’d better soak the seeds in water for a couple of days so as to favor germination. The process is very simple because you can form rows and then spread the seeds. Keep a distance of 10 cm between rows. This crop can be exposed to light or be in part shade.

Leek

leek

It is very easy to grow leeks and there are early , mid-season and late varieties; periods overlap with each other. You may obtain leeks with different varieties eight months a year.

Strawberries

strawberries
Strawberries can be grown both in pots or directly on the ground, if you have enough space in your garden or yard. It should be noted that the strawberry is a plant roots very easily and does not pose too many problems when planting. Also, this plant resists cold and heat very well, and is even able to survive frosts, so you should not worry if you live in a cold area. The best time to plant strawberries is in late winter and spring.

Carrots

carrot
Carrots prefer a rich soil albeit light, which is why clay soil is the least liked because of its heaviness and carrot seeds find it very difficult to form the root well. You can sow carrots in late winter and late summer depending on your climate. It is best to soak the seeds , I do an hour or two hours for a couple of hours.

Onion

onion

You can plant bulbs instead of seeds, and the best time to do it is in spring. Holes are made every 15 cm along a line, inserting a bulb into each hole and then tightening the soil around it to make it very firm.

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Is winter behind you already? We had some warm weather in the past few days, but we have a wet and cold week ahead of us, so we are still in winter mode, waiting for better days to start with the spring garden. We harvested all the cabbages, and next task will be putting some stakes for the green peas, so not too busy yet. See what’s in our plot here (click “Show Plot”).

 

What about your garden? Anything interesting happening?