Pippa Greenwood: What to Sow in April in your garden
What to sow & grow in April
Perfect to sow in April. Leeks make a great winter veg and if you choose a good and British-bred variety like ‘Northern Lights’ and sow the seed now, they can be harvested right through the coming winter and in to spring.
The seed can be sown direct into well-raked soil, about 12-15cm deep with rows approximately 30cm apart. Leek seed take two to two and a half weeks to germinate, and you can speed this up slightly by covering with a Polyethene Easy Tunnel. Once the plants are about 15cm tall they will need transplanting into individual holes, each about 15cm deep and 20-25cm apart along the rows……yes, you’ll feel as if you’re burying them alive, but that’s what makes the delicious white ‘shaft’. You should be able to harvest full-sized leeks after 30 weeks or maybe a little longer.
There’s always much debate about when and how to sow sweetpea seeds, some swear by autumn sowing, but I find the seed germinates just as well and the plants perform the same, so I prefer sowing in spring. This also means less looking after (mainly guarding from mice!) over the winter months.
I use Rootrainers as these ensure a well-developed root system which can be easily transplanted into the garden without significant disturbance. No need to pre-soak the seed, just so sow 0.5-1cm deep in good quality seed and cuttings or multipurpose compost. Ensure the soil remains moist and the seedlings should appear in about ten days, possibly sooner.
If you ever find shop-bought cucumbers watering and boring, make this the year you grow your own – you’ll find they have a much better and more cucmbery
flavour and and truly delicious (even if they’re not always quite so straight!) Sow any time this month if you’ll be growing the plants in an unheated greenhouse, and wait until mid to late April if you’re growing outdoor varieties.
Sow the seeds in individual small pots of good-quality compost, about 1-1.5cm deep, laying each seed on its side. Once the compost has been watered, put the pots into a heated propagator at about 21C.
Hope you enjoy our guide to what to sow in April.
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