April allotment tasks

Here’s a general gardening tip that may help if, like us, you’re pondering when – if ever – it may be possible to plant out some of your more tender crops: peg horticultural fleece over the ground a week or so before you intend to plant. Even such a small rise in soil temperature can make a big difference to the success of the seedlings. Usually, in April, there’s a long list of plants to sow or seedlings to plant out, especially if March has been bitter – and now April is shaping up not to showers but snow flurries, covering the soil may even make the difference between plant survival and failure.

If you are planting out carrots, that horticultural fleece can also serve to protect them from carrot fly – if you bury the edges of the fleece after you’ve covered the seeds, the carrot root fly can’t gain access to lay her eggs alongside the seeds. If she does get in, the eggs hatch and then the grubs dig into the carrots and destroy the crop.

What you might be putting in the ground now is:
• Beetroot
• Peas (in mild areas) and broad beans
• Broccoli
• Cruciferous plants like Brussels Sprouts, cabbage and cauliflower
• Leafy crops like kale, chard, kohl rabi, spinach
• Leeks
• Salad crops like rocket, lettuce and radish

Allotments courtesy of muggers

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Posted by The Allotment Blogger on Saturday, April 5, 2008

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