A Spring in my Step

15 Apr

Mr Middleton says : Pruning blackcurrants, raspberries, and other plants consists of removing old to make room for new.

April- 2nd Week

1. Finish Onion Planting.- Finish onion planting as soon as possible. Onions thrive best on a bed which is rich and firm, and do not like loose and newly dug soil. Sow onions for salad purposes if not already done.

2. Sow Spinach and Peas.– Spinach can be sown outside. A good variety for now is the Long Standing Round, which does not run to seed so readily as the ordinary round type.

A successional sowing of peas should be made. Sow at intervals of a fortnight to keep up a supply right trough the summer.

3. Sow Radish and Lettuce Outdoors. – Sow radish out of doors., choosing a position between rows of cabbage or cauliflowers, or between peas and beans. This quick-growing crop can be grown and matured before the other vegetables are fully grown, so this is a good way to use the wide pieces of land between the rows. The method is known as inter-cropping, and is a way of getting more than one crop from a piece of land. Lettuce can be so used too, and plants can be put out now.

4. Fertilize Potatoes and Plant More.– Draw a little soil up to the potatoes planted during last month, which are showing. Apply a dressing of a potato fertilizer between the rows and mix it with the soil when drawing it up. Plant more potatoes.

5. Sow Salsify, Chicory, Runner Beans.– Salsify can be sown now. Chicory can be sown for forcing in winter. Runner beans, which will not stand frost, may be sown in boxes and brought on in a cold frame to be planted when danger of frost is past.

6. Plant Out Cabbage and Spouts.- Plant out cabbages and Brussels sprouts. The sooner the sprouts are out and growing the better.

7. Sow Carrots and Turnips.– Sow long-rooted carrots. Suitable varieties are St. Valery (which is an excellent show carrot, being smooth), Altrincham and Long Red Surrey. Sow six-week turnips.

8. Spray Fruit Bushes and Trees.- Spray blackcurrants for mite and gooseberries for American gooseberry mildew. Spray cherries for aphis.

9. Look to Frames.– Harden off brassicas, etc, in frames. All lights should be off now.

Purple Sprouting Brocolli

We are still eating the Purple-Sprouting broccoli l grew last year. Its delicious and certainly rivals asparagus for a early spring crop. The salsify and parsnips have been excellent too. We have lived off Spicy Parsnip soup this winter! There are still some in the ground but will probably be a bit woody now as they have sprouted tons of new growth and look like they need a good haircut.

The Greenhouse

I sowed my first crop of peas about 2 weeks ago and they are just coming through now, although the slugs look like they are having a feast on the succulent young tips. I have put some netting up for support but will use some sticks on the others l sow as it looks much better and provides a more solid frame for the peas to climb up.

Pea supports

My radish and lettuce are going great guns. I am determined, this year, to have a healthy succession of salads throughout the summer. So far, so good!

Young radish

No signs of my early potatoes so far. I am growing them in the old traditional way ie. in trenches and then earthed-up. I planted them under plastic last year but the slugs also live there and had a bit of a feast. Also, it is difficult to water them in a drought, which we experienced last year.

Over-wintered Swiss Chard

I sowed my runner beans in pots last week and are in the unheated greenhouse. No signs yet.

I also sowed 4 long rows of carrots this week so should have a good supply of young sweet carrots in a couple of months. I love eating them when they are very small.

My squash, courgettes and pumpkins have all germinated. Just have to keep the dreaded snails off them now.

Young Squash, Courgettes and Pumpkins

Have a great weekend and Happy gardening!


Posted by on April 15, 2011 in April, The garden


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

8 responses to “A Spring in my Step

  1. Janet/Plantaliscious

    April 16, 2011 at 10:31

    Hi Trevor, so glad to have found your blog, so thank you for visiting mine or it might never have happened! I love what you are doing here, following the “Dig for Victory” advice. Your pea stick supports look great – I was trying for all natural supports too but ran out of prunings and had some netting. Not nearly as attractive. I now feel bad that my sprouts aren’t big enough to plant out yet!

    • trevorhunt

      April 16, 2011 at 18:36

      Ha ha, What Sprouts!
      I never know if to grow them or not? They take up so much space for so long and they are cheap enough to buy. I find myself telling people only to grow what is either expensive to buy or is hard to find when growing veg and space is at a premium. Unlike Mr Middleton who tells us to grow everything.
      Of course, times were different back then and the more l research this subject the more l am in absolute awe with Joe Public who, not only endured being bombed to oblivion, were on strict rationing, worked long, hard hours and probably did some voluntary work, but also managed to grow their own vegetables all year round. As l have often been told, We don’t know we’ve been born!

  2. Louise

    April 16, 2011 at 17:01

    Shall definitely be looking in on your Dig for Victory blog. Always most interested to read anything related to the history of the garden.

    • trevorhunt

      April 16, 2011 at 18:38

      Thanks Louise. I am going to be writing up more about the history of the Dig for Victory campaign over the coming weeks. Watch this space!

  3. Louise

    April 16, 2011 at 17:14

    Just realised the comment I posted here refers back to my general blog! I do have a garden blog too, which you are very welcome to visit whenever time permits.

    • trevorhunt

      April 16, 2011 at 18:40

      I will definitely be calling by! Thanks.

  4. Paula

    April 16, 2011 at 21:19

    Hi Trevor

    Great info, I came to you from Guardian site.As a new allotment holder I am always looking around the web for advice and look forward to following your blog. I planted out some sunflowers today – plenty fo those in France – my spinach is coming through and I am fortunate enough to have strawberries on my plot which are starting to flower, looking forward to eating those in summer. Anyhow got you in my favourites and will keep calling back.

  5. trevorhunt

    April 16, 2011 at 21:44

    Oops! Sorry about the rant on the Guardian but it does annoy me to see these ‘journalists’ writing such weak drivel. heck, l’m off again!
    Anyway, glad you called by and l hope to see you here again .


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