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Kitchen Garden Calendar – April

Prepare seedbeds – if you have beds that you are going to plant spring vegetables such as cauliflower, leeks, potatoes and carrots, raking the soil to a fine tilth is important so that air and water can permeate easily through it. Carrots especially need a fine soil to a depth of around 6-9 inches to keep them growing straight and not bending away from stones that they encounter underground.

Pull soil up over developing potato shoots – Once potatoes are established remember to ‘earth up’ at least three times at 2 – 3 week intervals during April/May. This involves pulling the earth up over the bottom stems of the plants, which encourages potatoes to grow farther up the plant, producing a greater yield.

Strawberries can be planted out or uncovered – keep a piece of fleece on hand in case a frost is forecast.

Add compost or fertilizer to fruit trees – spread around the base to add nutrients to the soil.

You can now start to plant salad vegetables – for example, lettuce, radishes and beetroot. Why not try something less main stream like pak choi or chicory for a tastier salad addition. Add plants of the same variety to your vegetable plot over a number of days, this will helps to establish a future crop that will be ready to harvest over a number of days/ weeks rather than all at once.

Prune raspberry bushes to around 23cm from the ground – install canes for the plant to climb as it grows.