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The April Garden & Veggie Patch

Spring has sprung, the grass is riz! No time to rest on your spade, with all your plants growing so vigorously. Most noticeably in the garden, the grass will be growing faster and faster as the weather warms up. It is important to mow regularly, never cutting more than a third off the height of the grass. Also, don’t be tempted to mow over daffodils that have finished flowering but still have plenty of green leaves. They need these to photosynthesize and build up energy for next year’s flowers. Wait until the leaves are brown before cutting them down.
April is a good month to mulch around herbaceous perennials, before easily damaged shoots get too big to work around. Use organic matter such as garden compost, leaf mould or well-rotted manure to provide a slow release feed and retain moisture in the soil.  You can also apply an organic based general fertilizer to your beds (at the recommend rate), to help your plants give the best display in summer.
Also growing quickly are weeds! It is best to deal with them as soon as they appear because they are easily killed when young, and if left will become competition for your plants, drawing away nutrients and water.
Finally, be on the lookout for slugs and snails who will be making a bee line for tasty new leaves.
On the Vegetable patch….it’s all happening on the veggie patch this month. It’s time to sow Kale, Broad Beans, Kohlrabi, Leeks and Parsnips directly into the ground, as well as continuing to sow salad leaves, lettuce, spring onions, carrots and beetroot for continual cropping later on. If you haven’t been punctual and planted onion sets, shallots and garlic, it’s not too late. Plant them in well cultivated soil, with their tips just poking up through the surface. If any get pulled up by pigeons, they’ll be fine if replanted quickly. Two top tips when seed sowing: 1. Carefully water seed drills before sowing so as not to disturb the seeds, but to make sure they are well watered. 2. Cover small seeds with multi-purpose compost so the seedlings don’t have to fight through hard soil ~ Ollie Ryan-Moore, Creative Landscapes