Gardening for April

Almond tree mulched in readiness for a bumper crop!
Almond tree mulched in readiness for a bumper crop!

GARDENING FOR APRIL:

Things are really starting to wind down in the garden this month. We have had our first two frosts. Have lost some of the Basil and a couple of Dahlias, but still harvesting courgettes, cucumbers and tomatoes. The last couple of weeks have been spent collecting horse manure by the trailer load to mulch all our fruit trees. Fruit trees as they lose their leaves put out their feeder roots. This is nature’s way of storing up energy for bud burst in the spring making this a good time to feed them. If you have the resources mulching gardens now will help to keep some warmth in your soil, keep you weed free for the winter if thick enough as well as providing food for all those useful soil microorganisms. Alternatively get those green crops in. If you haven’t already now’s the time to plan where you will plant your garlic and potato onions (a great little multiplying onion planted in May…Check out Setha’s  seeds ) I find garlic a very easy and rewarding crop to grow but it will take up some space from June to January. All members of the onion family (Allium) including garlic do not like to compete with weeds, making ground preparation and mulching essential. I do find if you get this right you can pretty much ignore them till harvest apart from the occasional water.

Once all this mulching, preparation and harvesting are done we can look forward to some relaxing and planning for next season (Unless you have lots of tree planting planned that is!)  As it is quiet on the garden front over the next few months, I thought I would write a series of articles exploring other aspects of sustainability, such as ‘Permaculture’ and Community. And checkout the new ‘Building your compost’ page on the website. If you have lots of leaves this time of the year they will be a great resource for your compost.