April Garden Guide
Veggies and Flowers to Plant in April
Veg: Artichoke & asparagus crowns, beetroot, broad beans (S), carrots (S); broccoli, Brussels sprout, cabbage, cauliflower, celeriac, celery, endive, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, lettuce, onions, radish, rocket, silverbeet, spinach, swede, turnip, watercress (S = seed)
Flowers: pansy, viola, cineraria, cyclamen, nemesia, primula, stock, sweet pea. Spring-flowering bulbs (e.g. anemones, freesias, daffodils, Dutch iris, hyacinth, ranunculus, tulip).
Seeds to Get Going in Preparation for Seedlings in April
Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, celeriac, celery, kale, leek, lettuce, radish, spinach, swede, turnip.
Harvest and Preserve
Apples, pears and late plums (e.g. Satsuma) – apples keep well in fridge or cellar, but don’t keep them enclosed in plastic for too long. Dry slices, preserve in Vacola jars, make cider or perry. See Pip #3 for drying pears. Persimmon and feijoa for fresh eating. Quinces for stewing, jelly or paste. Melons, pumpkins and the last of the summer veg. Hang up whole tomato plants upside down to let the last fruit ripen – or make green tomato chutney.
Garden Jobs in April
Composting – it’s always the right time for composting, but spent summer veg and falling leaves add to the mix, along with any peels or offcuts from fruit being preserved or dried. Spread mature compost around fruit trees, dig it into veg beds and use a small amount to make compost tea for liquid plant feeds. Water compost in well, especially if soil has become water repellent over a long dry summer.
Move potplants if necessary to catch sun now that it is travelling in a lower, shorter arc. Prune apricot trees in April during fine weather – paint any large wounds to prevent fungal infection. Order bare-rooted deciduous trees for winter planting and get the soil ready now. Start thinking about green manure to rake into empty garden beds after rain.
Permaculture Principle #4: Apply Self-Regulation and Accept Feedback
To me this principle suggests being wary of “too much of a good thing” – a lovely example is the effect that plums have when consumed in excess! Nature has ways of telling us when we’re overdoing it. A sore back if you don’t take breaks when turning the compost; sunburn when you’ve stayed out too long; disappearing paths when you haven’t weeded or pruned. Of course, to receive this feedback we need to observe – back to Principle 1 already.
Upcoming Gardening and Permaculture Workshops and Courses in South Australia
The Dirt on Soil
Organic Corner Store Market – 16th April, 10-11am
(Booking essential: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Compost & Worm Farms
Location TBA – 18th April, 2-4pm
$40 per family – includes making your own worm farm to take home complete with compost worms