April really is the month that hots up for sowing and growing as the days get longer
(all plants need light) and warmer - lovely jubbly! From last month, your chillies, peppers, tomatoes and onions should all be doing great provided you have kept them warm and watered. If the seeds are 10 Cm's tall you can pot them on into bigger 7.5 cm pots. Fill the new pots with multi purpose compost , ease out the seedlings with a small spoon - holding them by the leaves only and tuck them up into their new home. Water and keep in a warm spot on a windowsill. They need lots of light. I will post pictures of mine on the Stoke hammond village facebook page if you fancy taking a peak.
By the way I gave out 300 pepper seeds from my free offer last month - this month I am giving away sunflower seeds ....send email to email@example.com and say " I wanna grow😊" and I will get them to you. I will talk about planting these seeds in May edition of the SH News.
Planting your first early potatoes can be done now...in the ground or in tubs. Prepare the ground by working in some fertiliser, dig a trench 15cm deep and put your spuds in it about 30cm apart. If you have more than one row, then keep the rows 40 cm apart. Cover them up. All you have to do is put compost over the growth that comes through to protect from frost and also to stop the light getting to the tubers which turns them green...and poisonous! This is called earthing up. Do the same with a bag if you wish - half fill bag with compost, put 3 or 4 spuds in it, cover with 10cm soil and put more compost on as the shoots show through to the top of the tub. Water them if there is little rain.!!
Carrots and parsnips, you treat in the same way. Do NOT put new manure in the ground before you plant - they hate that. Well dug soil, nice and loose to a fine tilth. Draw a shallow trench only 1 cm deep, water it, and put the carrot and parsnip seeds in...try and space them out , especially the parsnips ( 3cm apart for parsnips ). Lightly cover with multi purpose compost. They will be slow to germinate so don't despair...if nothing shows in 4 weeks repeat the process. They grow really well in tubs by the way. Keep watered if dry.
Peas I start in guttering...yes that's right....fill a piece of guttering with multi purpose compost, throw in lots of peas , about 2 cm apart and water well. They should grow real quick and in 3 weeks you slide all the contents into a shallow trench. Will update you on that next month. Kids don't use your parents guttering attached to the house - the consequences could be severe for you 🙈
Lastly get your lettuce and radishes planted, similar to carrots, you can thin them out if you have too many on top of each other in a several weeks’ time. Sow little and often, every couple of weeks and you have them all summer long. Lettuce take 6 weeks plus, radish 4 to 6 weeks.
Have fun - Pagey
Every month I will give a short update on what to be doing in your veggie patch. No matter how small a front or back garden, you can grow something edible in pots, tubs or beds. Don't worry about lettuce shortages because of the rain in Spain (tee hee) just sow your own.