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By April, temperatures are on the rise and the soil on your plot should be starting to warm up, particularly if you’ve been preparing a few beds by covering them with polythene or cloches. Seedlings raised indoors should be nearing the time for transplanting, and garden centres and nurseries will be brimming with young vegetable plants ready to take home and plant out. Don’t be tempted to move too quickly, however. A hard frost can wipe out a whole bed of tender seedlings overnight.

Onions

April is probably your last chance for transplanting seedlings or planting onion sets.

Plant sets 5-10cm (2-4in) apart and cover them with soil so that the tips are only just visible.

Plant sets 5-10cm (2-4in) apart and cover them with soil so that the tips are only just visible.

Asparagus

Plant asparagus crowns by the end of the month. After that, it will be too late.

Fruit trees and bushes

It’s too late now to plant bare-rooted trees and bushes, as they will no longer be dormant. However, if you’ve missed your chance, you can still buy and plant container-grown plants instead.

Globe artichokes

Cut offsets from established plants and plant them this month.

Herbs

Most herbs can be planted outdoors now, either those you’ve bought or those you’ve raised from seed yourself. Only the most tender will need covering at night.

Jerusalem artichokes

New tubers should all be planted by the end of April.

Kohl rabi and summer radishes

Harden off and transplant young plants you’ve grown from seed.

Lettuces and other salad leaves

If you’ve been raising lettuce seedlings indoors over the last couple of months, you may be able to plant them out now – but keep them covered if there are still night frosts.

Peas and broad beans

Harden off and plant out any seedlings you’ve raised indoors or under cover.

Potatoes

Plant second early and maincrop seed potatoes. You should have already “chitted” them to give them a good head start.

Plant outdoors

 

Vegetables

Asparagus
Broad beans
Globe artichokes
Endive
Florence fennel
French beans
Jerusalem artichokes
Kale
Kohl rabi
Lettuces
Marrows
Onions
Peas
Potatoes
Pumpkins and winter squashes
Radishes
Runner beans
Sprouting broccoli
Sweetcorn
Sweet potatoes
Tomatoes

 

Fruit
Cape gooseberries (transplant)
Cranberries
Fruit trees (container-grown)
Grape vines
Strawberries

 

 

 

Text and photographs copyright © 2010 Alan Buckingham.

 

Allotment month by month by Alan Buckingham, front cover thumbnail Allotment Month by Month
(Dorling Kindersley, 2009)
Grow Vegetables by Alan Buckingham, front cover thumbnail Grow Vegetables
(Dorling Kindersley, 2007)
Grow Fruit by Alan Buckingham, front cover thumbnail Grow Fruit
(Dorling Kindersley, 2010)