April at a Glance

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Sow:

Broad Beans, onions (in trays or outdoors if warm). Brassica seeds sown now will take 4 months to mature. Lettuce. broccoli, cabbage, carrots, Chinese cabbage, leeks, lettuce, onions, parsley, shallots, spinach.

Plant:

Cabbage, broccoli, cauli, kale, lettuce, parsley, silverbeet or spinach, strawberries, soft fruits such as currants, raspberries etc, fruit trees

Cultivate:

Mound up soil around leeks. Keep well-watered along with celery. Weed around asparagus.  Protect heads of cauli from the weather by covering with big leaves. Keep weeding and hoeing between plants to keep weeds down.

Harvest:

Beans, courgettes, sweetcorn, pumpkins, main crop potatoes, carrots, parsnips, beetroot, spinach and silverbeet, herbs

Prepare:

Dig beds where crops have finished, add compost to trenches, Sow green crops, make compost and mulch bare ground in preparation for winter weather and preparing beds for spring.

Gardening in the Lockdown.

Now more than ever we need to get serious about growing our own food when we can.  It’s interesting that since the announcement here in NZ that we were going into lockdown in response to the COVID-19 virus, it wasn’t just the supermarket shelves that emptied out of staples such as bread, flour, yeast and baking basics. The nurseries all sold out of vegetable seedlings – except Brussels Sprouts and Kale which were the only sad punnets languishing on the shelves in the Warehouse when I managed to make it in there! There has been a massive instinctive move to provide for ourselves and our families in the most fundamental way.  We may have dabbled in the garden in the past but now more than ever it is important to think about other ways to provide for ourselves rather than popping to the shops every few days.   We are being assured that the supermarkets will stay open and the supply lines will remain intact but we live in uncertain times.  The garden is the place where we can find not only food but peace and comfort that comes from being in contact with the soil and the seasons.  There is comfort at a very basic level to know that we can plant a seed now and know that it will germinate and grow – life goes on.  And now we have time to actually work in the garden!

One of the reasons we don’t spend as much time in our gardens as we would like is that our lives are so filled up with work, family activities and other commitments. Ironically we now have weeks of enforced home-based living. I am still working but am flexible enough to get out and spend at least an hour in the garden a day. Plus I have some helpers who are in the “bubble” with me so making good use of the manpower!   So for the next few posts – expect to see some help getting started in your Kitchen Garden! (Especially for beginners)IMG_1086