Spring is finally here. It's an exciting month at Springvale Community Garden, with indoor-sown seeds well into growth and it's also time to start sowing outdoors. We’ll have sunshine and showers but just watch out for frosts.
Vegetable growing really takes off this month. Here are some top jobs that our volunteers will be busy with during April.
Why not make use of the nettles or comfrey that are young and green in April? They make great plant food. Nettles have more nitrogen but less potash, so you can use them to make a feed for leafy greens; or use nettles and comfrey for a balanced feed. Comfrey on its own is good for feeding tomatoes.
Happy gardening and we look forward to seeing you at Springvale community garden soon.
Just when you thought you could sit back and relax and enjoy the sunshine, June and July is a busy time in the garden. It’s also a lovely time as you enjoy the fruits, flowers and vegetables of your labours.
The big job is watering to prevent your plants drying out. Baskets and pots will need daily watering. Even fruit trees need plenty of water Remember to add some organic liquid feed every few weeks. At Springvale we make liquid feed with comfrey and with nettles. Strip off the leaves, put them in water and leave them for about 3 weeks. Use it diluted with water 10/1. It smells disgusting but the plants love it. Comfrey gives a good potash feed for fruit, tomatoes, potatoes and flowers. Nettles give nitrogen for leaves so leafy vegetables love it. All this for free! It’s great to leave a little spot for the nettles.They are the main food for the comma, tortoiseshell, painted lady and red admiral, our native butterflies.
Plant out your brassicas from pots - broccoli, calabrese, brussel sprouts and cabbage. If you haven’t already planted your leek seedlings do this as well. Just dib a hole about 150mm 6" deep and drop the leek into the hole. Water it in and the job's done. Some folks advise trimming the roots and tops but others say it doesn’t make any difference. Why make extra work?
If you have a greenhouse, ensure good ventilation. It can get incredibly hot with strong sun and scorch your plants. Consider shading either with blinds or films or with a shading wash.
Keep pinching the side shoots off your tomatoes and keep an eye out for pests such as aphids, whitefly and red spider mite.
You can keep sowing in June and July, spring cabbage, chicory, chinese cabbage, kohlrabi, peas, french beans, beetroot, carrots, radishes and lettuces. In fact just check on the seed packets. Many can be sown until quite late.
Take softwood cuttings from hydrangea, hebe, lavender and other shrubs. Divide your primula and primroses.