April Gardening with Big Jims



Autumn is in the air. . . It's Natures Natural Time for Planting


This is the ideal time to plant as it gives the plant time to establish before the onset of winter.


The Edible Garden

  • This month continues the tasks of March - harvesting the last of the summer vege crops and preparing the ground for autumn and winter crops.
  • Be sure to store crops such as pumpkins, onions and potatoes in a cool dry place and check regularly to make sure no infections have set in on any of them.
  • This is the time to sow broad bean seeds for late winter harvest. Broad beans are best picked when young and sweet and make a tasty addition to late winter meals. They are easy to grow - do provide support for them - and are heavy croppers.
  • Winter lettuce can be planted now - be sure to choose winter varieties such as 'Winter Triumph'
  • Rhubarb crowns can be lifted, split, and re-planted into newly prepared soil. Rhubarb enjoys a food rich soil so add in lots of compost, sheep pellet s, blood and bone, and top dress with general garden fertiliser.
  • Sow sugar snap peas now.
  • Continue planting seedlings of cabbage, cauliflower, leeks, spinach and silver beet.
  • Fruit trees that have been harvested and are starting to shed their leaves can be given a clean-up with a copper spray - this will help kill off any overwintering fungus spores.


The Flower Garden

  • Another busy month in the flower garden clearing up the last of the summer annuals and preparing ground and planting autumn/ winter varieties.
  • This is really the last month for planting spring flowering bulbs. Mix bulb food into the soil when planting - this will get them off to a good start once the roots start developing.
  • Lots of winter flowering shrubs and trees will start appearing this month. Remember to stake tall trees when planting.
  • Prune back shrubs and climbers that have finished flowering.
  • Plant out Primulas, polyanthus, pansies, violas, cineraria, sweet pea, and stock.
  • Plant up pots and containers for autumn and winter colour. Add slow release fertiliser to the potting mix and feed weekly with a liquid or soluble flowering plant food. A tub filled with pansies or polyanthus will look a picture and will flower for months.