IF MARCH WAS LABORIOUS, PREPARE FOR THE GARDEN IN APRIL
The orchard in April is already a reality and promises. We started with plantings and transplants of everything that could not be grown in the cold months. We continue to harvest products from the cold months. Everything is accelerating (the sun is gaining strength) and we will have to be more aware of competing species, aphids and other visitors. Oh, and it rains!
THE WEATHER IN APRIL
I know that starting with the saying “April, a thousand waters” is a bit hackneyed, but in this case, I think it would be more appropriate for this year 2013, “April, a hundred thousand waters.” What a way to rain. Spain is overwhelmed! Yes, and also the reservoirs. It is true that the rains are coming to us between March and April, but we have been in April for a whole week and it seems that it does not abate. The annual averages tell us that although in April we all know that it rains, the truth is that it is usually not too heavy and sudden rains. There are records of other months with more water accumulation than in April. I am biting my tongue when I say this because of what is happening this year, although I must remember that what is happening these last days has been breaking records for over 60 years. The month of March has been the rainiest since 1947.
This is April. Once the time has changed, the days look different and that encourages. There are pleasant days with good temperatures, although it is usually rainy, you don’t have to swear, right? April is in frost limbo. It is that critical month in which one week appears pleasant and benevolent with the temperatures, but you do not dare to transplant in case the next frost falls that nobody expected, and ruin all the transplants that you had prepared for these dates (it depends of zones, of course). Let’s see what we should do in the orchard in April that I already told you that it promises.
WHAT CAN WE PLANT IN THE GARDEN IN APRIL?
It all depends on where you live. The Mediterranean coast already enjoys a suitable climate for the vast majority of transplants and consequently increasing direct plantings and lowering the rate of protected seedbeds, etc. Still in the north you have to wait for the cold and the last frosts to subside . There are still snowfalls at heights of 700 m these days for some places so a little patience still.
If you enjoy good weather and you are already free from frost, you can transplant almost everything that you had sown from previous months in a protected seedbed. Peppers, tomatoes, aubergines, squash, zucchini, cucumbers, and even the first melons and watermelons. If you did not make provision to have all these products early, you can always start sowing now, even direct sowing, although we always recommend germination and first stages of development in controlled conditions (seedbed).
If you live further inland you will still be at risk of low temperatures and depending on which places, some frosts. If that is your case, you will still have to wait a bit to be able to plant the nightshades and cucurbits in the garden that will begin to fill the garden in the coming months. Do not worry because surely you will still have work to seed all these products so that, when the garden is out of danger, you can transplant them. It may be time to plant the rich and nutritious beets that have already been planted in hot climates for about a month and a half.
We do not forget all those products that we can continue to plant and transplant all, or almost all year round, in a wide range of climates, such as chard, lettuce, radishes, carrots, cabbages, beets or leeks.
Links that can help you in the garden in April:
- Sowing calendar
- Horticultural crop sheets
- Fruit Crop Sheets
WHAT ABOUT THE ORCHARD PICKUPS IN APRIL?
The cold is over and therefore everything related to the typical brassicas is disappearing from the garden. Broccoli and cabbages is very possible that you do not have left or you are picking up the last units. This leaves room for everything that we have to plant from now on, which is a lot.
In warm areas it is time to taste the delicious strawberries, but more generalized is usually the collection of products such as lettuce, carrots, radishes or radishes, leeks, spinach are products available on these dates.
ADDITIONAL GARDEN WORK IN APRIL
- It is a good time to mulch everything that we already have transplanted and / or sown. As we already saw in the quilting entry , there are numerous materials for this purpose, so you decide which material to use. Straw is usually the most common mulch due to its good results. When you decide to make the mulch, it helps to settle the straw, for example with an irrigation so that it does not fly. Remember the disadvantage of straw, since it can come with adventitious seeds that are developed in the garden.
- In the orchard in April, depending on how the plants develop, we may have to start thinking about making tomato or bean stakes (in warm areas and possibly towards the second half of the month and before they fall down) .
- We will have to start doing a manual control of typical spring adventitious species that compete with the crops. The padding will help if you want less appearance of these species.
- The spuds or binas may be necessary to prevent scabs and apelmazamientos derived from rain and sun exposure periods also typical of this month. We will oxygenate the soil but be careful if you are not free of frost yet. Wait a bit.
- Control of slugs, snails and aphids will be other tasks that will have to be done. Better preventively, although we cannot prevent them from visiting us. Nettle extract, horsetail extract, or specific organic products for aphids. For snails and slugs the well-known solution of the pot with beer buried at ground level usually gives good results to capture them.
- If you are one of those who took the risk of planting in the orchard in April because the weather was good and there are possibilities that the temperatures will drop too low , you will have to protect flowers and sensitive crops with screens, sheds, reeds, plastic mini-greenhouses, open carafes.
THE FRUIT TREES IN APRIL
- It is the month in which you have to enjoy the spectacular blooms of almond and cherry trees.
- If you have any pome and / or stone fruit trees they will now be in full bloom so it’s time to fertilize the tree with organic matter. They are going to be in high demand for nutrients from now on. It is not necessary that you cut through the tree grate unless the ground is very thick. The rains and irrigation will gradually incorporate the nutrients.