April in the Garden Smallholding

The weather has been beautiful for the last couple of weeks, seed germination has been a doddle (although I’m still waiting on a tray of asparagus) and seedlings have put on a lot of growth, all of this means that watering has been a bit of a chore at times. Still, mustn’t grumble! I planted onion sets out this month, the spares that are left over will be used at the allotment  if I manage to create something with the soil that resembles a veg bed, rather than a weedy mound of rubble. I started sowing Early Nantes carrots and Gladiator parsnips, the carrots are already shooting away. The broad beans are doing brilliantly, I’m really pleased with them actually as I tend to be unlucky where broad beans are concerned.

I took the plunge and planted out the sweet pea after hardening them off, peas don’t like extremes and they’re not a fan of heat – outside seems to be the better choice for them rather than the hot greenhouse. Talking of peas, the eating variety are going great guns and I should begin picking them very soon. Charlotte potato leaves are breaking the surface of the mounds, I’m earthing up and keeping a close eye on the weather – first sniff of bad stuff and I shall cover them with cardboard pieces like I did last year. It worked a treat. Jerusalem artichokes are poking through the soil now, a welcome sight – I was convinced I’d planted them upside down.

The rhubarb still insists on cloning itself, I’ve cut three flower buds off since my post about it flowering. Summer fruiting raspberries, loganberry and blackberry are laden with buds and the strawbs are all in full flower. Yummy times ahead. The red currant bush is literally dripping with flowers, if you’ve never seen one in flower before it’s quite spectacular. The gooseberry bush is doing well and looks really healthy too, I moved it to a shady spot, pruned it hard to open up the middle for better air flow and threatened it with the chop if it gets mildew again this year. It flowered (blink and you miss them) and baby gooseberries are setting so I’m keeping a check on it.

At the moment I’m mostly potting on stuff and thinning out beets to make new rows, (I hate throwing them away) at some point I’ll start thinking about sowing more tender beans and courgettes.


  1. Oh dear, you’re putting me to shame with your industrious gardening! I’m slowly getting round to it but seem to be caught in a cycle of damage limitation, what with the foxes and pigeons digging or eating everything. That and the watering chores (without a nearby tap). One question: did your redcurrants flower in the first year? Mine (impulse bare root buy from Morrisons) have lots of leaves but not much else! PS. Hear, hear to Flighty’s comment – great photo! Caro xx

  2. Carolyn – yes it did flower the first year I got it but not very many. This year it’s gone beserk, it looks amazing.

    Thank you (and Flighty) for the lovely comment on my photo :)

  3. Great Photo! It was a good month wasn’t it? So tempting to forge ahead. You may need your cardboard pieces, we’ve had frosty nights this month :(

  4. Everything is growing apace, isn’t it, but now we really need some rain. You have clearly been busy. How do you find time for the allotment as well?

  5. Glad to hear this batch of Broad Beans is doing better than your autumn planted ones (though we’ve already started eating our autumn ones!). Don’t know if you’ve heard of the inter-planting the rows with garlic to help ward off black-fly but it seems to have worked for us and one might expect black-fly problems in the current dry spell (though we didn’t run a no-garlic control).

    Your Charlottes are ahead of ours though, still no sign :( I think we were slightly later than usual in planting.

    I wouldn’t worry too much about the rhubarb flowers. My mother has two clumps. The one near the house gets its flower heads removed ASAP but the one at the bottom of the garden gets a bit overlooked and has loads of flowers. Guess which is the best clump and always has been? Yep, the flowering one.

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