Gardening tips for April.

No doubt by now you’re all getting out to your gardens and have started all those seeds off in the greenhouse or conservatory. Don’t get worried if not, as there is plenty of time, and they invariably catch up anyway.

Don’t be tempted into putting out bedding too soon. The garden centres, supermarkets and DIY outlets will be pushing the sale of plants, but they are hoping for a repeat sale when yours get frosted with a cold snap. Think back to the old gardeners and how they planted their gardens. Yes, they got early broad beans planted in the Winter and another lot in the Spring, but their potatoes were “chitted” indoors for planting when the ground was ready, and then covered over and protected by drawing more earth up when the shoots started to appear. A good hard frost can cost you the year’s crop.

Sweet Peas, Pansies, Antirrhinums will be fine because they can stand the cold. With bedding plants and basket or patio plants you’re far better to wait until May before attempting to plant out. In fact most parks departments always reckoned on planting first week in June for bedding after the threat of frost had gone, as is true of the planters on the Quay. They still make a great show for the entire Summer because we wait for Mother Nature.

If you need more information and advice why not come along to Bideford Gardeners’ Club. Our next meeting is on 10th April 7.30pm at Bideford Methodist Church Hall, entrance off Honestone Street car park. Sue Applegate is this month’s special speaker, on Iris and Peonies. She was nursery manager for 40 years at Kelways at Langport famous for their Chelsea displays of these hardy plants. Check out our website www.bidefordgardenersclub.co.uk for our complete programme. Good Growing.

Mike Avis (Secretary ; Bideford Gardeners’ Club.)

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Vegetable garden.

Under glass, sow runner beans. In the nursery bed, sow cabbage, broccoli, savoys, leeks. In the main plot sow carrots, turnips, spinach, peas, radishes: transplant lettuce seedlings, and plant maincrop potatoes.

TA.

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