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5 jobs for the April Garden!

1. Start sowing outdoors

Up to now most seeds you will have sown the season will have been started indoors or in a polytunnel or greenhouse.

As the ground starts to warm up during April, you can start to sow some seeds directly outside if you'd like!

Carrots are a must-sow this month!

2. Protect fruit flowers from late frost

With the warm sunny days we've been having lately, your fruit trees might have begun to bloom.

Unfortunately a late frost can damage the flowers, meaning a poor or missing harvest later in the year.

Cover small fruiting trees with fleece, making sure the fleece is not sitting on the flowers themselves, to hold off the danger.

A bit of extra work now will be totally worth it when you're biting into sweet juicy fruit later in the year!

3. Protect your seedlings from slugs and snails

Irish gardens in particular are plagued by slugs and snails! These little guys can devastate seedlings in a short time overnight. We are all for biodiversity though, and recent research from the Royal Horticultural Society has led them to declare that slugs and snails should not be viewed as pests! We totally agree, however you'll still need to take steps to protect your young plants. The best way to do this is to create a healthy ecosystem, by gardening organically, no dig, leaving weeds in some areas, planting a diverse array of plants and encouraging slug predators like birds, hedgehogs and frogs. If your garden isn't quite there yet, you can protect individual plants with broken eggshells, wool or pieces of thorny brambles. Or go out at night with a torch and remove them physically. Beer traps can be a final resort but best to use sparingly. Or make slug nematodes - we're going to publish a blog post on this soon, so watch this space!

4. Sow Seeds of Heat Loving Plants - but protect them!

From mid April the risk of frost starts to reduce, and the nights start to get warmer - although be warned, we have had frost as late as May in some areas of Ireland! April is a good month to start sowing heat loving seeds like courgette, cucumber and French beans or catch up with tomato seed sowing.

Remember to start these seeds in warmth, and keep them warm until planting out in June!

5. Sow seed potatoes!

If you haven't sown early seed potatoes, you can catch up now. And April is the perfect time to sow second early and maincrop seed potatoes to feed your family year round!

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