With Spring officially here and the days now getting longer and warmer, seed sowing will step up a gear this month.
If you are not sure where to begin or if you are just looking for some inspiration then here are some things we are sowing this April.
Aubergines, Chillies, Peppers and Tomatoes – These are all warm season plants which take a long time to grow. Sow these indoors now if you haven’t already done so. Our Aubergine ‘Black Beauty’ has a shorter growing season than a lot of Aubergines so is a great variety to grow here in the UK. Peppers, Chillies and Tomatoes will race on as temperatures warm up so do get these started ASAP!
Beetroot – I made my first sowing of beetroot in March and will continue to sow more over the spring and summer. The taste of fresh beetroot is divine and I cannot get enough of it!
Courgettes – We can start sowing our courgettes this month and it won’t be long before we all complain we have too many….if you can even have too many courgettes! These quick cropping plants are a must in any kitchen garden. We have a new variety this year called Cocozelle. It is incredibly tasty and has gorgeous markings.
Cucumbers – You really cannot beat a home grown cucumber. We are sowing our tried and tested cucumber ‘Marketmore’ this month which is a really flavourful outdoor variety – we let it ramble on the ground like a winter squash when we plant it out and it produces an abundance of the tastiest fruits! We are also going to sow some of our cucumber ‘lemon’ which produces pale yellow fruits around the size of a lemon. A great variety to grow if you are looking for something a little bit different! Cucumbers will not survive a frost so do keep them indoors until the risk of frost has safely passed.
French Beans – I am so looking forward to starting off some French beans later this month. Two of my favourite varieties are ‘Purple Teepee’ which is a dwarf variety and doesn’t need much in the way of support, and Cobra which is a climbing variety. Both varieties are delicious!
Leeks – Leeks couldn’t be easier to grow and really don’t take up a lot of space initially – simply sow them in a pot and leave them to put on growth until they are ready to plant out. I tend to plant mine out after I harvest my early potatoes. If you haven’t started your leeks yet then get these sown ASAP!
Kale – I sow kale regularly in my garden so that there is always plenty to harvest. I love kale crisps! One of my favourites is Nero di Toscana as I love how it grows. It looks quite exotic!
Kohl Rabi – I will sow these successionally over the course of the spring and summer as it is so delicious in stir frys and home made coleslaw.
Radishes & Turnips – Radishes and Turnips are always great to sow for a quick crop so you should be sowing these successionally over the next couple of months to make sure you always have a harvest.
Red Cabbage – Red cabbage is so versatile…from a Christmas dinner side dish to a colourful summer coleslaw or salad. No kitchen garden should be without it. Our Red Drumhead cabbage can be sown over the next few months so is a great variety to have on hand.
Salads – I love to have a variety of salads to create a little pick and mix! From our oriental salads to our gorgeous, frilly ‘Lollo Rosso’ we have some delicious options to choose from and I’ll be sowing at least one mixed tray this month!
Sweetcorn – I will be starting my sweetcorn in trays in the greenhouse during the next few weeks and will be looking to plant out after the last frost which is usually around mid May up here in Cheshire. If you are struggling for space then consider the three sisters method of growing which involves sweetcorn, climbing beans and squashes together. The beans will use the sweetcorn as supports and the squashes will help to keep the weeds down but also provide shade to the soil thereby helping to keep it moist….trust me you will be thankful you grew this way on those really hot days when watering becomes a task and a half!
Violas – I will also be sowing some violas this month. My garden is never without violas – they are so versatile and do well in both the summer and winter gardens. Plus the flowers are edible so they are great to jazz up a glass of something sparkly or to make a lovely summer salad look extra stunning!
Winter Squash – I always look forward to sowing my winter squashes and this year is no exception. Aside from the fact that I love to grow things that will store over winter I also love to grow squash as they sprawl so much and help me to keep the weeds down and I am always grateful for this in the height of summer when I would rather be basking in the sunshine than be knee deep in weeds!
Hopefully this has given you some inspiration for your April sowings!