It’s likely that time in your allotment or tending your vegetable patch in your own garden is part of your weekly itinerary now that it’s April.
Despite being excited too I always have a rather inconvenient niggle that one ill-timed frosty night might scupper my good work of planting. So we have our fleeces and fleece jackets at the ready should Jack Frost pay a visit, and one very close eye on the weather forecast through April.
Who knows? – it may be perfectly fair this month, but it does no harm to be prepared.
Enjoy your April and have a good Easter.
Nikki, Head of Horticulture
Our TOP 4 jobs for the month
Check your seedlings if you’ve sowed indoor in trays. It may be time to move seedlings on to their own pots as the individual plants grow and develop. Be sure to transfer seedlings by holding onto the leaves and avoid picking them up by the main stem. If a leaf is damaged in the process your seedling will recover. If the stem is damaged however this may affect the seedling’s performance growing into a healthy plant.
Keep pest-eating garden birds happy by giving them a supplementary source of food ideal for this time of year. Adult birds are busy courting, making nests and maintaining territory which together is all very energy-consuming. Quality seed mixes like Birds & Bees Spring Booster and soft-fat Daily Goodness Nuggets keeps birds fully fit, active and healthy.
Spring is a great time to add a decorative and effective layer of mulch on top of your existing soil. Mulching offers so many benefits: retaining on-going moisture in your soil (great for developing roots), keeping weeds down, protecting plants from extreme temperatures plus encouraging beneficial soil organisms for healthy soil. What’s more mulch offers an attractive finish.
To get a healthy lawn for the summer you need to address key areas in the spring and Westland Aftercut All in One Lawn Treatment sees to it all. It kills mosses and weeds established over the winter. In addition it gives your lawn a high-nitrogen dosage to encourage ‘tilling’ (developing sideshoots to increase the density of your lawn for added lushness.
Asparagus crowns are perfect to get in the ground at this time of year. Look forward to generous spears just in time for Easter each year. Leave them to establish this year and your patience will pay off next year with winning spears, handsome, tender and unique in flavour.
White Vittorio - for snow white spears
Stewart’s Purple - easy-grow rare dark type
Greenic - Dependable UK-favourite
Recipe of the month - Prawn and asparagus duo
- Bunch of trimmed and cut asparagus
- 2 tbs olive oil
- Pack of fresh king prawns
- 2 tsp chopped ginger
- 3 tbs soy sauce
- salt and pepper (to taste)
Bring a pan of water to the boil and add asparagus. Boil for a couple of minutes, drain and let aside. Keep asparagus water.
Heat the olive oil in a pan. Fry off the prawns for 5 minutes. Stir in 2 tbs of asparagus water and add ginger, salt and pepper and soy sauce.
Vegetable compost specially formulated for your plot. We are excited to bring to the range our trialled and tested compost perfect for home-growers. Made with three components: reduced peat, nutrients to feed for up to six weeks and bio-fibres which bind to roots and increase nutrient uptake.
Two 50 litre sacks currently give you FREE P&P perfect for the start of the season for getting in young vegetable plants in an existing bed or in containers when you have a small space.
Arm yourself with bamboos, pea sticks, scissors and twine and create structures, both imaginative and practical to take your plot to the next level.
We are going to create individual tepees and wigwams for growing climbers at our allotments. We’ll try diamond patterns, yacht sail structures and more.
A typical April brings showers, sometimes hail, and you can use this to your advantage. Now’s the perfect time to invest in a water butt. We don’t know if drought is on the cards this summer but it always pays to have stored water as a back-up. Rain-water is generally lime-free and at the best temperature for roots to take up and use. Conversely tap water is generally too cold.
This year Annabelle Padwick, allotment enthusiast and blogger talks about how growing her own not only gives her big harvests but, more importantly gives her purpose, confidence and motivation; further evidence of how growing can greatly improve mental health.
Image taken by Herry Lawford.
Be in it to win it
Win a Weed Hunter Shovel worth £35 - 4in1 Shovel, Rake, Hoe and V-cut weeder.
We want to see your fantastic plots and how you make them creative and fun whether this is with structures and ornaments that put a smile on your face or winning plant combinations that makes your plot stand out more than the rest.
To be in with a chance to win a versatile and multi-use Weed Hunter simply follow our Instagram page marshalls_seeds and post your picture using the hashtag #marshallscompetition
Don’t forget to give us a brief explanation of why your plot stands out from the rest.
The closing date of the competition is on 25th April 2019. Winner will be selected at random and will be announced in next month’s newsletter and on selected social media. Winners will be contacted by our customer service team before the announcement. The prize cannot be supplemented for a cash prize. If the prize is not claimed within a month of announcement the offer shall be withdrawn. Employees and family members of Marshalls Seeds are not eligible. The promoter reserves the right to cancel or amend the competition and these terms and conditions without notice. One entry per household, per competition.