April is the first month when the garden is actively growing. The cool-season crops should be in the ground and the warm-season crops are almost ready to plant. Everything from here on can be direct-seeded into the ground.
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You can continue to succession plant lettuce and spinach every week or two to prolong the harvest. Soon enough, it will get too hot for the seeds to germinate, but the plants already growing will continue to grow.
Also continue to succession plant bush beans and peas. Make a plan to preserve the harvest, either by freezing or canning, so you can enjoy the vegetables later in the year.
The pole beans and peas should be well along by now. Plant Cucumber along a trellis now.
Start planting the warm-season crops like Okra, Eggplant, Peppers Southern Peas or Zucchini in the last two weeks of April. If you have Malabar Spinach, plant it now. If have had it last year, it probably will be sprouting all over the place by now, and will need thinning. If you haven’t planted Watermelon yet, now is the time to plant for a late summer harvest.
Begin side-dressing your crops with a nitrogen fertilizer every two weeks or so. Follow the fertilizer instructions on dosage. This will encourage leaf growth.
Be sure to watch for insect eggs on the underside of the leaves. Scratch them off with a fingernail, or pull them off with some tape. They don’t take long to hatch, and the little critters will eagerly devour your fresh crops.
If you have planted flowers as companion plants, they should be blooming now, and attracting beneficial insects that will eat the bad bugs. Other herbs like dill, with its tiny flowers will attract smaller insects. Nasturtiums will repel some underground larvae.
Last year, bugs got my entire Cantaloupe crop. There were too many bugs, and just as the Cantaloupe began getting big, the plant died. This year I am trying different companion plants to discourage the bugs.
Of course, keep the weeds down by mulching, and continue to water at least 1″ per week.
The April garden is switching from planting to maintaining and harvesting. It is beginning to fill out with green foliage and flowers, which will lead to fruits later on. Keep up the good work!
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