When you’ve got a greenhouse April is one of the busiest months of the season.
It’s the perfect time to sow all those plants, which can’t be planted out until after the last frost.
That’s because many of these plants take around 6-8 weeks from sowing until they are large enough and strong enough to be planted out, so by sowing during April, they will be just the right size to plant out by early June.
Depending on your location, you can time this more tightly with the expect last frost, though if recent weather patterns are anything to go by, take great care as a lovely warm spell can be quickly followed by a cold snap.
Grow what you love to eat and things that your family will eat too. If you are short on space then grow the plants that cost the most to buy or the things that you buy weekly. Even if you just replace your weekly supermarket salad bags with home-grown leaves you will save a fortune and make the most of your garden and greenhouse, but for the best returns use the space well, grow crops such as aubergines, cucumbers, tomatoes and herbs that cost a lot to buy and think flavour. Homegrown, greenhouse-grown plants and crops are not just healthy and fresh, they are packed full of favour too.
April is the time to deal with all the seeds and cuttings that you have already sown during the earlier months of the year. Greenhouse enthusiasts sow their greenhouse tomatoes in January and by April they should be ready to plant into the greenhouse borders or planters.
Greenhouse cucumbers already sown can be potted up for growing on, but it’s not too late to sow more, in fact for a later crop it’s a good idea to sow a couple of seeds a month as a back up in case of losses but also to ensure a continuity of harvest.
It’s time to start beans, runner beans and French beans, dwarf and climbing varieties: sow them into large pots of good seed compost and keep them warm in the greenhouse, if the weather is conducive they’ll be up in a week or so.
Plant some into large planters that you can leave in the greenhouse, but remember to choose to grow self-pollinating varieties if the bees can’t gain access (and exit) to your greenhouse.
An early greenhouse crop is a real bonus but plan to sow seed every 2-3 weeks for a successional harvest. Late beans are a real treat and will crop until the first frosts of autumn providing juicy sweet beans for weeks on end.
Sow other tender plants such as courgettes, squash and sweet corn and keep them frost-free on the greenhouse bench. Don’t over water, keep the compost lightly moist and check them daily.
Make sure you’ve got plenty of greenhouse bench space and you can grow enough plants to fill your garden with flowers, herbs and vegetables from seed.
There are even some fruit you can grow seed, such as strawberries, cape gooseberries and even stone fruit such as peaches and apricots.
If you are really keen you can grow pineapple plants from the tops of the fruit you buy in the shops, but unless you heat your greenhouse over the winter you will need to bring them into the warmth of the house for the winter months. It’s a fun thing to do though and a great one for the kids and yes you really can grow your own pineapple fruit.