What I’m growing in April-Garden and Polytunnel Updates

After a long barren winter things are starting to come back to life, grow and bud here in the tip-top of Northern Ireland. While the trees still look bare, up close I can see the beginnings of new life. The hawthorn is doing particularly well and the vibrant lime coloured leaves are starting to unfurl from their buds. You can pick the fresh leaves in a few weeks time and eat them in salads, we did just that last year for Ballymaloe Lit Fest where we were cooking up food for the hungry visitors.

wild-food-foraging-april-may-hawthorn-leaves

Our vegetable plot is looking very forlorn as we are waiting to put up a large polytunnel in it’s place. In the meantime we are planting as many seedlings as possible in our little polytunnel-we have lots of lettuce, spinach and some herbs and squashes coming along too. We find drainage pipes cut in half really useful for planting and our mustard has shot up! The cats adore the polytunnel and despite the door being closed they have made a little hole in one side which they slip through and they sunbath on the racks we used to use to dry seaweed on.

the-garden-terriers-tweeds-april-seasonal-living

 

As I’m planning a series of Seasonal workshops here on the farm I’m trying to locate the best spots for some foraging. In the search I have yet to spy any wild garlic (very upsetting!) but Im happy to see young dandelion leaves and nettles, both of which I have loads of cooking ideas for! My other project is an edible garden and medicinal garden which I started last year but a lot got dug up so I have to start from scratch and re-design it. Im slightly obsessed with edible flowers too so I am almost overwhelmed with options! So far I have a pile of scribbled layouts, lots of hours spent on Sarah Raven.com (sidenote-I adore her cookbooks!) and the RHS websites. And as time is ticking away I think I will just have to start with anything and go from there.

wild-food-spring-april-dandelion-nettle

How has your Spring gardening coming along? Or if you’ve never even considered it then what would you love to try and grow (you can grow herbs and lettuce in no space at all!).

What to grow/sow in April: (you may be able to sow direct if you have a warmer climate)

Lettuce

Spinach

Kale

Squash

Nastursium

Parsley

Rocket

Spring Onion

Parsley

Borage

Chives

Basil

Herbs

Artichoke

Beetroot

Beans

Carrots

Chard

Leeks

Parsnips

Radishes

Tomatoes

Many flower varieties

Further Reading and Inspiration:

Sarah Ravens amazing website with lots of info on what to sow now.

RHS what to sow/jobs to do in April Guide

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