Crops to Plant “Outside” in April
As I started to write this blog a cold rain was lashing the window and patches of snow were scattered about the yard, it hardly seems possible that I will be sowing crops in 10 days or so. But it’s true…all of the crops listed above can be planted mid – late April.
These cold tolerant crops are best sown in successive plantings about 10 days apart from early to late spring ensuring a steady supply of crisp, sweet greens.
Before You Plant
Check your soil moisture content to see if it is sufficiently dry to work and plant. Tilling wet soil will form dense, hard clumps that make it difficult to sow fine seed as well as impeding root growth as the plant matures.
Here’s a simple method to check your soil moisture level. Take a handful of soil and lightly press it into a ball in the palm of your hand. Drop it on the ground from a height of 3 feet. If it crumbles and breaks upon impact it’s ready to go!
If you have raised beds chances are you can get an early start, the soil drains faster and warms up quicker than traditional row gardens.
Enrich your beds with a generous top dressing (4-6 inches) of compost or aged manure and fork it thoroughly to a depth of 6 inches (no more). The lower soil levels should be left undisturbed.
Here’s a tip! Because early season soils are still quite cool not all the organisms in the soil are fully active and this can affect nutrient uptake to the growing plants. A couple of applications of either fish emulsion or seaweed fertilizer will provide just the boost they need.
For a complete list of crops and when to plant see our Nova Scotia Planting Guide at http://www.homeharvest.ca/
If you have gardening questions, we are just a note or a call away. We look forward to hearing from you.
Pete LaPierre, Home Harvest Kitchen Gardens