Hints, tips and tricks on growing in a polytunnel in April.

April's Top Tips

April's Top Tips

Transport your garden a few hundred miles south by growing under cover this month.

CLEAR old overwintered crops to make way for summer plantings.

The planting and growing season begins early in a polytunnel, but because we can never be too sure what the weather may do this month, be sure to PROTECT tender plants on cold nights with cloches or fleece (or even newspaper, like some of the pros do!)

Enough about cold nights, let’s think about warm days! Temperatures can soar under cover in Spring, so it is important to VENTILATE the polytunnel by opening doors and ventilation screens on warm days as daylight hours are longer and sunshine levels are increasing.

WATER carefully and keep on top of weeding and staking.

Use fresh COMPOST to beef up the soil in the polytunnel borders ready for planting out as the weather warms up.

MOVE tomato seedlings into larger containers whenever the roots reach the outside of the pot to give them more space.

PINCH OUT the tips of chilli plants to encourage bushy growth and more fruits over the growing season.

WATCH OUT for greenfly and other pests, especially on plants received from commercial companies or fellow gardeners. If possible, for the next couple of weeks keep these plants separate from the plants you have tended and raised yourself. Tip out potted plants occasionally and check for grubs that might have settled among the roots.

FEED strawberry plants (in pots) and help flowers to set by pollinating by hand – moving the pollen from flower to flower by hand or with a soft brush.

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