My ‘Grow your own’ garden – April update: Seedlings and building stuff

I finally feel like things are happening in our garden now. Looking back over the month of April, I'm actually surprised by how much we've got done, even though there's not much in the way of veggies yet! Here's the veg we planted & projects we built...

Some items have been gifted

I finally feel like some things are happening in our garden now. Looking back over the month of April, I’m actually surprised by how much we’ve got done, even though there’s not much in the way of veggies yet!

Early in April, we finally saw some shoots appear and, pretty soon, the kitchen windowsill was over-run with courgette seedlings and enthusiastic runner beans. Having previously decided to get ourselves a couple of mini greenhouses to house our seedlings, we had a measure up and, instead, we are going to have one mini greenhouse on the decking and will buy a 4x8ft lean-to greenhouse as soon as it comes back into stock.

So, we took some steps towards that goal. Firstly, the mini greenhouse arrived from Wayfair. It was a flat-pack kit so we assembled it in about an hour and popped it in place on the decking. Now at least we can move the seedlings into the mini greenhouse rather than filling our kitchen with them.

Next, we cleared the space for the greenhouse, made the ground level and laid some paving slabs we were kindly given. So the space is ready – and all it took was a morning in the garden with a spade.

A big build this month was making another raised bed for the veggie patch. We wanted to create a trellis up the back of the bed for runner beans to grow up and also to screen the bins and workbench at the bottom of the garden. We’ve since sown some carrot and parsnip seeds in this bed and I’m excited to plant our the runner beans as soon as I can be sure there’s not going to be any more frosty mornings!

We also cleared out all the leeks from last year, which have finally reached full size. When the still looked like spring onions after 8 months of growing, I didn’t hold out much hope for them. But the winter weather must have done them some good because they’re not proper leeks and I could make them into a lush batch of leek and potato soup. I was so eager to enjoy the soup when it was finished that I completely forgot to photograph it, but it was lush and I was able to make enough for multiple meals, which could be frozen.

Speaking of the winter weather, I recently discovered that our hose pipe has been ruined over the winter and I’m guessing it’s something to do with the cold. It has split in multiple places and no longer reaches the veggie patch. Sure, I’ve been able to salvage some of the pipe for watering the plants on the deck but we definitely need a new hose for our veggie patch, which is at the two furthest points of the garden. We already have two massive water butts so that we can use rainwater on the veggie patch but when it’s really dry in the summer we might need to use a hose.

I decided to get one of those expanding fabric hose pipes, which has a latex inner that won’t burst or split. Plus, it’s 60 metres long, which will definitely reach around the house to the new veg patch that we’re planning to install in the front garden. It’s fun to watch the pipe expand as it fills with water and then it shrinks back to a much shorter length afterwards, which is handy for storing it away on a hook.

We’re trying to grow potatoes for the first time this year so last weekend I popped some seed potatoes into large pots. I’m hoping this will be an easy way to harvest the potatoes, as I can just tip out a whole pot when they are ready, rather than trying to dig up the potatoes. I’m hoping there’ll be about a bag-of-potatoes-worth in each pot, allowing us to enjoy them one pot at a time rather than pulling up and storing lots of potatoes all at once.

The strawberry plants are now in a homemade planter on our decking and are doing much better there than in the big pots I had planted them in initially. I can totally imagine myself popping out of the kitchen door in the morning to pick some strawberries for our breakfast – yum!

That’s all the updates I have for April – it certainly felt like a more productive month than previously and, because the weather has been much nicer, we’ve definitely been spending more time outdoors, which is wonderful. The veggie patch is tidy and ready for our seedlings to be planted. Plus we’ve direct-sown some rainbow beetroot, kale, red cabbage, rainbow chard and purple sprouts (the more colourful seeds were gift from our family at Christmas!) so I’m excitedly checking the veggie patch for signs of them every day!

How are you getting on with your own veggie patch? What have you been planting and how are your seedlings come along? Let me know in the comments below and I’d love to hear your tips for growing fruit and veg at home, I’m excited to learn more as I go! 🙂

Some items in this blog post have been gifted to me and the pink links indicate a gifted product, affiliate link or information source. All thoughts and opinions in this post are based on my own experience and I am not responsible for your experience 🙂

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Cassie Fairy
Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in Lifestyle Promotion Studies and is trained in Personal Money Management. She loves to 'get the look for less' so regularly shares thrifty-living advice, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

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