Gardening News From Michael at GIY Ireland

April is the banker month in the veg patch and the first of three really busy months - sowing duties really ramp up a gear and we will shortly start hardening off little seedlings getting ready for planting out. In our regular ezine next week I will be writing about sowing peas and onions, both of which I sow in early April, direct in the ground outside.  I always get a good deal of satisfaction from having sown my onions, as I do with any main crop that's only sown once a year - I love the idea that a single sowing can lead to a position of self-sufficiency (or close) for a particular veg.  I sow approximately 250 onion sets (baby onions) which all going well will provide us with enough onions from August to April next year.  The variety Stuttgart featured below is a really reliable performer.

With peas, I do a sowing now in early April, and then a second one in late May.  This year I am growing more sugarsnap and mangetout varieties on the basis that they're easier to work with than the varieties that have to be podded.  I love peas, but I am also rather lazy when it comes to it.  Also this month I will be sowing: cabbage, kohlrabi, brussels sprouts, beetroot, celery, courgette, kale, perpetual spinach, swede, swiss chard and my main crop potatoes.  Check out our full variety of seeds in the GIY seed shop here and remember that most of our seeds are great value at just €2 per pack.

We've spoken many times here in GIY about the wonders of the oscillating hoe - it's a wonderful tool (see below) and at this time of the year I use it regularly to prevent weeds from getting established.  This is a crucial time of the year to get on top of weeds that (like everything else) are in major growth mode.  An oscillating hoe makes light work of it.

Hardly seems possible but Shona is busy editing the summer edition of GROW as we speak - to get your quarterly copy of the definitive GIY magazine and some free seeds, sign up to become a GIY supporter for just €35 a year - details here.

Have a wonderful GIY month.  Give peas a chance..