April is the ideal month to sow your vegetable garden almost completely. Almost, since here and there you need to leave some space for zucchini, pumpkins, peppers and other Southern Guests. The latter can already be sown inside or in your greenhouse, which always leaves you with something to do.
Everything can be sown or planted, from potatoes to summer carrots and everything in between: beets, chard, lettuce, arugula, radishes, onions... Most of these crops are directly sown in open ground. The most accurate method is described below.
What do you need?
- A weeder or rake, preferably a garden tool with a long and round handle.
If you garden in vegetable garden beds: a straight stick that fits exactly in the bed in terms of length.
- A garden cord, to form a straight line. Not necessary when gardening in vegetable garden beds or in shorter beds.
- Chalk and a (rolling) meter
- Two sticks or planks of at least the width of your beds, 1.2 m in my case.
- Rake the bed nicely and remove all weeds.
- First align the distances of your crops on the two sticks. Here I sow onions of which the distance between the rows is preferably 30 cm. My beds are 1.2m which means that exactly 4 rows fit on one bed. Every 30 cm I put a mark on the two sticks.
All distances can usually be found on the seed bag.
- Place the sticks on either side of the bed and stretch the garden cord from one side to the other.
If you garden in vegetable garden beds, please skip this step and place the straight stick directly from the chalk mark on one stick to the chalk mark on the other stick.
- Place the weeder or rake with its handle next to the garden cord and press firmly into the ground until a clearly visible trench appears, repeat this step if necessary to create a trench running along the entire length of the bed. In this way, the seeds will roll smoothly to the deepest point of the trench and will all be positioned in a straight line.
- During dry periods you should carefully water right into the trench. This will reduce the number of weeds germinating on the left and right side of the trench and give your vegetables a head start.
- At the beginning and end of each trench, place a stick so that you can immediately spot the weeds germinating beyond the row!
- Sprinkle some seeds in your hand and place each seed separately in the trench, at the right distance from each other, this way you won't have to thin out in the near future. (Please also read tip 1 below) Close the trench and press firmly to allow the seeds to come into contact with the moist soil.
- Add the name tag and you are ready to go!
1. Many vegetables can be consumed as ‘baby vegetables. Young onions are referred to as spring onions, young lettuce as loose-leaf lettuce, beetroots are cute golf balls and young chard still has manageable leaves that can also be eaten raw. When you sow the seeds a little closer together and remove the "excessive" vegetables while harvesting, the vegetables will be positioned on the right distance from each other, resulting in more harvest from the same space.
2. If you want many more vegetable garden tips, this is a great read.