Monthly Balcony - April:The first harvest for the year

In this series I will tell you what we are doing on our balcony month by month. The goal is that you
can achieve a nice balcony garden, that provides you with food and joy.

We had a long, exceptionally cold winter. Now finally the temperatures are rising and by mid of April we will move the last plants outside. You should check that there is no more frost predicted for your area. Until mid of April most of our little seedlings are staying inside and the first salads are ready to be harvested.

Getting started

Read below what we did this month:

  • Separate your seedling
    If you are anything like me you are probably also planting too many seeds. Online you can often read that about 60% of your seeds will successfully germinate. We had a great germination rate so far of almost 100%. Therefore, our little seedlings need more space once they go outside. For this you should carefully take out each seedling from their original growing ground and plant them with enough space in bigger pots or garden beds. Be careful to handle the seedling at the leaves and not the stem. Handling them on the stem often leads to breaking the stem accidentally, which will kill the seedling. Once planted in their bigger container, keep giving enough water.
  • Planting your potatoes
    In the beginning of April, you can start planting your potatoes. We let our potatoes already sprout in March. By now our potatoes have little green leaves and already a little stem coming out. We will cut the potatoes in small pieces and bury them under a little bit of soil in a big container. It is important, that you only fill a tiny bit of the big container with soil. You are planting the potatoes in the ground, with the sprouting side to the top. Once the potatoes start growing, you can cover them on a regular basis with more soil. This way they produce more potatoes. We will talk about that process in the coming month, so you know when and what to do.
  • Take care of your berries
    Your berries should awake now from their winter sleep. They are forming little leaves and will already grow a lot by the end of April. It is important, that the berries are getting enough water and fertilizer. If you didn’t give them any fertilizer, yet, it could be a good idea to add some liquid one to their water. Please be careful not to give too much water this time of a year since the evaporation is not as strong, yet. The soil should be wet but not overflowing with water. We are adding little ceramic balls to our soil that are keeping the water in the soil and at access for the plant.
  • Weed your balcony
    If it is your first year growing plants on your balcony you will be surprised how much seeds the wind can take up to your balcony. This is why you should start weeding between your plans as soon as they go outside. You will notice that after a few days the first weeds start to appear. If you have only the pots, the weeding will not take long. You should do it on a regular basis since it makes it easier to extinguish between your plants and the weed if the weed is still small.
  • Harvesting
    Depending on the time you planted your seeds, you can already harvest your first salads. As we had a cold March, we are harvesting salads now, that were entirely grown inside. If you can harvest already, also depends on the fertilizer you use, the warmth your plants have and of course the light. You should plant different types of salad. We are growing salad that can be cut and regrows. This way we can harvest now already leaves before even planting the salads outside. The salads that you only harvest once, are almost ready now. We will eat them and plant some new seeds. This time directly outside since the weather will allow it.

 

Conclusion

In April you will see the biggest changes on your balcony. Once the plants are bigger they grow at an impressive rate and you can basically watch them growing. This is amazing to see and really makes growing your own vegetables worth it. While most plants need to go outside in April and will keep growing, the first salads can be harvested. And there is nothing better than your first homegrown salad of the season.

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Lilly
Written by Lilly
I´m a born and raised big-city girl on the search for a more sustainable and simple life. In order to find a fulfilled and happy life I am exploring the simple, Old-fashion lifestyle.