April comes from the Latin word ‘aper ire’ which means ‘to open’ and certainly buds are busting this weekend.
If the bees are not visiting your polytunnel or plants under cover, do take an artist’s brush and tickle up some pollination.
Whatever about April showers, this time of year the warming of the air and ground is perceptible and if it turns out dry, don’t neglect the watering. If you haven’t a rain catchment system in place or more crops that it can handle, then let tap water (chlorine and fluorine) sit overnight to reduce some of its harmful effects on healthy plants.
Drip-hoses are economical and ergonomic. Early morning watering is often advised to give moisture time to soak in, before the sun’s rays hit full strength. Watering at dusk or late evening is considered acceptable, but you can run the risk of a fungal outbreak.
Every month has potential for mildew, fungal and other spore-related diseases. The best preventative measure is spacing of plants now at sufficient distances to keep air flow circulating and minimise microclimate humidity.
Remember in warming April, condensation builds up inside cloches and covers — so ventilate and even wipe dry inside with a clean cloth. Similarly with seed tray covers, propagators and even ziplock bag propagation.
Ventilate greenhouse and polytunnels too and don’t water inside polytunnels at night, think of sub-irrigation systems as a way to avoid splash dispersal of spores.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved