Now that it is April, what should I be doing in my greenhouse
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Now that it is April, what should I be doing in my greenhouse

Spring has finally sprung, with excitement for greenhouse enthusiasts everywhere! As April showers nourish the soil and the days grow longer, it's time for greenhouse gardeners to roll up their sleeves and dive into many exciting tasks and opportunities. Whether nurturing delicate seedlings or tending to establish plants, your greenhouse is undoubtedly the MVP of your garden this season. So, as the sun casts its warm, golden glow on your greenhouse, let's explore the wonderful world of April gardening and discover the ins and outs of maximizing your yield, creating a stunning array of colors, and reveling in the satisfaction of homegrown produce!


1. April in the greenhouse: get started!

April marks the beginning of an exciting and productive season in the greenhouse. As daylight increases, reaching around 10 hours a day, it's the perfect time to kick-start a flourishing garden. To make the most of this period, follow these steps:

 Start seeding your first spring round of cold-tolerant crops (lettuce, kale, radishes, beets, carrots, peas, etc.) using proper greenhouse planting schedules.
• Plant warm-loving, long-season vegetable crops (tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, etc.) that typically mature for 100-150 days.

Remember, the location of your plants within the greenhouse is just as important as the timing. Place your cold-hardy vegetables near the glazing and vents, where temperatures are more relaxed while keeping warmth-loving plants along the north wall where the sun reflects and offers a warmer environment. With careful planning and crop management, you'll harvest delicious, fresh produce all summer. 


2. Tips for April: growing your best crop yet

As April arrives, it's essential to maximize the potential of your greenhouse for a bountiful harvest. Here are some valuable tips for growing your best crop yet:

• Bring compost for sowing or potting into the greenhouse several days before you need to use it so it doesn't chill seeds or young plants.
• Sow early carrots, salad leaves, and spinach, which can be picked early in the season.
• Encourage potatoes to sprout before planting (the process known as chitting).
• Plant large-seeded, large-leaved vegetables like cucumbers and courgettes in individual pots, then place them in a propagator.
• Sow broad beans in cardboard tubes to make planting easy.
• Maintain the air temperature in your greenhouse between 45–64°F (7–18°C) for optimal growth.

By following these expert tips, you'll enhance the productivity of your greenhouse and enjoy a rewarding summer harvest. 


3. Make the most of the extra sunlight

With the arrival of April comes increased sunlight, providing a fantastic opportunity to maximize the growth potential of your plants in the greenhouse. Here are a few ways to make the most of this additional sunlight:

- Position your plants strategically: Make sure they are placed in a way that allows them to receive optimal sunlight throughout the day. Remember, the exposure inside your greenhouse may change as the sun moves throughout the day.
- Utilize reflective materials: By placing reflective materials such as aluminum foil or mirrors around your greenhouse, you can effectively increase the amount of sunlight available for your plants.
- Install a solar-powered ventilation system: A solar-powered ventilation system will save money on electricity costs and provide optimal temperature control.
- Incorporate shading materials: While maximizing sunlight is important, providing shade is essential to avoid overheating your plants. Use shade cloths or shading paint to create the perfect balance.

By capitalizing on the increased sunlight, you can experience healthier and more productive plant growth in your greenhouse throughout April. 


4. Saving money on water and fertilizer

As the sun shines brighter and the days get longer in April, you need to increase the amount of water and fertilizer used in your greenhouse. However, there's no need to let these costs skyrocket. Here are some practical tips to save money on water and fertilizer:

- Capture rainwater: A rain capture system can provide more than enough water for your greenhouse, especially in the Pacific Northwest. Not only is this cost-effective, but it's also eco-friendly!
- Utilize organic matter: Incorporate compost, manure, or other organic material into your potting mix to improve soil fertility, reducing the need for additional fertilizers.
- Apply fertilizers efficiently: Use slow-release or controlled-release fertilizers, which deliver nutrients over an extended period. This way, you can minimize wastage and reduce leaching into the groundwater.
- Monitor and adjust: Regularly test your soil's fertility levels to ensure you apply the right fertilizer amount. Excessive fertilization doesn't necessarily lead to better growth and can harm plants and the environment.

Remember, intelligent and sustainable practices can help you save money on water and fertilizer while keeping your greenhouse thriving and productive during April. 


5. Spring is here: get creative in your greenhouse

Spring has finally arrived, and it's time to explore new possibilities and get creative in your greenhouse. This is the perfect season to kick off your planting calendar and maximize the benefits of your greenhouse:

• Start sowing seeds and prepare hardy plants: According to Scotts Sheds and Miracle-Gro Greenhouses, spring is the perfect time to begin sowing seeds for crops like lettuce, spinach, and peas.
• Grow cool-season crops without heating: As suggested by Broken Ground Permaculture, using hoops, frost cloth, and blankets can successfully grow cool-season crops like mustard greens, arugula, and spinach without needing supplemental heat.
• Experiment with tender plants: Mid-spring is the time to sow fast-growing tender plants inside your greenhouse, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers, which will thrive in the warmer, protected environment.

With the right strategy and some ingenuity, your greenhouse will be a flourishing, productive space throughout the spring season. 


6. It's time to get busy in your greenhouse

As April arrives, it is the perfect opportunity to focus on your greenhouse and prepare for a productive growing season. The combination of increased daylight hours and warmer weather allows for significant energy savings on heating and artificial lighting. Keep the following points in mind during this time:

- Utilize natural resources, such as setting up a rain capture system in the Pacific Northwest, to provide an adequate water supply for your greenhouse.
- Plant various flowers, vegetables, and fruits to create a thriving garden that can result in a bountiful and rewarding summer.
- Maintain a greenhouse planting schedule to ensure the appropriate planting and harvesting of warm-season and cold-season crops.
- Proper temperature control and light management are crucial in successful greenhouse cultivation.

You can set the stage for a fruitful summer season and a thriving garden by staying proactive in your greenhouse tasks during April. 


7. Homemade seedling propagator solution

Creating a homemade seedling propagator solution can be an effective way to start your seeds indoors, especially for those new to indoor gardening. With simple supplies and a sunny window, you can jumpstart the growing process for your plants. A seedling propagator solution can benefit from the following elements:

- Seed starting pots or cell trays: These containers can be upcycled from everyday items like egg cartons, Dixie cups, and yogurt cups. Just make sure to clean them and poke drainage holes in the bottom.
- Seed starting mix: Make your seed starting mix or purchase a store-bought version. Pre-moistening the seed starting mix ensures constant dampness akin to wet sand.
- Appropriate lighting: Most homes lack adequate natural lighting for seedlings, which can lead to weak and leggy plants. Consider investing in artificial grow lights to maintain strong and healthy seedlings.

Incorporating these elements in your homemade seedling propagator solution can ensure a successful start to your indoor gardening journey this April. 


8. April in the greenhouse: a bountiful summer is ahead!

As April arrives, it brings optimal greenhouse conditions, with increasing daylight hours and warmer temperatures, resulting in substantial savings for gardeners on heating and artificial lighting. A proactive and productive April in the greenhouse leads to a bountiful and rewarding summer season.

During this month, gardeners can utilize sustainable means of procuring water, such as rain capture systems. Moreover, Thompson & Morgan suggest planting a wide range of flowers and vegetables, like petunias, scabious, and salvia, ensuring a colorful summer display. With so many planting opportunities in April, there is a higher potential for a successful summer harvest, making it essential to be diligent and attentive in the greenhouse during this period.

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