Home Lifestyle What veggies to plant before the end of April

What veggies to plant before the end of April

Think winter can stop you from getting that fresh produce out of your garden? Plant advisor Gaye Boshoff advises you to keep pushing. Simply follow her easy-to-follow provincial list

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What autumn blues? You might think that the upcoming colder months are not great for growing veggies in Mzansi, yet April is the optimal time to keep planting those gardens for winter.

Just ask plant advisor Gaye Boshoff from Honeymoon Farm in Knysna in the Western Cape. With winter fast approaching, everything is slowing down drastically. However, you can still plant those onions, garlic, spring onions, peas and brassica crops.

What veggies to plant in April: Gaye Boshoff, owner of Honeymoon Farms in Knysna in the Western Cape. The farm is known for its organic fruit and veggies. Photo: Supplied/ Food For Mzansi
Gaye Boshoff, owner of Honeymoon Farm in Knysna in the Western Cape. The farm is known for its organic fruit and veggies. Photo: Supplied/ Food For Mzansi

“That also includes sweet peas. Even though they’re not a vegetable, they are very nice to grow along your vegetable garden to make it pretty, and they attract pollinators,” she says.

Now is also a good time to transplant your strawberries, she adds. “They [are] not going to fruit but it’s a good time to take your runners and plant them in a nice fresh bed, by the time they bloom you will have nice strawberries.

“And for those of you who have the fortune of experiencing tropical weather all year round,” Boshoff says. “You can plant lots of fruit vegetables like eggplant, peppers, pumpkin, squash and tomatoes.”

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Along with her husband, Pieter, and her two children, Gaye runs Honey Farm, a smallholding in the Harkerville forest, located between Plettenberg Bay and Knysna on the Garden Route.

Boshoff is also a freelance designer and the creator of the Moonbloom calendar, a monthly planting guide.

Keep an eye out for pests

Be on the lookout for pests in winter, including cabbage white caterpillar (Pieris rapae) and the dreaded Bargrada bug (Bargrada hilaris).

“With winter crops you tend to get a lot of horrible pests,” Boshoff says.

“Your brassicas, which are big winter crops like broccoli and kale, get attacked by the cabbage white caterpillar. It’s a white butterfly you find throughout the country, and it lays its eggs underneath the leaves.

“You have always got to check your brassica leaves underneath – you will see little eggs and they will hatch into caterpillars, if they break lose in your garden you are buggered! Your whole crop is gone, they are difficult to get rid of even if you use an organic pesticide or a harsher variety.”

Boshoff recalls a Bargrada outbreak that left her in a tug of war with the bug.

What veggies to plant in April
Bagrada bug (Bagrada hilaris), a species of stink bug also known as “painted bug,” is a major concern on vegetables, especially on Brassica crops such as broccoli, cauliflower, and turnip. Photo: Supplied/ Food For Mzansi

“They go down to your stem and suck out the liquid and that plant just withers and dies.

“If you’ve got a beautiful crop, you have got to check. It’s amazing how those little things just escape and before you know it, everything is gone. I even tried a flame thrower, but your plants go through such a lot of stress it doesn’t work.”

This winter, Boshoff advises that you do pest control every week.

“If you spot it in time, pluck it. I promise you, if you leave it for two weeks, you are buggered,” she warns.

ALSO READ: This food garden feeds 50 000 people per week!

What to plant in April

Mpumalanga

Broad beans

Beetroot

Radish

Spinach

North West

Broad beans

Beetroot

Radish

Spinach

Northern Cape

Bush beans

Carrot

Lettuce

Onion

Radish

Eastern Cape

Broad beans

Bush beans

Climbing beans

Beetroot

Carrot

Cauliflower

Cucumber

Eggplant

Parsnip

Pepper

Peas

Potato

Pumpkin

Radish

Spinach

Tomato

KwaZulu-Natal

Broad beans

Beetroot

Carrot

Parsnip

Spinach

Gauteng

Broad beans

Beetroot

Radish

Spinach

Free State

Broad beans

Beetroot

Radish

Spinach

Western Cape

Broad beans

Carrot

Cabbage

Celery

Lettuce

Onion

Parsnip

Peas

Potato

Spinach

Tomato

Limpopo

Broad beans

Beetroot

Radish

Spinach

ALSO READ: Youth turn Soweto dumping site into food garden

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Noluthando Ngcakani
Noluthando Ngcakani
With roots in the Northern Cape, this Kimberley Diamond has had a passion for telling human interest stories since she could speak her first words. A foodie by heart, she began her journalistic career as an intern at the SABC where she discovered her love for telling agricultural, community and nature related stories. Not a stranger to a challenge Ngcakani will go above and beyond to tell your truth.
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