What a month April has turned out to be, between plenty of sunshine and the dreaded virus.

One good thing that has happened out of this is that being confined to the house and not being allowed to to go to the allotment, I have had to rethink my gardening programme.

Starting with my large greenhouse, I have planted my tomatoes into their final growing position, seven plants in total.

In my last column I described my way of accomplishing this task.

One of the tomato plants that had been sown in January is way ahead of the other six.

The only reason that I had sown in January was that I was giving a talk on growing your own vegetables so I had sown single varieties of different vegetables to let the audience see how simple it is to grow them and how to look after them till they are ready to harvest.

The talk was held in March so the plants were in reasonable size to let the audience examine them and discuss the requirements for growing a variety of fresh vegetables.

So this one tomato plant has now three trusses of flowers on it.

The bottom truss has already tomatoes formed on it, and so on this one plant the feeding programme will now start.

I feed with Tomorite. The instructions are clearly printed on the plastic container, this Tomorite has high levels of potash contained in it, and will encourage the production and ripening of the the fruit.

The other six plants will not be long till they are producing tomatoes that will last all summer long.

Other seeds that I have sown are lettuce Little Gem, six seeds only.

It is better sow little and often. This will prevent a glut of lettuce all ready at the same time.

Other seeds that were sown were runner beans (Stenner), garden peas (Show Perfection), carrot (Sweet Candle), cauliflower (Concept F1), cabbage (Kilaxy F1) and Spring onions (White Lisbon) and so the list goes on.

In the small greenhouse, as you know, I am growing onions on the right hand side and I have pot leeks on the left.

Since my last column I have run two eight foot lengths of conduit piping down each side of the leaves.

This is to help support the leaves of the plants. As they grow,the leaves broaden out and lengthen and are quite heavy.

This can cause the bottom leaves to peel away from the base of the leeks.

You want plenty of leaves on each plant to give you a decent girth round the barrel,hence the support of the leaves.

These not the only changes that I have made.

I have draped garden fleece over the leeks. The reason for this is a little insect called thrips. It can devastate your leeks and onions.

These pests cause a white mottling and silvering of the leaves. Adult thrips can overwinter in the soil and when they emerge in the Spring they lay their eggs on the leaves and when hatched they feed on the leaves.

So this is my reason for the fleece, and I’m hoping this will prevent an attack and leave them with nice deep green healthy leaves.

Outside on the runway I have planted twenty bags of potatoes, (Kestrel 2nd earlies) fifteen pots of long blanched leeks and ten pots of shallots, peas and runner beans which are just popping through the compost.

The signs are looking hopeful.

Well friends I will sign off for now and wish you all every success in your garden be you growing flowers, fruit, or vegetables.

Written by Jim Wilson