What's in season: April

Rhubarb grown in the recreated C19th garden at The Workhouse, Southwell, Nottinghamshire

Give or take a few April showers, this month should see spring starting to really take hold - inviting you to spend longer in the garden, enjoying the improving weather.

The garden is waking up and so is your rhubarb. We'll tell you how to grow it, pick it, cook it and love it!

Tasty rhubarb

Rhubarb is a wonderfully versatile crop to grow. It doesn't have to take up much room in your garden and will thrive in most conditions. To get started, simply buy a rhubarb crown from your local garden centre. A single plant will give you a regular supply of delicious fruit for many years.
Here are some surprising facts about rhubarb:
  •     The redder the stem, the sweeter the taste.
  •     The Romans labelled people who ate rhubarb 'Barbarians'.
  •     During the 17th century, rhubarb was more than double the price of opium!

Watch as our chef Clive Goudercourt shows you how to make a tasty rhubarb cheesecake traybake:

Also in season

Obviously it is difficult to live on rhubarb alone, but in addition to the end of the winter crops, newer crops are starting to make an appearance.
Spring green cabbage, cauliflower, cucumber and kale are also abundant this month.

Jobs for the garden

There's a lot to be getting on with in the garden to ensure that the good food doesn't stop. This month, you should be checking beds are ready for the new season's crops and all weeds and roots have been removed. You can also be chitting your second early potatoes.
Outdoors, it's time to sow beetroot, carrots, swiss chard, summer cauliflower, kohl rabi, lettuce, leeks, radishes, turnips, spring onions, pickle onions, peas and spinach. You can sow these under glass: aubergines, broccoli (calabrese), chard, celery, okra, onions, peppers, squashes and pumpkins.
You can also plant your onions, shallots, garlic and asparagus crowns.