What to Sow and Grow in April

April 11, 2018

Now is the perfect time to start planting, no matter your zone!
Here are some of the things you should grow in April.

 

What to grow in April?  For most gardeners, this month feels like the true start of the growing season.  Depending on where you live, temperatures aren’t always warm, but for the most part they don’t dip down into freezing anymore, either.  Flowers and trees are starting to bloom, and garden centers and feed stores across the country are beginning to stock their shelves with pansies, fuchsias and cabbage starts.

Here in my neck of the woods, which is a zone 8 on the Oregon coast, the last frost date is today, the 11th.

Find your last frost date: USDA Hardiness Zones

Conversely, in more northern parts of the world, it will be May or even June before the weather warms up.  That doesn’t mean there’s no seeds to sow though.  It’s just probably best to start them inside or in a greenhouse if you have one.


So, what should you grow in April?

What to Grow in Zones 3-4

Gardeners here probably still have a month or more to go before their last frost date, but you can begin planting cold-hardy crops outside if the weather warms appreciably.  You’ll get the best harvest using short-season varieties of plants.  Use greenhouse plastic, cloches and fleece covers to protect early crops.

  • Plant bare-root fruit trees and bushes
  • Transplant strawberry crowns under cloches
  • Chit seed potatoes – Sprouting Seed Potatoes for Planting
  • Weather permitting, plant new asparagus crowns, horseradish and rhubarb
  • Plant onion sets or slips
  • Harden off and transplant brassicas seedlings and use cloches or fleece at night
  • Direct sow carrots, radishes, peas, greens, beets, chard and turnips toward the end of the month
  • Sow tomatoes, peppers and eggplant seeds indoors

What to Grow in April in Zones 5-6

The last frost date for gardens in these zones is in May, but many of you may have put your first sowing of cool season crops into the ground already.  Gently harden off any cool season transplants before you plant them outside, especially if you purchased them from a greenhouse.  And don’t forget to start planning for fall and winter crops!

  • Plant fruit trees and berry bushes
  • Transplant strawberry crowns and use cloches to speed up harvest
  • Plant chitted potatoes – Sprouting Seed Potatoes for Planting
  • Direct sow beets, carrots, green onions, radish and turnips
  • Direct sow (or transplant) lettuce, arugula, spinach, chard and other greens and use row cover to aid germination
  • Harden off and transplant brassicas seedlings and use cloches or fleece at night
  • Plant onion sets or slips (this is your last chance if you want them to bulb up)
  • Plant a second sowing of peas
  • Direct sow broad beans under cloches or fleece
  • Sow tomatoes, peppers and eggplant seeds indoors
  • Sow basil and other herb seeds indoors

What to Grow in Zones 7-8

Winter in these zones is usually pretty mild, so many of you may have already gotten cool season crops growing out in the garden, and your summer crops started indoors.  Keep on top of the weeding and prepare the beds you’ll be using for corn, beans, squash and tomatoes, as you’ll probably be planting them out next month.  Though the last frost date has passed (or will soon, depending on where you live), remember that late frosts can and do happen.  Be prepared to put fleece covers or cloches over tender plants at night if temperatures dip.

  • Plant fruit trees and berry bushes (not bare root)
  • Transplant new strawberries and use cloches to speed harvest
  • Plant chitted potatoes – Sprouting Seed Potatoes for Planting
  • Direct sow all cool weather crops and use row cover to aid germination
  • Harden off and transplant brassicas seedlings and use cloches or fleece at night
  • Plant onion sets or slips
  • Plant a second succession of cool weather crops
  • Direct sow autumn cauliflower and winter cabbages
  • Direct sow broad beans under cloches or fleece
  • Sow tomatoes, peppers and eggplant seeds indoors
  • Sow basil seeds indoors or under cover
  • Start squash and melons seeds inside
  • Direct sow dill, fennel and parsley
  • Transplant all other herb seedlings
  • Apply fertilizer to plants in the garden

What to Grow in April in zones 9-10

Gardeners here will start cool season plants much sooner than everyone else.  Temperatures rarely get below 20-30 degrees, and the growing season is much longer.  You’ve probably been gardening pretty much constantly since September, and most of your winter crops will have bolted.  Clear out that space for the next succession of plants!

  • Harden off and transplant summer crops
  • Direct sow beans, okra, sweet potatoes, melons and winter squash
  • Plant tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and eggplants
  • Transplant new herbs and harvest others

It might seem like there is a lot to do this month no matter where you live, but keep in mind that April is really the calm before the storm.  Next month is when you’re likely to be really busy!  Now is the perfect time to finish up preparing your garden.  Spread black plastic to warm and dry out the soil, loosen with a broadfork or rototiller, add amendments like compost, get rid of those overwintered weeds and rake everything smooth!  Build your pea and bean supports, and prune, feed and mulch your fruit trees and berry bushes.  Happy gardening!

 

Make sure to start growing some of these things in April,
and enjoy them in the sunny gardening months to come!

 

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7 Comments

  • The EcoFeminist

    April 12, 2018 at 12:05 am

    I keep meaning to say, you would make a killing with a book on gardening along the PNW coast! We bought the one 2007 book there is on PNW coastal gardening in the area and it was kind of a snoozefest – not bad, but not a page-turner either. With your photographic eye and your voice it’d be way cool to see one for this decade…hint hint! PS I looked at your Instagram video of your ducks and they really have imprinted on you, wow! Ours did not as they were much more bound to their big crate since our dog Ruby was a bit more curious than we were ready to experiment with…so they’re not exactly cuddly (they trip over my heels and walk over my feet, but do not want to be pet at all!). Next batch!

    1. laceyhoyer

      April 12, 2018 at 12:14 am

      Thanks! If anyone out there wants to give me a book deal, I will take it! 😛 And those ducks! They are so sweet! I probably spend too much of my day crooning at them though, lol.

  • Christine @ Rustic-Refined.com

    April 17, 2018 at 12:49 pm

    Great tips! With the snow we got yesterday I am needing a reminder that Spring will actually show up soon. This is just what I needed! Thanks for joining Dishing It & Digging It Link Party. Love seeing your stuff, even if life has me hopping and I can’t always say thanks 🙂

    1. laceyhoyer

      April 17, 2018 at 1:51 pm

      Thank you so much for your comments! The snow will stop! It will be July before you know it, and these snowy April days will be a distant memory!

  • diy180

    April 21, 2018 at 6:19 pm

    Thank you for sharing this love tutorial. You are one of this Sunday’s features at Dishing it and Digging it link party. Thank you for joining in.

    1. lacey

      April 22, 2018 at 1:52 pm

      How exciting! Thank you!

  • Lind

    April 23, 2018 at 2:30 pm

    Well deserved Lacey. Our readers love gardening tips. We are all do excited to dig in the dirt.
    Thank you for sharing your helpful post at Dishing It & Digging It. Have a lovely week.

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