Liven Up Your Garden: Guide For What To Plant In April

vegetables to plant in april


There was a time when deciding what to plant in April was equally exciting and frustrating for me. After all, the weather can be very unpredictable during this month. Still, planting my April garden is one of my favorite things to do because it feels like a fresh start to my gardening year.

After some experimenting and learning what works best this time of year, I’m now armed with a plan. It includes the best vegetables to plant in April, what seeds I’ll start, and what I’ll harvest. The chart below has a list of options to start your April planting.

deciding what to plant in April
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Hi, I’m Ryan

After over a decade of homesteading the acres surrounding my tiny home, I’ve realized that deciding ahead of time what to plant in April sets me up for a successful gardening year. That’s why I’ve developed a comprehensive planting chart to act as a handy guide.

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What To Plant In April And Why Is It Important To Plan?

What To Plant In April And Why Is It Important To Plan

how to start homesteading square ctaWhile you’re prepping for your garden, deciding what to plant in April, and gearing up to take advantage of the fresh spring energy and new growth in nature, it’s an exciting time that feels extra energized. Understandably, we all want to tap into that after a long winter. But taking a minute to plan your April garden will help you turn a challenging weather month into a foundation for immense garden growth. Consider that the ground is still cold in April, and the weather fluctuates wildly, including sudden frosts in some areas.

That said, April is also an ideal month in many ways to start your spring garden, so how do you know when to start? While the answer will always be specific to your location, having a solid plan in place, including the vegetables you’ll start indoors or outdoors, will help you focus on keeping your plants healthy and dealing with weather fluctuations as they come.

In my fairly mild North Carolina climate, I can get away with planting most of the vegetables on my chart outside during early April, but I’m putting a range of dates on each vegetable so that you’ll be able to choose the date that works best for you depending on the climate you live in.

The biggest thing you need to know about the best times to plant vegetables in April is your last frost date. In Charlotte, the last frost is usually around April 5, so I’m able to do most of my April planting right after that to ensure my seeds and seedlings won’t be killed off by frost. Some colder weather crops like kale and carrots can be planted a few weeks before your last frost date and still survive a few freezes, but most of the plants on this chart should be planted after the last frost in your area.

what to plant in spring

If your last frost date is late in April, you should start your April garden plants indoors under grow lights. On my April vegetable planting chart, I’ve indicated which plants grow best directly seeded into your outdoor garden and which grow best as seedlings that you’ll eventually transplant into your outdoor garden. Keep in mind that there’s always a little leeway, and most of these veggies will do just fine if you need to start them as indoor seedlings because of the weather.

homestead garden basics

Will I Be Harvesting As Well As Planting In April?

If you’ve overwintered some cold-weather plants, you will be planting in April and harvesting some vegetables you planted months ago. I usually plant a wide variety of cold-hardy veggies at the end/beginning of each year, so here’s a list of the veggies I’ll be harvesting while making room to plant more in my April garden.

Plants I Harvest In April To Make Way For My April Garden

  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Swiss Chard
  • Onions
  • Leeks
  • Beets
  • Radishes
  • Asparagus
  • Rhubarb
  • Chili Peppers
  • Turnips
  • Spinach
  • Garlic
  • Various Herbs
freshly harvested green onions

What Are The Best Seeds To Plant In April?

What Are The Best Seeds To Plant In April

Whether you start sowing your April seeds indoors or outdoors will mostly depend on the weather, but in a mild climate like mine, I can get away with planting them in their ideal growing location from the start. This might not be the case for you, and that’s alright. Just keep that in mind as you look over these lists of seeds to plant in April, and remember, due to your location, you may need to start more of your seeds indoors than I do.

what to plant in march

Seeds To Start Growing Indoors In April

The best seeds to start indoors in April are the veggies that do well when transplanted into your outdoor garden later. Here are the seeds I sow inside in April.

Best Vegetable Seeds To Start Indoors In April

  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Eggplant
  • Celery
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Cabbage
  • Leeks
Varieties Of Cauliflower

Seeds To Start Outdoors In April

Other than the list above, the rest of the vegetables to plant in April will grow best seeded directly into your garden soil. As I mentioned before, for many of your April garden plants, you’ll want to plant them outdoors after your last frost date. However, there are exceptions to every rule in planting, and some veggies will thrive even if planted a few weeks before your last frost date.

What Can I Plant In April Before My Last Frost?

  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Lettuce
  • Swiss Chard
  • Spinach
  • Radishes
  • Kale
  • Garlic
  • Chives
  • Cauliflower
  • Some Herbs
carrots fresh from the garden

Other Things To Plant In April

If you’re growing an indoor herb garden, anytime in April will be a great for starting your seedlings! For herbs planted outdoors, I’d recommend waiting until mid to late April to avoid any danger of killing your fledgling herbs with a cold burst.

April is also a popular month for planting fruits, shrubs, and trees. Once your last frost date has passed, it is safe to start growing gems like melons, peanuts, strawberries, raspberries, red maple trees, dogwoods, and privacy shrubs. All of these are warm-weather crops, so if you live in a cold climate, you should wait until the very end of April (or even the beginning of May) to plant them.

chicken coop garden combo

Planting Perennials In Your April Garden

Some of the best things to plant in April are perennials that will keep popping up and producing for years to come. Perennial plants include a variety of fruits, herbs, and veggies that will make great additions to your snack foods and recipes.

April Garden Perennials

  • Asparagus
  • Rhubarb
  • Chives
  • Lemon Balm
  • Mint
  • Sage
  • Thyme
  • Lavender
  • Cilantro
  • Dill
  • Parsley
  • Strawberries
  • Raspberries
fresh asparagus from the garden

Planning And Maintaining Your April Garden

Planning And Maintaining Your April Garden

If you keep a garden pretty much year-round, April will be a month of transition for you. You’ll want to remove and store any protective tools you used for the colder months (such as frost cloths and cold frames), while also sorting out your colder weather plants that are starting to fade. Move any dead plants to your compost pile, while pruning and continuing to care for the veggies that are still producing.

Once your April garden is cleaned up from last season, gently rake your soil before you start your April planting.

best gardening tools

I like to wait until late spring to put down any mulch, as mulching too early can actually prevent your soil from warming up as quickly as it otherwise might.

what to plant in winter

Is Overwatering A Concern For April Planting?

homesteading tipsBecause of the large amount of rain the month of April is known for, I’m often asked whether or not people should worry about overwatering their April garden plants. My advice is to keep watering your garden every three days, allowing the April rain patterns to work with you.

If you get a mild to heavy rain, wait three days before you water. Allowing for a few days between each watering or rain should keep your soil moist. If you know a heavy rainstorm is coming your way, you can protect the roots of your plants by applying a layer of mulch around them that’s at least a few inches thick.

Ready to get some fresh vegetables, herbs, and other delicious and colorful plants in your garden? Follow this chart for a straightforward plan of what to plant in April that is as foolproof as possible, and you’ll be in the veggies in no time.

planning for a fall gardening season

Your Turn!

  • When is the average last frost date in your area?
  • Have April showers caused problems for your garden in the past?

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