What to Plant in April: Best Vegetables + Flowers to Grow Now
INSIDE: Read this April planting guide before you plant. Discover the best flowers & vegetables for your spring garden. [+FREE printable checklist—what to plant in April]
April is here, and glimpses of green will pop up in the garden this month!
The first bits of green to appear in my garden come from the earliest fall-planted bulbs – snowdrops. Soon after, the daffodils make an appearance, yellow as egg yolks.
I could stand there for hours watching the bees buzz from one daffodil to the next.
These early bloomers handle the unpredictable spring weather well!
And there are plenty of flowers, vegetables, and other plants you can plant outside this month that can also handle the ever-changing weather in your April garden.
But if your weather isn’t ideal for gardening yet, you can start seeds indoors this month under grow lights.
Keep reading to get the full list of flowers and vegetables to plant in April.
As a bonus for joining my weekly newsletter, download a free gardening in April checklist. You’ll be sure to get the right things done this month!
April planting guide:
- Flowers to plant in April
- Fruits and vegetables to plant in April
- Perennials to plant in April
- Frequently asked questions about what to plant in April.
- Download a free April garden checklist!
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Before we get to what you can get planted in April, here are a few flower-growing tips:
- Harden off cool-weather transplants you started inside before transplanting them outdoors – gradually expose the young plants to outdoor conditions of wind, brighter sunlight, and lower moisture.
- If you buy bedding plants, choose compact, bushy plants that haven’t started to bloom yet.
- And don’t forget to prepare your soil before you set out any transplants!
Here are the best flowers to plant in April…
Direct-sow these flowers in your garden:
- Sweet peas (Lathyrus odoratus)
- Bachelor’s buttons (Centaurea cyanus)
- Larkspur (Consolida ajacis)
Plant cool-season annuals that can tolerate a light frost early in the month after being hardened off. When crabapples bloom can be a good rule of thumb for proper timing.
Cool-season annuals to consider include:
- African daisies
- Bush violets (Browallia)
- English daisies
- Painted tongue (Salpiglossis)
- Pot marigolds
- Pouch flowers (Nemesia)
- Sweet alyssum
- Sweet Annie (Artemisia annua)
- Sweet peas (Lathyrus odoratus)
Consider growing a few annual flowers you can dry for winter arrangements.
Some of the best are:
- Globe amaranth
Plant containerized roses.
Take cuttings from the tips of chrysanthemums and delphiniums to start new plants.
Plant hardy perennials, such as daylilies and delphiniums.
Later in the month, when the weather settles, set out transplants of:
- Forget-me-nots (Myosotis spp.)
- Foxglove (Digitalis spp.)
- Shirley, Iceland, and California poppies
- Persian buttercups (Ranunculus)
When they start to show signs of life, divide overgrown perennial clumps and transplant them.
Dig up, divide, and transplant crowded daylilies, phlox, helenium, fall asters, Shasta daisies, chrysanthemums, bee balm, and hostas.
Don’t divide Oriental poppies (Fall), or Iris (late Summer) at this time.
Here’s how to make gardening easy this month… Get a FREE gardening checklist for April when you join my newsletter. It’s everything you need to do in April.
Plant summer bulbs such as lilies, freesia, gladiolus, and crocosmias about 1-2 weeks before your last expected spring frost, if you can provide frost protection during a cold snap. Otherwise, wait until after your last frost date.
Start tuberous begonias and caladiums indoors for transplanting out to your garden later.
Summer-flowering bulbs you can plant in April include:
- Calla Lilies
- Canna Lilies
- Elephant Ears
Divide clumps of older bulbs in need of rejuvenation.
- Replant them in a sunny spot and water in well.
- Bulbs prefer locations that are not heavily watered during their summer dormancy. So, don’t overplant with summer annuals or perennial plants that prefer wet conditions.
Related: Download a FREE garden maintenance list.
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Planting fruits and vegetables in April allows you to reap delicious rewards all summer long.
Growing your own produce may seem intimidating at first, but don’t worry – I’ve compiled a list of the best veggies and fruits to plant this month so that you can start growing nutritious treats for you and your family right away.
Don’t forget to prep your soil before you sow your seeds or set out transplants!
Let’s start with the best vegetables to plant in April…
Even though the weather may still be unsettled, there are a lot of choices for vegetables to grow in April.
Plant seeds of cool-season vegetables directly in the garden as soon as the soil dries enough to be worked.
You can direct-sow these vegetable crops in April:
- Swiss chard
Start seeds of warm-season vegetables indoors for transplanting later to your garden:
- Summer squash
- Winter squash
Related: Leggy seedlings
- Seed a second crop of lettuce (start them indoors or sow seeds directly in the garden).
- Harden off and set out cool-season seedlings, such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi, and onions.
- Plant or transplant asparagus and rhubarb crowns. For the best plant establishment, don’t harvest until the third year.
- Plant certified, disease-free potato “seed” tubers.
- When the ground is warm and dry, transplant early tomato seedlings outdoors, inside protective Wall O’ Waters. (When squeezed, your soil should crumble instead of forming a ball.)
- Plant or transplant small fruit: strawberries, raspberries, and other small fruit.
- When transplanting new strawberries, pinch off all the first-year flowers from June bearers to help develop strong root systems.
- Allow everbearing and day-neutral varieties to develop flowers starting in July.
- For more info, see these frequently asked strawberry questions.
Plant new perennial vines. Popular perennial vines include clematis, honeysuckle, and Virginia creeper (note: Virginia creeper can be invasive in some areas).
Plant new groundcover plants such as thyme, sedum, or sweet woodruff.
Perennial transplanting tips:
When transplanting woody plants, avoid making the hole too deep.
- Research indicates that more trees suffer from being planted too deep in the hole than any other problem.
- Dig a hole that’s shallow and 2-3 times the width of the root ball.
- Don’t add organic matter to the soil when transplanting trees. It doesn’t help the plant become established, and it creates conditions that encourage the roots to stay inside the hole instead of spreading through the surrounding soil.
- Plant the root ball 1-2 inches above soil grade. Taper the soil away from the trunk back to ground level. Don’t put mulch over the root ball until the tree is established (1 year later). When you do mulch your trees, use an organic mulch, such as wood chips.
Bushes best transplanted in spring rather than fall include:
- Butterfly bush
- Rose of Sharon
- Rose bushes
Don’t fertilize newly planted bushes. Wait one year before fertilizing.
Trees best transplanted in spring rather than fall include:
- Black gum (Nyssa)
- Most oaks
- Tulip poplar
Don’t fertilize newly planted trees. Wait one year before fertilizing.
Can I plant flowers in early April?
Yes, you can plant flowers in early April. If you’re looking to get a jump-start on spring, transplanting cold-hardy flowers in April is the perfect way to do it! Not only will your garden blossom with color weeks ahead of schedule – imagine bright colors painting an ever-changing canvas throughout the month and beyond – but these blooms also help attract pollinators to your garden!
Is April too early to plant tomatoes?
April is a great time to plant tomatoes inside for transplanting later in the season. The exact date to plant tomato transplants outside depends on your last frost date (tomatoes are frost tender) and whether you’ll be using season extenders like Wall O’ Waters, which allow you to plant earlier. Most gardeners should aim to get tomato transplants planted sometime between April and May.
Is April a good time to seed your lawn?
April can be a great time to plant cool-season grass seed. Aim to plant when daytime temperatures are warm enough – between 60-75 degrees Fahrenheit. The longer days and spring rains will help ensure good germination rates.
Can you plant vegetables over daffodil bulbs?
No, it’s not advisable to plant vegetables over daffodil bulbs. Vegetables require regular watering. But bulbs prefer locations that remain relatively dry during their summer dormancy period. So, don’t overplant bulbs with any plants that require moist soil conditions, including vegetables.
Is April too early to plant annuals?
No, April isn’t too early to plant annuals. You can sow annual seeds in early spring while most container varieties should wait until late spring for best results. Cold-hardy annuals will fare better when planted directly into soil rather than containers – their roots benefit greatly from the greater insulation.
You’ll always know what this month (includes a planting calendar).
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Download the April gardening checklist now. You’ll be sure to get the right things done in your garden every April!
Your turn: what do you plant in April?
What have you planted in your garden this April?
Let me know in a comment below!
Hi, I’m Cheryl Spencer, a Certified Gardener.
Born with a plant addiction that has no known cure, I became a Certified Gardener to help ease the symptoms. Now I write articles and create gardening products that help you save time and money in your garden. I believe you can grow your dream garden and still have time to enjoy it. The good news? Anyone can do it. Start here »