7 vegetables to plant in April – crops to sow indoors and outdoors this month

Are you planning what vegetables to plant this month? Here is our guide to what to plant in April, plus expert tips on how to sow them

Sowing vegetable seeds by hand into the garden
(Image credit: Alamy/Lubos Chlubny)

As the temperatures increase in spring, so do the possibilities when it comes to sowing seeds and planting vegetables. There is a plethora of vegetables that you can plant in April, both indoors and outdoors directly into the garden.

In my years of growing vegetables, both professionally and on my plot at home, April is the month when sowing and planting start to ramp up. The soil is often warm enough to be able to start sowing crops outdoors, while the light and heat levels mean you can plant vegetables indoors without the need for extra equipment.

All of the vegetables you could plant in March are also suited to April sowings, including hugely popular crops such as carrots, lettuces, and beets – plus there are now many more to consider this month. We explore the 7 other vegetables to plant in your backyard vegetable garden in April.

Woman sowing seeds outdoors directly into the vegetable garden

(Image credit: Getty Images/lucentius)

Should I sow indoors or outdoors in April? 

It is important to think about sowing both indoors and outdoors when putting together a seed sowing schedule and you can prepare for seed sowing by using cloches or horticultural fleece to warm up soil outside. 

Hardier vegetables can be sown outdoors in April once the soil has warmed in the spring sunshine, while tender crops are best still sown undercover to plant out later in the season. While there are advantages to starting many crops indoors, you may be limited by space so have to consider doing more direct sowing outdoors.

1. Broccoli

Broccoli growing in a vegetable garden

(Image credit: Getty Images/©Tasty food and photography)

Broccoli is a highly nutritious vegetable to grow and there are a range of different types of broccoli you can grow at home. This includes the classic calabrese types with the large green heads and side shoots commonly thought of as broccoli, as well as the likes of purple sprouting broccoli and tenderstem types. 

Plant broccoli seeds indoors in April in large modules or small pots and the seedlings can be transplanted into the vegetable garden come early summer. If you do live in a warmer climate, sowing outdoors is possible if there is no frost likely.

As well as broccoli, many other brassicas can be started indoors in April, in a greenhouse or on a bright windowsill. Sowing in April is also a great option if you are planning on growing cauliflower, growing cabbage, or growing kale this year.

See the range of broccoli seeds available at Burpee 

2. Jerusalem artichokes

Jerusalem artichoke harvest lifted from the ground

(Image credit: Future)

Not always the first crop people choose when planning a kitchen garden, but Jerusalem artichokes are an increasingly popular vegetable. I grew Jerusalem artichokes each year as they were sought after by chefs for their winter menus. They are native to North America and part of the sunflower family, and are grown for their edible tubers that have a sweet and nutty taste. You can get Jerusalem artichoke tubers from Amazon or other online retailers, or from garden centers. 

If you want to grow Jerusalem artichokes this year, they are grown from tubers that are planted in early spring. Plant the tubers three inches deep and around 18 inches apart. The crop is simple to grow and you will harvest Jerusalem artichokes from mid-fall onwards.

3. Potatoes

A harvest of potatoes lifted out of the ground with a fork

(Image credit: Getty/johnnyscriv)

There are many different types of potatoes to grow and all can be planted in April. When you plant potatoes depends on your climate, as well as the type of potato. The ground wants to be workable and warm come spring. If you are planning to grow potatoes this year, hopefully, you have been chitting your potatoes ahead of time. 

First early and second early potatoes can be planted at the start of April and maincrop varieties can follow later in the month. Potatoes can be planted in trenches or individual holes in the ground, or you can plant and grow potatoes in a container or grow potatoes in a bag if you are looking to have homegrown crops on a deck, patio, or balcony.

See the range of seed potatoes available at True Leaf Market

4. Radish

Globe-shaped salad radishes

(Image credit: Getty/Howard Grill)

Radishes are a fast-growing vegetable and one of the easiest vegetables to grow –making them a perfect crop for beginners. You can grow radish by sowing seed as soon as the soil is around 60-65ºF and workable in early spring – the use of cloches or a horticultural fleece can warm the soil earlier and protect those first sowings. 

They are ideal crops for succession planting, where you plant radishes every few weeks for a long and continual radish harvest throughout the year. Sow radishes thinly in drills made six inches apart and thin the seedlings as they germinate to a spacing of around one inch.

See the range of radish seeds available at Ferry-Morse

5. Squash

Patty pan are a brightly coloured, fun variety of summer squash

(Image credit: Alamy/Miriam Dorr)

Squashes come in many sizes, shapes, and colors. Whether you are growing winter or summer squash, April is an ideal time to sow seeds indoors

To start the vegetable seeds indoors, plant them an inch deep in large modules or small pots filled with good quality potting soil designed to start seeds in. They want temperatures of 65-70°F for good germination, so a greenhouse or windowsill can be used to get the plants off to a good start. 

Along with squashes, you can grow pumpkins or marrows by starting the seeds off indoors in April to plant them out into a sunny spot in the garden once the frosts end and temperatures warm up. You can even try to grow a giant pumpkin if you sow seeds with the right genetics indoors in April.

See the range of winter and summer squash seeds available at Burpee

6. Tomatoes

Gardeners Delight tomato variety

(Image credit: Alamy/Bailey-Cooper Photography)

Everyone loves growing tomatoes. One of the most popular crops to grow around the world, the taste of homegrown tomatoes is superior to any you get in stores. The range of tomato varieties you can sow from seed is also much more extensive, there is a wide variety of sizes, shapes, and colors you can grow at home. 

Some growers start their tomato seeds very early in the year, but you ideally need a heated greenhouse and grow lights to avoid leggy seedlings and get healthy plants. For many people, sowing in early spring is the best time to plant tomatoes, as it can be done in an unheated greenhouse or on a windowsill, and April is the last chance to sow tomato seeds this year. 

If you are planning on growing eggplant this year, that is another heat-loving crop that will grow well from sowing in April.

See the range of tomato seeds available at True Leaf Market

7. Zucchini

One large zucchini on a zucchini plant

(Image credit: Oleksii Terpugov/Alamy Stock Photos)

When you grow zucchini, it is a simple crop to maintain and you are likely to be inundated with fruits come the middle of summer. Luckily, the vegetable can be used in a plethora of ways in the kitchen. 

The time to plant zucchini comes indoors in early-to-mid spring ahead of the plants going outside once the risk of frost has passed for your US hardiness zone. Zucchini plants do not transplant well so are best sown individually into large modules or small pots, rather than planted in trays and potted up. 

The seeds should germinate successfully at temperatures of around 68°F and you can expect a bountiful harvest of zucchini from your garden.

See the range of zucchini seeds available at Ferry-Morse


Can you plant chilies in April?

Chilies have a long season and therefore many people who grow chili peppers start the seeds early in the year. The popular window to sow all types of chili peppers tends to run from January through to the end of March. The potential issue of sowing seeds in April is that some types of chilli peppers can take 150 days from planting the seed to having ripe peppers to pick. It is better to buy plants from garden centers, nurseries, or online to add to your backyard in April rather than sowing seeds and starting behind. There will still be a good selection of plants to choose from.

Can you plant peppers outside in April? 

Peppers are plants that love heat. Seeds want soil temperatures of at least 60ºF to germinate and for the last frosts to be well in the rear-view mirror. Pepper plants also need night-time temperatures to be consistently above 60ºF to grow happily. Unless you live in a warmer climate, April would be too soon to start growing peppers outside.

Will you add planting any of these vegetables to your spring gardening checklist? April can be a busy time in the garden, as on top of sowing there are plants to prune in April and many spring lawn care jobs to complete this month too.

Drew Swainston
Content Editor

Drew’s passion for gardening started with growing vegetables and salad in raised beds in a small urban terrace garden. He has gone on to work as a professional gardener in historic gardens across the UK and also specialise as a kitchen gardener growing vegetables, fruit, herbs, and cut flowers. That passion for growing extends to being an allotmenteer, garden blogger, and producing how-to gardening guides for websites. Drew was shortlisted in the New Talent of the Year award at the 2023 Garden Media Guild Awards.