As the weather finally starts to warm this April Planting guide will help those of you in zones 5 and 6 to know what to plant in April in your vegetable garden.
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Let me start out by reminding you this April Planting Guide is meant for those of you living in Zones 5 and 6. You can start planting many cool-season vegetables this month. You will also see that you can even get a few warm-season veggies planted with protection from the frost.
Not in zones 5 or 6?
When can you start planting in April?
Those of you in Zone 6 can get started planting right away with most of these. If you are in zone 5 hold off until the middle of April. Always remember that you shouldn’t be planting unless the soil is dry enough to work. Working with wet soil can destroy the soil structure for years to come!!
Here’s a summary of what you can plant in April
|Indoors (Seed Starting)||Outdoors (Direct Sowing)|
|Outdoors (By Transplants)||Arugula|
Keep reading for more detail on what to plant in April.
Each month I also film a planting guide video for Zones 5 and 6 and upload it to my YouTube Channel. Here’s this month’s video on what to plant in April:
April Planting Guide
Root crops you can plant in April
Seeds for most root crops can be planted in April, really any time, all month. This includes:
A Light Fabric Row Cover will help keep pests away and will also cause quicker germination and growth in the cool weather.
If you really struggle getting root crops to germinate consider buying some inexpensive strips of burlap. They can be found as decorations at most craft stores in long rolls. Burlap works great to keep the moisture in the ground and to keep the soil temperatures up, this makes for quicker and more even germination of spring root crops.
Cole (Cabbage) Family Crops
All members of the Cole family are included in our list of what to plant in April. This time of the year all of the cabbage family crops should be planted as transplants. It is getting a bit late for planting seeds.
For zone 6 set out seedlings around the 5th. Zone 5 should hold off until later in the month. (around the 15th, roughly 30 days before your last frost)
Remember with this family you will be planting seedlings, not seeds. The Cole family includes:
You will be amazed at how much covering Cole crops with a Light Fabric Row Cover will help. It will provide the plants with a good head start and also keep out early-season pests like aphids and cabbage loopers!
Leafy greens to plant in April
April is the perfect time to plant almost any leafy green like:
- Swiss Chard
Plant either by seed or seedling early in the month for either zone 5 or 6. As with most plants in the April Planting Guide, covering with a Light Fabric Row Cover will help germination and growth in the cool weather.
Remember that leafy greens planted in April will like lots of water for quick growth. So if your spring has been short of rain make sure you get out in the garden and water often.
If you haven’t already planted onions and leeks get them in right away. With these two crops the earlier you get them planted the better!! I prefer to plant my onions using seedlings, but you should also be able to find sets this time of year. Using either method, get them planted as soon as possible in April. Onions and leeks are hardy and can even handle some snow so get them in now.
You can get some potatoes in the ground during April. Potatoes are frost-sensitive. So once they sprout out of the ground you should be prepared to protect them on frosty nights with either a heavy fabric row cover or a hoop house. Or you could plant them in a cold frame. Whatever you choose just be ready for frosty nights!! Frost can really set potato plants back, so if you are planting them before your last frost date then you should plan on protecting them.
It is of course not too late to plant any of the three types of peas. Shelling, snow, and snap peas will still have plenty of time to grow! But you should consider getting them planted right away! The sooner you can get them done, the sooner you have that space for warm-season crops!
Herbs you can plant in April
Any April planting guide wouldn’t be complete without a few herbs. And there are several herbs that are hardy enough to be sown directly in the garden during the month of April. The list includes:
Most of these herbs will be slow to germinate in the cool soil but they should come up just in time for the warmer weather at the end of the month and in May.
Fruits to Plant in April
Any April planting guide would not be complete without including some berry plants. April is the perfect time to plant many perennial berry plants like:
Early April is not too late to plant them using bear-root stalk. You could also consider using transplants from a friend or neighbor.
Get these bushes and plants in the ground in April while the weather is still cool. That gives the plants a chance to get established and growing well before the heat of summer sets in!!
Warm season crops
In zones 5 and 6, the weather in April is still very unpredictable and most of us will still have frost. But there is a trick that makes it possible to get a few warm-season crops set out in the garden in April.
But only if they have the protection of something like a Wall O’ Water. These fantastic water-filled season extenders allow you to plant things like tomatoes or peppers 6 weeks before your last frost. To learn more about using these season extenders watch this video, or read this post.
Seeds to Start Indoors in April
There are also several warm-season crops you can still get started indoors in April. You should get most of these started as early in April as you can so that they have at least 6 weeks to grow indoors before you put them outside.
The list of seeds you can start indoors in April includes:
- Yellow Crookneck Squash
- Patty Pan Squash
- Winter Squashes
April is also time to plant herbs indoors
April is the month that gardening starts to really get moving in Zones 5 and 6. Knowing what to plant in April is so important to get this year’s garden off and growing!! I hope this article and video helped!
Did I leave anything out of the April planting guide? What do you plant in April? If you have other suggestions for zones 5 and 6 please leave them in the comments section.