April is one of the busiest months in the gardening year – the days are lengthening, the soil is warming and the last frost should have passed. Your list of what to grow in April should include beans, cabbage, carrots, sweetcorn, cucumbers, herbs, lettuce, peas, peppers and tomatoes.
What to grow in April: salad
Grow a crop of mixed greens for variety and stagger your planting – salad leaves have a relatively short shelf life so you don’t want hundreds ready to eat at the same time. Start a few this weekend, a few more next weekend, a few more the next and so on to ensure a long cropping season. Lettuce is easy to grow in a sunny location, producing quick results. Complement your salad leaves with some herbs – basil, oregano, sage and thyme all love the warmth and the flavour of fresh herbs will really lift your cooking.
Cucumber plants can be very productive and fast growing so be circumspect in your planting – vine varieties tend to be tastier than bush varieties but need more room. Tomatoes can be grown by anyone, anywhere. They grow upwards rather than outwards so even balcony gardeners can have fresh tomatoes all summer. There is a huge variety of tomato seeds available, in size, colour and taste, so choose a few for bright and interesting looking salads. Similarly, peppers are colourful and flavoursome and need relatively little space to grow. Try a variety of mild and hot, big and small and different coloured varieties.
What to grow in April: other vegetables and fruits
Both pole and bush beans are ready to go in April. Plant on a 7-10 day schedule to ensure long term cropping and avoid a glut. Get sugar snap peas and garden peas in now for a crop in May, while carrots can also be planted now for early summer cropping.
Sweetcorn offers a fast and plentiful return, but make sure to plant in a square format rather than in a row so that fertilisation by wind can occur. The fresher the corn, the sweeter and more delicious the flavour, so only pick the cobs off minutes before you are ready to use them.
Cabbage is easy to grow and nutritious so do include it on your schedule for planting in April. Fertilise the soil well and give them plenty of water once the heads appear.
If you’re brave and live in a sunny spot, you may want to attempt to grow melons this summer! You’ll need plenty of room but kids love the sweet, tender flesh.