6 Things to Plant in April, from Colorful Perennials to Tasty Veggies
If you’re like me, April has really snuck up on you. Just last week I got around to cleaning up my garden from a neglectful stint back in the fall, trimming my roses, putting up my trellises, and transplanting woody-stemmed bushes to their new locations. But now we’re turning a corner into my favorite time of year: gardening season.
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In many regions, the weather is getting warmer and gardeners are counting down to the last anticipated frost date of spring 2021. We’ve planned, cleaned, and dreamed about spring and summer blooms — and now it’s finally time to take action! As I mentioned last month, it’s important to know and understand your agricultural zone. If you’re safe from frost, here’s what you should have on your planting list this month.
Towards the end of the month, many regions in the United States will have seen their last expected spring frost. After that date, you should start planting your summer blooming bulbs and tubers. Plant a mix of the following for a knockout summer garden:
If you have a way of protecting bulbs from the cold weather, such as a frost cloth, you can even plant them 1 to 2 weeks before that last frost date.
April will be one of the last opportunities to plant lettuce for the year, especially if you live in a region with high summer temperatures. Lettuce bolts, or goes to seed, when the temperature starts to rise, so it’s very important to plant it when it’s cool.
The best part about having lettuce in your garden is that it’s ready to harvest within a month or so.
Direct-Sow Cool-Weather Seeds
While it’s best to hold off until a few weeks after the last frost to plant warm-weather flower seeds, April is the best time to direct sow cool-weather seeds.
The following seeds thrive with a cooler weather head-start:
Snow or Snap Peas
Early April will be one of the final opportunities to sow pea seeds. You can plant the seeds directly in the ground through the middle of April, as long as the ground is still cool. Peas don’t do well in warm or hot temperatures.
As you’re planting your pea crop, remember that in order for the fruits of your labor to amount to anything substantial, you’ll need quite a few plants.
Pansies and Violas
Fun fact: Pansies aren’t just pretty — they’re edible, too. Add them to your salads for a little extra bite and a pop of color, or use them to top a cake.
Finally, it’s time for my favorite April planting: perennials! Hardy perennials like these will all be available from your local nursery as rooted plants:
Bleeding heart is one of the most darling sights of spring with its little dangling blooms, which hang on until the flowers start to fade in the early summer heat.
Hellebores are also an excellent investment perennial to plant in April. They bloom through early summer and come in many different varieties that will allow you to spice up your spring garden. Even though they’re slow growing, after they establish their roots you’ll have them popping up in your garden for years and years to come.