Seed to sow in april

Veg To Sow In April

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April is the month when sowing seeds really kicks into high gear, that is, as long as you have a greenhouse, polytunnel, or can sow indoors.

It is still a little cold to be sowing outside, and there is always the risk of a late frost, but there are a few hardy seeds you can sow outside, such as broad beans, carrots, parsnips, peas and a few others. Let’s look at the complete list of seeds to sow in April, shall we?

Tomatoes

If you haven’t already, you want to be sowing your tomatoes as soon as possible. I started mine last month under grow lights. I know not everyone has this luxury, so you might have to wait a little longer.

However, you don’t want to leave it much later than April to start your toms, or they will be playing catch up all year. If you haven’t got them going, sow them now and place them on a sunny windowsill.

Tomatoes grown on windowsills have a habit of going leggy. If yours do this, transplant them into a larger pot and plant them deep, right up to the first true leaves.

Tomatoes
Tomatoes

Peppers

Peppers, whether chilli or sweet, are slow-growing crops. So it is essential to start them as early as possible. However, they love the heat, so they must be started inside.

Most people will have started their peppers already, but that doesn’t mean it is too late to start some indoors. But do it sooner rather than later!

Peppers
Peppers

Cucumbers

Another heat-loving crop that should be sown indoors or in a heated greenhouse. Unlike peppers, though, cucumbers grow rapidly, meaning if you start them indoors too early, you can end up with a huge plant on your hands, taking over your windowsills.

I usually find that around the end of March/beginning of April is a great time to sow cucumbers inside. This way, you end up with good-sized plants to transplant in a few weeks, but they don’t start to take over your home!

cucumbers
cucumbers

Cabbage

You might get away with planting cabbage outside in April, but for me, in northern England its still a little early, so I start them in modules in the greenhouse.

Cabbage
Cabbage

Cauliflower

Again you could sow cauliflower outside and probably be fine, but I start mine in the greenhouse in modules.

Cauliflower
Cauliflower

Carrots

Carrots can be sown outdoors in shallow drills, which is what many people will do.

I still start mine in the greenhouse, though and use a root trainer to avoid any root disturbance, which carrots hate.

Nice Healthy Carrots
Nice Healthy Carrots

Parsnips

April is probably your last chance to plant parsnips, so get them sown. As you might have already guessed, I use root trainers to start mine!

Beetroot

Beetroot can be sown undercover or straight into the ground in April. If you sow outside, then use shallow drills. If inside, then use a module tray.

Remember that each beetroot “seed” is actually a few individual seeds in a shell, and as such, you will need to thin them no matter how much care you take at sowing time.

Beetroot
Beetroot

Broccoli

Spouting broccoli and calabrese can be sown now. Outdoors or undercover will work for these hardy plants.

Purple Sprouting Broccoli

Squash

Winter squash such as butternut, crown prince and Uchiki Kuri can be sown now indoors. Squash plants are very cold-sensitive so I don’t recommend sowing in a greenhouse unless it is heated.

Even now, a late frost can kill off all your young plants, even in a greenhouse.

Uchiki Kuri stores well
Uchiki Kuri squash

Pumpkins

I really should have stuck pumpkins in with the squash above, as they are the same thing, but I wanted to include them separately for people who want to grow pumpkins for Halloween.

If you live in the north of the UK like me, then you will find large pumpkins take forever to grow and ripen up. Because of this, it is important to start them early if you want pumpkins for Halloween.

I like to start mine in April so they are ready to harvest in time. If you live further south, then May will be fine. A good way to ensure pumpkins for Halloween is to sow in both April and May to ensure you are well covered!

Pumpkins
Pumpkins

Runner Beans

You can sow runner beans now but it is a little early. If you do sow them now then keep them inside for a few more weeks.

Most runner beans are going to grow tall, but dwarf varities are available
Most runner beans are going to grow tall, but dwarf varieties are available

Spinach

Spinach is a tough cookie and can be sown outdoors. I still find it better to sow undercover in modules and then transplant out in a few weeks time.

Spinach
Spinach

Swiss Chard

Another tough plant that can be started outdoors or in a greenhouse in April.

Kale

While Kale could be started outdoors, I prefer to start them in my greenhouse just to be sure. This depends a lot on the variety grown as some are very tough and would be fine outdoors.

Siberian Kale At My Allotment
Siberian Kale At My Allotment

Leeks

Leeks can be sown outdoors now. Many experienced growers will have them in a seedbed to save growing room as leeks take a very long time to grow. You can achieve the same time by growing them in modules and transplanting later in the year.

Leeks
Leeks

Sweetcorn

Sweetcorn can be started now, but it must be indoors or in a heated greenhouse. There are some varieties, such as earlibird that are more suited to cold weather, but this is still a warmth-loving crop.

Sweetcorn In Root Trainers
Sweetcorn In Root Trainers

Lettuce

Lots of lettuces can be sown in April, so take your pick. I like to succession sow lettuce every few weeks so I always have some growing.

Loose Leaf lettuce
Loose Leaf lettuce

Rocket

Rocket can be sown undercover or outdoors if you’re in a fairly mild area. I grow some in the greenhouse for a quick spring crop.

Rocket
Rocket

Pak Choi

Pak choi is a spring favourite of mine and is one plant that does better in the cold than hot. So sow some now for early harvests. I like to sow in modules and grow it in my greenhouse, I can then harvest it before my tomatoes, cucumbers etc are planted out.

Pak Choi
Pak Choi

Peas

Peas are tough enough that they can be sown outdoors, but again I like to start mine in the greenhouse in modules before planting out later.

Pea Plants
Pea Plants

Broad Beans

Another hardy plant that can be direct sown outside or started undercover and transplanted later.

Broad Beans In Pots
Broad Beans In Pots

Brussel Sprouts

Another slow-growing crop that is often started in a seed bed and later transplanted as to not take up valuable growing space. Brussels can be sown from March through to May but take a long time to reach maturity.

Brussel Sprouts
Brussel Sprouts

Melons

If you fancy getting little exotic and growing melons like me then start them indoors now. A propagator works well but I have found they germinate well just in pots, as long as they are indoors.

Watermelons Growing In My Polytunnel
Watermelons Growing In My Polytunnel

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9 Comments

  1. My Tom’s have 1st truss on ,my braurd beans are3ft high and out side are they ok or will frost affect them,

    1. Your broad beans will be fine even if there is a late frost. They are very tough plants and are not affected by frost. Watch out for black fly later on the tips of the plants; just pinch out the tops to remove them.

      1. I planted Broad Beans last autumn and frost did kill about a third. I had heard that autumn planting reduced the risk of black fly ?

  2. Can you tell me what a root trainer is please.

    Also just got a 4 x4 “pop” up greenhouse, what is best to grow in there, toms, cucumbers, courgettes?Also gone these out side.

    Many thanks, luv you advice pages

    Thanks x

    1. Hi Lyn, a root trainer is a seed starter, the main thing is the sides of the “pot” open up so you can just slide your seedlings out without damaging the roots.

      I normally grow cucumbers, tomatoes and peppers in my greenhouse

  3. Hi, I live in South Ayrshire, Scotland & most of my vegetables are grown in pots ie Beetroot, Cauliflower, Kale, Garlic, Shallots, Broadband + Parsnips(parsnips have a huge pot) potatoes in bags (King Edward) Carrots + Red Onions in big raised beds, all these are growing outside wonderfully well..

  4. Something ate my seeds last month, so it’s good to know I can still get tomatoes and peppers this year.

  5. I found your write ups very helpful and inspiring. I have a question for you Sir. What could be the cause of my bell pepper seed not germinating,so also the habenaro hot pepper after following the necessary procedures meticulously.

    1. Peppers need high humidity and high temperatures to germinate. They can also be slow so sometimes they just need a little time, some varieties can take weeks to germinate

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