What to sow and plant in April

The list below is a guide on what you might be able to sow and plant this month. Growing conditions can vary dramatically across the country, and also even within a locality. If you are new to growing and are unsure about exactly what to do when, try asking other vegetable growers nearby. And be guided by the weather and soil conditions. You need moist (but not waterlogged), warm soil, prepared well. For sowing seeds, it needs to be a fine tilth.

For more information on growing each type of vegetable refer to our comprehensive list of Growing Cards

Sow outdoors

  • Broad beans
  • Beetroot (early and maincrop varieties)
  • Early carrots
  • Calabrese - quick cultivars such as Belstar and Green Sprouting
  • Coriander
  • Kohl rabi
  • Lettuce
  • Parsnips
  • Peas - early, maincrop, mange tout and sugar snap
  • Radish
  • Salsify
  • Scorzonera
  • Spinach
  • Spinach beet
  • Spring onions
  • Swiss Chard, rainbow, ruby, etc.

Plant outdoors

  • Onions raised from seed
  • Onion sets
  • Potatoes
  • Summer cabbage

In exceptionally mild areas of Britain you may be able to sow dwarf French beans, and even sweet corn, outside and under cloches. In most areas this will have to wait until late May.

Sow in trays, pots and modules to transplant

  • Baby beetroot M
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Celeriac M
  • Celery M
  • Courgettes – sow in 3-5cm pots in the second half of the month in warmer areas
  • Cucumber - indoor varieties
  • French beans - sow in root trainers or small pots
  • Kohl rabi M
  • Lettuce
  • Summer cabbage
  • Autumn cauliflower
  • Spring onions
  • Sweet corn - for early crops in warmer areas; sow in root trainers or deep pots
  • Pumpkins - in the second half of the month, in warmer areas
  • Tomatoes - for growing outdoors or under cover

Note
M - these plants resent root disturbance and are best raised in module trays only.

Sow in a seedbed to transplant

An outdoor seedbed is useful for raising transplants of crops that don't mind root disturbance. Generally it is used for autumn and winter brassicas, such as cabbages, Brussels sprouts, kale and sprouting broccoli, and for leeks. These vegetables are in the ground for many months, so to make best use of space, start them off in a separate seedbed. Here they can be sown at much closer spacing than at their final planting.

Brassica seeds - sow at 4-5 cm x 20 cm (2in x 8in). Transplant when around 15cm tall.

Leek seeds - sow at 2.5 x 15cm (1in x 6in). Transplant when about pencil thickness, but they can wait longer before being moved.

Cover the seedbed with fleece or fine enviromesh where necessary to protect seedlings from cabbage root fly, leek moth or allium leaf miner.

  • Leeks
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Sprouting broccoli
  • Autumn cauliflowers
  • Kale

Download the vegetable Growing Cards for more information on how to grow your vegetables.

Return to Your organic garden in April