what to plant in april

What to Plant in April: 18 Crops to Sow and Transplant in April

Want to start a garden and wondering what to plant in April? Whether you are a complete beginner or veteran of the beautiful garden club, this list will help you plan your garden with the best choices for your vegetable garden this month! 

Spring is here, warmer temperatures are becoming the norm and the ideal conditions for planting out in the garden are here! But what can we plant in the month of April for the best results in our vegetable gardens? 

April plays a critical role for many gardeners, especially in warmer regions, as it marks the beginning of the spring garden growing season in full swing.

Learn what to plant in April in your vegetable garden by seed, transplant, and what you can start indoors in April with this Planting guide!

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Sow seed based on your last frost dates

Before we dive into the list of things you can plant in April let’s talk about the crucial importance of your last frost date for this list and any other list you may come across. 

Many beginner gardeners fall into the trap of planning the “when” of their garden based on their USDA hardiness zone. These numbers are important, but they only tell us the extreme temperatures our plants can survive. Essentially, whether or not a particular crop is perennial (or returns year after year) in your area. If you plant solely off of Hardiness Zones then you may be a zone 7 gardener who lives in NEW YORK, following the gardening plan of someone living in ALABAMA. 

That’s why it’s essential to know your specific last frost date. The Farmer’s Almanac has a handy tool where you can enter your zip code and get the estimated average frost dates for your particular location.

Additionally, I will caveat this by saying, this post is designed specifically for people who have frost dates between the 1st and 20th of APRIL.

If your last spring frost date is after this time frame, you can still peruse, but recognize you may just be starting most of these crops indoors. If you are a in a warmer climate with an earlier frost date, you’ll likely be putting all of these in ground.

What to plant in April

April is a great time to consider transplanting hardy annuals, leafy greens, cool-season crops, root crops as well as plant summer bulbs in your kitchen garden! We have divided this list of what to plant in April into 3 different categories. They are:

  • What to transplant outdoors in April
  • What to direct sow in April
  • What to avoid planting in April

Remember, these are all based on a frost date of before April 15th. 

*As a general note, even after your last frost date you’ll want to monitor the night temperatures for risk of frost prior to transplanting any tender crops into your garden beds. Additionally, for sowing seeds, the ideal time for many of the crops on our list will be once soil temperatures reach above 55 degrees at night consistently. 

What to Direct Sow in April

April is the month of our last frost here in northern Alabama so technically its time to start putting seeds in the soil for our frost tender plants! April planted sowings can be slow to germinate so consider that when planting! Typically I like to wait for 1-2 weeks post last frost date. Additionally make sure to monitor the overnight temperature to improve germination rates. 

Now lets take a look at the top crops to sow directly in April. 


While you can start squash plants indoors and transplant, I find that when the outside temperature is adequate those direct sown quickly outgrow those that are started indoors. Consider choosing a quick maturing variety for an early harvest prior to squash bug season. 


Cucumbers are another curcubit plant that can be started indoors but thrive when started outside. Wait about 2 weeks past your last frost to plant! 


Basil is a heat loving annual herb that comes in many different varieties. Basil is easy to grow as seeds and with proper pruning can really flourish in the garden. You can also easily propagate basil and turn a single basil plant into multiple! 


Beans are a great crop for early April planting, but make sure the soil temperatures have warmed up prior to sowing (Cool soil can decrease germination). Consider using row covers to keep the soil warm if its been cold or consider pushing your sowing date to a few weeks past your frost date. 


Sweet corn is a crop that loves heat and can be sown directly in the ground in April. However, if your area experiences cooler temperatures at night, it may be best to wait until May to sow corn for optimal growth.


Sweet and juicy, melons are another great crop for planting in June. They require warm soil temperatures to germinate so the best time to direct sow them rather than transplanting seedlings at the end of the month.

Southern Peas

Southern peas or cowpeas are a legume that is grown for the dry beans! They are a southern kitchen stable and thrive in the heat!  You can direct sow them through early July and not worry about them until the plants die off. 

Chinese cabbage

Chinese cabbage crops such as Tatsoi and Bok choy are great crops to plant in April. They have a shorter time span from seed to harvest and can be transplanted or direct sown in the garden through late summer. Succession plant these crops for an extended harvest into the early summer.


Collards are a southern staple and excellent spring and fall crop. Collards can be started indoors and transplanted in the garden throughout the Summer. Additionally some varieties can even be direct sown. 


Kohlrabi is a versatile crop which is often overlooked.  The leaves and bulbs of the kohlrabi are both edible and nutritious. These can be transplanted and sown in the garden through early fall.

What to transplant outdoors in April

Many tender annuals can go in the garden in April (remember this assumes you are past your frost date!). You’ll want to make sure you have prepared your seedlings for the transplanting process if you started your seeds indoors. This will include hardening off the seedlings and creating the right soil conditions.

Here are some of the crops that you can begin transplanting in April. 


Tomatoes are a summer staple and can be transplanted as seedlings in early April into well-prepared soil. Make sure to harden off your seedlings prior to transplanting and consider using a protective cover if there is still a risk of frost in your area. Choose varieties that do well in hot weather and provide adequate support for the plants as they grow.


Just like tomatoes, peppers are another summer crop that can be transplanted in April. Peppers do appreciate more heat that tomatoes do, so consider waiting until later in the month or even May to transplant. Ensure that your plants receive plenty of sun and provide support for their growth.


Eggplants are heat-loving popular crops that do well when started indoors and transplanted into warm soil. They can be planted outdoors in late April or early May, depending on your location’s weather patterns and danger of frost. Eggplants can grow quite large and can benefit from support. 

Sweet Potatoes

In late April you can start transplanting your sweet potato slips! Sweet potatoes love the heat and will grow quickly when planted in warm soil. Make sure to provide ample space between plants as they can spread out quite a bit. out into the yard. These are a heat loving crop so you can wait until Mid-May to transplant them as well! Remember, if you’d like to start this crop yourself (garden centers are hit or miss when it comes to this crop), you’ll want to start your slips in Early to late March!


This southern favorite is another heat-loving plant that does well when transplanted directly into warm soil. Ensure that your soil temperature is consistently above 60 degrees before transplanting okra seedlings.

Spring onions

While your bulbing onions are often planted prior to your first frost, you can plant spring onions or bulbs for spring onion harvest in early spring. These will give you onion greens throughout the season! 


There are many herbs that can go into the garden in April, including basil, thyme, sage, and parsley. These herbs are great for adding flavor to your dishes and can be grown easily from seed or transplanted as seedlings.

Annual Flowers

In addition to vegetables, April is also a great time to start transplanting annual summer-blooming flowers outdoors. These include popular blooms such as marigolds, zinnias, and sunflowers. Make sure to harden off your seedlings before transplanting and follow spacing instructions on the seed packets for optimal growth.

Also read: Successfully Transplant Seedlings after Germination

Wait to Plant these Until Fall Garden Season

While there are a ton of crops you can plant in April, here are a few you’ll want to consider waiting until the fall to plant these crops as pest pressure and heat stress can cause your harvest to flop in the spring and summer months. These crops will include:

  • Cabbage
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • White Potatoes
  • Lettuce
  • Sweet peas
  • Broad beans

*if you are in the cooler climates, these crops may be able to be planted year round. 

When you plan your fall garden, make sure to include these crops in your planting schedule and enjoy a bountiful harvest! In the meantime, focus on sowing and transplanting those summer-loving crops for a delicious and abundant garden. 

And remember, gardening should be fun and enjoyable – don’t stress too much about perfect timing or methods. Experimentation is part of the process and you’ll learn as you go. Happy gardening!  Now get outside and start planting! 

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