April is a busy time in the veg garden, as lots of seeds can be sown this month. Now that the days are longer and warmer, you can start sowing some crops, such as carrots or peas, outside.
Discover which container crops you can sow in April.
More tender crops like aubergines and courgettes, still need to be sown under glass, either in a greenhouse or on a sunny windowsill.
You can also plant out potatoes, as well as onions sets, shallots and garlic and Jerusalem artichokes.
Find out which crops you can sow in April.
Aubergines, chillies and tomatoes
This is the last chance to sow aubergines, chillies and tomatoes, which need a long growing season to do well. If you only want a few plants, you could wait until next month and buy plants at the garden centre. Find out how to grow aubergines, chillies and tomatoes.
Writing seed labels
Beetroot is an easy crop to grow, making it ideal for beginners. It will grow in any fertile, well drained soil and also does well in containers. Follow the spacing on the packet and thin the seedlings to about 10cm when they are around 3cm high. Harvest when the beets have reached golf ball size.
A bunch of freshly harvested orange and purple beetroot
Sow carrots on well-prepared soil that is free of stones – stony soil results in forked carrots. At this time of year, it is a good idea to protect against carrot fly, by putting up a barrier around the crop. Discover 10 ways to deter carrot fly. Your crop should be ready to harvest three to four months after sowing.
Sowing carrot seeds in a labelled, shallow drill
Celeriac needs a long growing season for an autumn/winter harvest, so sow now, under cover. Transfer the seedlings to individual pots when they are large enough to handle.
Planting celeriac seeds in a seed tray
Courgettes, marrow, squashes, cucumbers and pumpkins
Courgettes, marrows, squashes, cucumbers and pumpkins are known as curcurbits, and can all be sown in the same way – in individual 5cm pots, under cover. Plant outside once the danger of frost has passed (cucumbers often do best in a greenhouse).
Orange flowers on developing courgettes
Leeks can be sown in seed trays under cover in April, for harvesting from autumn onwards. Find out how to grow leeks from seed.
Leeks growing outside with red-veined sorrel
Lettuce is best sown under cover in April. Sow it in seed trays or modules, for transplanting outside later in spring. Discover how to sow lettuce seeds in modules.
A variety of lettuces growing in rows
Peas are easy to grow and can be harvested early in summer, making them a welcome early crop. You can sow them direct outside, but they are a favourite snack for mice – if these are a problem, sow them indoors and plant the plants outside when they are 15cm tall. Alternatively, sow in guttering and transplant the whole row of seedlings into a trench when they’re ready.
Find out how to grow peas.
Sowing peas inside in guttering
This fast-growing crop is easy to grow and is a good ‘catch crop’, growing on empty ground that is waiting for other crops, or between slower growing crops. Sow direct outside, every three to four weeks, for a continuous supply throughout summer. Watch our video guide to growing radishes.
Radish ready to harvest
Spinach can be sown directly outside in April; if it’s chilly, cover with fleece. Spinach needs lots of moisture and protection from slugs and snails.
Find out how to grow spinach.
Spinach ready for harvesting
Swiss chard is a beautiful crop for a sunny or partially shaded spot and can be sown directly outside in April. Discover how to grow Swiss chard.
Red, orange and yellow stemmed Swiss chard
Turnips are also quick-growing. Harvest them when young, when they are golf ball size, or eat the leaves as greens. Keep well watered.
A turnip ready to harvest