Planting vegetables in April — these 5 picks are gardener-approved

Thinking about planting vegetables in April? The pros will tell you where to start

Vegetables, from left; kale, carrots and peas, all in the garden
(Image credit: Getty Images/lauraag + LukaTDB + emholk)

Skipping flowers and planting vegetables instead? Allow our team of experts to help you with your gardening endeavors this April. 

The calendar says it's spring, but this uncertain time of year makes working with some produce easier than others. You'll need to know the basics in order for your homegrown crops to be a success, particularly when you'd like to start using the fruits (and veggies) of your labor come dinnertime. 

As you begin planning your small garden ideas, and in turn delicious recipes, keep these pro tips in mind.

Planting vegetables in April? Here's where to start

Similarly when working with flowers, planting vegetables depends on your climate and locale. (There's a reason to ask, "What garden zone am I in".) 

"April is a perfect time for planting both flowers and vegetables due to the warming soil and increased daylight," Gene Caballero, co-founder of GreenPal. "Monitoring soil moisture is also important during this time, as spring can bring unpredictable rainfall."

Temperatures might be rising, but it's still just the start of the spring. Cold fronts can creep in, which makes sensitive selections like tomatoes a no-go for this early in the season. 

If you're looking to work on your backyard ideas and begin with a veggie garden, make sure you're using nutrient-rich soil, have drainage access, and are placing your seeds or plants where they can receive up to six hours or so of direct sunlight, according to the pros at The Home Depot. When planting vegetables this month and getting the process cooking, you'll need to loosen the soil, remove unnecessary debris, and get fresh soil for the task at hand. 

And by the way, Martha Stewart swears by this method for growing vegetables and vows not to plant her produce any other way. 

Gene Caballero
Gene Caballero

Gene Caballero is co-founder of Green Pal, a platform connecting customers to lawn care experts in their area throughout the United States. With such diverse areas to cover, Gene is well-versed in specific greenery needs for various environments. 

1. Spinach

Spinach leaves in the dirt next to a wicker basket

(Image credit: Getty Images/Toni Jardon)

"In terms of vegetables, April is ideal for planting leafy greens, as they can thrive in the cooler temperatures of early spring," Gene says. 

Likewise, Jane Dobbs, team lead gardening at Allan's Gardeners, notes that the cooler temps help spinach prevail, and you'd be remiss not to want in on the iron and vitamin C.

Gardeners Basics' Spinach Seeds are available on Amazon. 

Jane Dobbs
Jane Dobbs

In her 10 years as a gardener, Jane's work has been her passion. She is responsible for leading the gardening team at Allan's Gardeners and managing all PR and content related to professional gardening.

2. Kale

Kale in a garden

(Image credit: Getty Images/lauraag)

Like spinach and lettuce, kale is another selection that doesn't necessarily need super-warm weather in order to thrive, and it's one of the most popular vegetables to grow in the US this month. 

Bonnie Plants' 2-Pack 25 oz. Prizm Kale Plant are available at The Home Depot. 

3. Carrots

Carrots in the dirt

(Image credit: Getty Images/LukaTDB)

"Root vegetables such as carrots and beets also do well if planted in April because they can develop fully before the heat of summer sets in," Gene adds. 

When learning how to grow carrots, Jane recommends letting them take in the sun and giving them access to drainage. When it comes time to pick and serve them, they'll make an excellent and healthy side. 

Carrots are also easy to grow in small spaces. For example, our content editor Eve Smallman has these in her small backyard vegetable garden.

Snag Gardeners Basics' Carrot Seeds from Amazon.

4. Peas

Peas growing in a garden

(Image credit: Getty Images/emholk)

"A vine vegetable, peas love cool weather, so they're perfect for April," Jane adds. "The pods are sweet and tender, and are delicious when fresh or cooked."

Why not try Back to the Roots 8pk Organic & Peat Free Plantable Seed Starting Pots from Target?

5. Lettuce

Lettuce growing in the garden

(Image credit: Getty Images/Anna Mardo)

Fast, easy, and ideal for container gardening, lettuce is another good start for your seasonal gardening. 

"Growing lettuce in the spring works well since it's a cool-season crop. It's quick to mature and can be harvested as fast as four weeks after planting," Jane says. 

Bonnie Plants' 19 oz. Green Romaine Lettuce Plant comes in two packs at The Home Depot. 

Tips for growing vegetables

Teri Valenzuela, Natural science manager at Sunday Lawn Care, offers a bit more insight into planting vegetables during the beginning of spring. 

"Focus on sowing and planting seedlings that thrive in spring's mild conditions," she says. "Start with leafy greens like spinach, kale, and lettuce, and root vegetables such as carrots, beets, and radishes, all of which prefer cooler soil."

Should you be fortunate enough to experience warm weather on a regular basis, you can use this to your advantage. 

"For those in warmer climates where the last frost date has passed, you can also start to plant more heat-loving vegetables, such as tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers, but these might require starting indoors or buying young plants to ensure they thrive," she adds. 

Make sure to apply fertilizer every four to six weeks — Sunday's Veggie Starter Kit can assist.

Additionally, whether you opt for seeds or plants depends on what you'd like to do. The Home Depot pros recommend starting with seeds if you want to save money, but it might be hard if you haven't already sown them indoors about six to eight weeks before the season kicks in. To save time, opt for the plants. 

Teri Valenzuela
Teri Valenzuela

Teri is the natural science manager at Sunday Lawn Care, which will help you achieve the green lawn of your dreams without toxic chemicals.

Thinking about going the floral route, too? Check out what to plant in April, according to the pros, to see which blooms work best during this time of year, and why. 

Danielle Valente
Content Editor

Pleasure to meet you! I'm Danielle, a content editor at Real Homes who loves scoping out interior trends. I've specialized in lifestyle writing and editing for 10 years with a focus on events, food, and books, among other areas. When I'm not working, I'm usually cooking, reading, or searching for a new project for my apartment.