It’s a month known for its showers and flowers, for days that are both longer and warmer. And it’s the time gardens all over the UK awaken from their winter slumber, opening up a world of growing possibilities. The only question is, what are the best vegetables to plant in April in the UK? Well, worry not.
Whether you’re curious about how to add some spice to your salad or some crunch to your crudités, you’ve stumbled on the right guide. Dig in as we weave through a selection of veggies to plant in April, ensuring your garden isn’t just a feast for the eyes but for the palate as well.
When thinking about vegetables to grow in April in the UK, carrots should be at the top of the list. After all, if it’s good enough for Bugs Bunny, then it’s good enough for us. And let’s be honest, who can resist this vibrant vegetable’s crunchy sweetness? From the traditional orange to the avant-garde purples, there’s an option for every garden and every plate. Just ensure they’re planted in a sunlit spot in well-drained soil and get ready to ask, “what’s up doc?”
Compact, colourful, and largely ignored by pests, beetroot is among the easiest vegetables to plant in April. It thrives in fertile, well-drained soil, is adaptable enough to be grown in pots , and is ready to go in two months or less. What’s more, if you think reddish-purple is its only hue, think again. Beetroot can be white, pink or even bright yellow.
When it comes to sweetcorn, the fresher the sweeter. And what could be fresher than eating the cobs straight from the garden? Now, traditionally, sweetcorn is a summer crop, but newer varieties actually prefer milder climes, great as veg to plant in April and ready by mid-summer. But, just to be sure there’s no frosty weather afoot, they should be sown indoors before being relocated outside.
Meet the cucurbit family. From cucumbers to melons, pumpkins to gourds, they’re an eclectic bunch. But one thing they tend towards is being excellent veg to grow in April. Take squashes as an example. Not only are they bursting with flavour, but they’re a versatile veg, great in curries, salads, or even just grilled. What’s more, they come in an array of sizes, shapes, and colours, each with its unique flavour profile. All they need is some nutrient-rich soil and a steady supply of water. For those keen on sowing these veggies to plant in April, starting indoors is recommended.
When it comes to vegetables to grow in April, these beans give others a run for their money. Sown indoors any time from the middle of the month gives them a head start, ready for planting out in May or June. Then it’s full steam ahead, providing a plentiful supply of long green pods from July to October. Oh, and they’re also easy on the eyes, with vibrant flowers to add colour as well as crunch.
For those who appreciate a spicy kick in their salads, rocket is the veg to plant in April. Not only is it fast to grow, but once it takes off, it keeps going. With wild rocket having a potential harvest period lasting through the summer, autumn and possibly beyond. As for flavour, pick early for a milder taste or allow the leaves to mature for proof positive of its membership in the mustard clan.
As soon as the last of the year’s frost is gone, it’s potato time. As a general guide, this makes them great veggies to plant in the UK in April, particularly in the south of the UK. If in doubt, growing them indoors in containers or a warm greenhouse is always an option. As for the type of potato to plant at this time of year, these should be first or second earlies, commonly known as new potatoes. And, by June or July, they’ll be ready to dig up.
With its love of mild, damp weather, pak choi is practically perfect as a veg to grow in April. A fast-growing and delicious Chinese cabbage, it’s great in salads or matured to form a larger rosette for steaming, sautéing or stir-frying. It’s even attractive while still growing, with its lush green or purple leaves forming little crowns on the earth. Easy to sow indoors or outside, in the ground and in large containers, it grows in as little as five weeks, making it ideal for repeated harvests of baby leaves.
Superfood doesn’t come much more super than kale. This hardy, healthy green can be sown directly into its final growing spot or begun in a seedbed and later transplanted. Its resilience makes it an ideal veg to grow in April and beyond. Standard varieties grow up to three feet tall and can have smooth, ruffled or frilly green or purple-red leaves, sometimes with purple veins or stems.
Yes, they are technically a fruit, but we’re counting cucumbers as an honorary entry in the list of vegetables to plant in April. Managing to pack in plenty of vitamins despite being virtually entirely made up of water, these cool customers are best sown indoors or, ideally in a greenhouse, in well-balanced, moist soil. Water little and often and keep them warm and they’ll be salad-ready by mid-summer.
Nutrition-packed broccoli, with its tree-like charm, is among the top veggies to plant in April. In fact, this cousin of the cabbage should be able to go straight outdoors, ideally in a crop rotation with other members of its family. Taking four to ten months to produce a crop, depending on the variety, they then provide two months of greeny goodness.
Guarding Greenery in April
Whether it’s slugs nibbling on lettuce or a surprise frost, safeguarding seeds, young plants, and vegetables from diverse threats is crucial. Starting with reading seed packets offers valuable insights, and it’s always wise to keep an eye out for pests and illnesses. For proactive measures, many steps can be taken when choosing which vegetables to grow in April, such as selecting resilient varieties, picking the ideal location for each vegetable, and testing the soil. Subsequently, practices like upholding garden cleanliness, shielding plants with cloches or fleece, and mulching become essential.
Vegetables to Plant in April
As we’ve seen, there are an incredible number of vegetables to grow in April in the UK. And yet, this is just a fraction of what’s out there. From turnips to tomatoes, spinach to soya, the “okra”tunities are endless.