7 Vegetables To Plant In April
If you're one of the lucky ones, you might already have a few herbs and seedlings popping up in your warm-climate garden, but most of us have only just recovered from the sub-zero temperatures of winter. April means warmer soil, warmer air, and (hopefully) no more frost! Now is the time to start planting your favorite spring vegetables so you can work your way through fun spring and summer cookbooks. Here are tips for seasonal gardening and the best vegetables to plant this month, whether you're starting inside or outside.
What spring would be complete without fresh, crisp asparagus spears lining the farmer's market stalls and grocery store shelves? If you're lucky, you can plant your own delicious crop of asparagus to save lots of money at the grocery store this spring. Asparagus is best planted in early spring, and if you are still worried about frost, you can sow it indoors beforehand and transplant it to the garden when it is warm enough.
Recipe Idea: Easy Roasted Asparagus
2) Bush Beans
There are two basic types of garden beans: bush beans and pole beans. The bush bean grows in a bush-shape and doesn't require any supportive poles (unlike the pole bean). If you're in the southern half of the U.S. where there is no danger of frost, you should have no problem planting bush bean seeds now, and you can plant more every two weeks until the end of summer! (Wait a few weeks longer before planting pole beans.)
Recipe Idea: Chili Garlic Green Beans
Carrots should be planted as early in spring as possible, so if you're in a very warm climate, you might have been able to plant them in January or February, meaning you've probably got a nice crop of carrots coming out of your garden! For the rest of us, early April is a great time to get the carrots going to see an early summer crop. Just remember not to crowd them if you want nice thick carrots.
Recipe Idea: Carrot-Applesauce Muffins
Eggplants are fruiting plants, and do very well with the heat of summer. Get your eggplants seeds or seedlings in the soil now so they can develop strong and healthy roots before the hotter weather comes! If your area is still at risk of frost, it's best to sow eggplants indoors for 8-10 weeks before making the transition to the outdoor elements.
Recipe Idea: Cheesy Baked Eggplant Pizza
Many variations of lettuce can be grown in your home garden, including crispy Romaine, soft butter head, and tender loose-leaf lettuces. Lettuces grow best when temperatures are between about 50 degrees and 70 degrees during the day, so early spring and late fall are ideal temperatures for these leafy greens. Most lettuce varieties will mature in about 2 months, so plant early and be sure to water your plants generously, especially leading up to the harvest.
Recipe Idea: Asian Lettuce Wraps
Radishes are a completely undervalued vegetable. They're very easy to grow, and they're so pretty in everything from fresh garden salads to sautéed stir-fries! They mature very quickly in home gardens and provide early gratification for impatient gardeners. Plant the seeds as soon as your soil is soft enough, even if it is still just a bit cold. And if you start to develop pests when the heat rises in the summer, plant a few cucumbers intermingled with the radishes - they're companion plants!
Recipe Idea: Radish Stir-Fry
Nothing quite says summer like the bursting, juicy texture and flavor of a sun-ripened berry. These delicate fruits need tender care and handling, which is why the home garden variety is a thousand times better than the plastic-encased store-bought options. Your best bet for a healthy raspberry plant is to find one at a local nursery and transplant it to your home garden. Most plants begin bearing fruit when they reach two years of age, so look for these toddlers to incorporate in your home garden! You will be so thankful when the deliciously ripe berries find their way into your dishes!
Recipe Idea: Bacon, Pear, Raspberry Grilled Cheese