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Fruit & vegetable growing guide for April

3rd May 2022

The clocks have changed, and the sun shows its face a lot more throughout the day, which means spring has well and truly arrived by the time April comes. As a result of the sunshine being more present during this time of the year, it means the soil is warming up and it is the perfect time to start sowing seeds for this year’s crops.

There is a long list of vegetables to plant in April in the UK as well as fruits, but you will still need to make sure that you keep young plants protected from frost until you are sure that temperatures will stay above freezing during the nights. As well as planting fruits and vegetables, there are lots of other jobs that you can do in the garden, but if you suffer from mobility problems meaning you need home stair lifts and need to do some digging in your garden, then you should ask for help to carry out these garden jobs.

This guide looks at the vegetables to plant in April in the UK and the fruit you can also plant as well as the other jobs you can consider doing throughout the month.

Vegetables to plant in April in the UK

With the rising temperatures and longer hours of sunshine, there are plenty of vegetables to plant outdoors in the UK during April. Read on to find out which vegetables you can start planting.

Lettuce, radishes, and spring onions

You should start sowing the seed for summer radish around the third week in April and you can continue to sow small amounts of seed every two weeks until mid-July. When sowing radish, you will need to make a line in the soil that is around 1.5cm deep and plant seeds roughly 1.5cm apart.

Lettuce is best sown under cover initially, but it can be sown outdoors in April if you have sown them in seed trays or modules so long as they are large enough to handle. Alternatively, you can sow lettuce in pots to protect seedlings from slugs and snails.

Spring onion seeds can be sowed straight into the ground, but they need an open and sunny site that boasts well-drained soil. If it is still a bit cold, then you can sow spring onion seeds in trays or modules before transferring them into the ground.

Emma O’Neill, Head Gardener at Garden Organic, told us about the vegetables she recommends planting outside and the ones that can be planted indoors too as well as sharing tips about growing vegetables in April.

“There is a plethora of vegetables that can be sown in April. If you are sowing directly outdoors the quickest and easiest to start with are salads, radishes, and spring onions. If you’re lucky enough to have an indoor space now is the time to sow squashes, courgettes and pumpkins. Just be mindful of the weather though and wait for any last frosts to pass before doing anything outside.

“My top tips are to always select something you know you want to eat; don’t give up if something doesn’t work the first time; and always read the seed packets for guidance on when to sow, plant out and harvest.

I always recommend gardeners master the art of watering as over or under watering is the cause of so many problems. Always put your finger in the soil to check for dampness and be observant.”

READ MORE: Fruit & vegetable growing guide for March

Carrots

Carrots are packed full of vitamins, are sweet and tasty and are really easy to grow. April is the perfect month to sow them in your garden and they grow best when they are planted in well-drained but moisture-retentive soil.

You will need to fork and break the soil up and then dig a shallow trench before you sow your carrots. When you are planting the carrot seeds you should spread them out so that they are 5-8cm apart from one another. You will need to then water them well and cover them to protect them from birds and other animals.

Alex Alexander from the Sustainable Living Initiative site says carrots are just one of the vegetables you can plant outdoors in April:

“Crops such as salad leaves, radish, brassicas (kale, cabbage, broccoli), peas and broad beans} can all safely be sown outside, but I prefer to start all seeds (other than carrots and parsnips) in containers with holes in (the small trays that you get blueberries/fruit in are ideal) and you can easily put a shortened ice lolly stick across it, so that you can sow more than 1 variety of seeds,  As soon as the seeds are large enough to handle, prick them out into cell trays to grow on. 

“It may be worth checking small local garden centres (or just at the roadside) to see if they sell trays of plants at roughly £2.50 for 10 pants.

“Most crops will require protection from pigeons etc and I’m a fan of Veggiemesh insect netting. It’s quite expensive, but looked after, should last for many years. There are cheaper alternatives, but you’d need to replace them after a couple of years.”

READ MORE: Fruit & vegetable growing guide for February

Peas

You can sow seeds from late-February to June, but sowing peas in April is one of the best months to do it. They prefer well-drained soil and will need to be sown in a trench that is around 15cm wide and 3-5cm deep and they should be spaced around 8cm apart in their rows.

If you have dwarf varieties, you will need to use pea sticks and insert them as you are sowing the seeds as this support will give them something to climb. Taller varieties of peas will need stakes that are attached to netting or twine to allow them to climb.

If your garden soil is healthy you won’t need to feed the peas, but once the pods begin to form you can feed them with a liquid tomato feed to help them with their growth.

The Sunday Gardener talks about why sweet peas are perfect for planting in April: “March and April are suitable times to sow and to plant out sweet peas. It is hard to beat sweet peas for colour, height and scent in a garden. Sweet peas like moisture and are best planted in an area not too dry as that will encourage mildew. If you have time, line the trench with newspaper to aid moisture retention.”

READ MORE: Fruit & vegetable growing guide for January

Leeks

Leeks are a member of the onion family and are known to grow to enormous sizes. They are a great ingredient for a variety of dishes which is what makes them a popular vegetable to grow in the garden.

There are different varieties of leeks, and these range from early, mid-season and late varieties. Late varieties of leeks are the ones you can plant from February to April, and you can sow seeds for these directly into the ground or you can grow them in large containers, pots or raised beds if you are suffering from mobility issues.

The late varieties of leeks that you can plant in April are Below-Zero’ F1 Hybrid and Blauwgroene Winter Bandits. These varieties can be sown in the warmth of spring and summer and will tolerate the hardest of winter weather and can be lifted and eaten from Christmas until May next year.

READ MORE: Fruit & vegetable growing guide for November

All the vegetables you can plant in April

  • Lettuce
  • Radishes
  • Spring onions
  • Beetroot
  • Carrots
  • Swiss chard
  • Summer cauliflower
  • Kohl rabi
  • Leeks
  • Turnip
  • Peas
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Kale
  • Chard
  • Kohl Rabi
  • Leeks
  • Spinach
  • Climbing/Dwarf/Runner Beans (indoors)
  • Cucumber (indoors)
  • Courgette/Marrow Pepper (indoors)
  • Pumpkin (indoors)
  • Squash (indoors)
  • Sweetcorn (indoors)
  • Tomato (indoors)

READ MORE: Fruit & vegetable growing guide for December

Fruit to plant in April in the UK

If you are wondering what fruit to plant in April, then there are plenty that you can sow during the month. Read on to find out more about the fruit to plant in April.

Fruit trees and bushes

April is a great month to plant pot-grown fruit trees and bushes, and these can range from raspberries and cherry trees to apple trees and blackthorn fruit trees.

Emma O’Neill from Garden Organic says that planting fruit bushes and trees in April is a great idea. She adds: “There are also plenty of fruit bushes and trees you can grow, with options for any size garden from a small pot to a large orchard. Fruit bushes and trees are best planted in late winter-early spring so there’s still time to plant some this year. When planting, mulch with lots of organic matter to give them a good start.”

READ MORE: Fruit & vegetable growing guide for October

Strawberries

Strawberries can be planted out in April and there are lots of benefits to growing this popular fruit. They are not only delicious to eat when they are ready to harvest, but they take up little space so if you have a small garden, you can grow them in pots or hanging baskets.

When you plant your strawberries in April you should remove flowers in the first year as this can help larger crops grow in the following years. Although strawberry plants don’t last forever, the plants will produce strawberries for several years.

Strawberryplants.org talk about what you need to look out for before planting your strawberries to ensure they are fit and healthy. They said: “You should have disease-free, healthy plants ready to plant. If picking them yourself, choose plants that have large crowns with healthy, light-coloured roots. If you ordered them, open the package immediately and inspect them. If mouldy, send the strawberry plants directly back. If you can’t plant them immediately, wrap the strawberry plants in wet paper towels, put them in a bag, and store them in your refrigerator until you can plant strawberry plants outside.”

All the fruits you can plant in April

  • Bare-root fruit trees – Apples, Blackthorn, Cherry, Pears, Plum, Apricot, Peach
  • Cold-stored strawberry runners
  • Alpine strawberries

READ MORE: Fruit & vegetable growing guide for August

Other gardening jobs to be done in April

As the weather improves there are plenty of gardening jobs that you can carry out in April that you were not able to get around to doing over the winter months.

Emma O’Neill, who is the Head Gardener at Garden Organic, says weeding should be one of the jobs that are at the top of your to-do list.

She said: “Keep on top of the weeding - as the weather warms up the seeds will emerge. Protect plants from late frost. Continue to feed the birds this will help keep down pesky aphids and start mowing on a high cut.”

If you are planning to grow runner beans this year, then you can prepare supports for sowing them (in May) or for planting out (in June).

If you suffer from a mobility problem that means you are in need of walk in showers or baths, or you need a walking aid to get around, you should ask a friend or relative to help with some of these gardening jobs should you feel uncomfortable doing them yourself.

Crops that are ready to be harvested in April

  • Radish
  • Claytonia
  • Corn salad
  • Very early peas
  • Spring cabbage
  • Broccoli
  • Greenhouse potatoes

READ MORE: Fruit & vegetable growing guide for July

This article looks at just some of the fruit and vegetables you can plant in April and the jobs you should consider doing during the month. For more tips and blogs like this, head to our news section.

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.