April is a big seed starting month for us in the Pacific north West, in Zone 8. That’s why you’ll see I titled this post with the big “April master list of seeds”. April is a big “seed starting” and “outdoor sowing” month. That gets us all ready for May, which is our “hardening off” and “transplanting” month. If all of these words sound like greek to you, fret not. I will touch on these terms in this post and you will know all by the end of it.
With each of these “seeds to plant this month” posts, you should consider the usual planting “rules” before you actually begin to plant.
If there is a meter of snow of outside, you should not direct sow seeds yet. Or if your frost date is more than 10 weeks away, hold off on starting ALL of the seeds indoors. Apply the directions to your area.
The point of this post is to give planting ideas to gardeners who would benefit from a list of seeds to start. The list is a meant to be a launching pad from where you should do more research into your gardening zone, climate, weather predictions, frost dates, and so on.
What to plant in April
For the April master lists, you will see that I split the seeds lists into different headings. I do this for a few reasons, but primarily so that you can easily jump to the heading that is most applicable to you.
April Master list of seeds to plant
Before we get into each section of indoor and outdoor starts, this is the entire master list of seeds I’m starting in April.
- Dahlia Seeds
- Pac Choi
- Swiss chard
This is my big list, and I tackle it week by week. For example, one week I will start the seeds indoors. The following week, I will direct sow seeds outdoors.
Doing it week by week helps me to work through the list, instead of putting it off because there is so much to plant at once. I go into more detail about this in my garden planning series. Read and watch the series here.
Vegetables to start indoors in April
Sometimes I have to remind myself that the real reason we have a garden is to grow our food and learn the ins and outs of preserving it for the winter months.
I just can’t help wanting to make a beautiful garden because I’m wired that way. I can easily get carried away with the flowers and design elements of what will be planted where. Often, I pinch myself to remember to take care that the food is on time to grow smoothly and effectively.
This month, I need to start the following vegetables seeds indoors so that they are big enough sized plants by the time they are ready to go into the garden:
These plants start indoors now so that they are good sized plants by the time it’s warmer outside.
Theother reason the timing is important here, is because I will need another week or so to “harden off” these plants.
“Hardening off” plants
“Hardening off” is when you ready the plants that have grown indoors to continue their life outdoors. This requires a week or more of carrying plants in and out of the house, adding increments of time each day. For example, the first day they may be outside for 1 hour, and the second day for 3 hours and so on. The trick with this is to work around the weather so that they aren’t experiencing too hash a climate change that shock them straight to death. I joke, and it’s really not that bad, but hardening plants off is a critical time.
Flowers to start indoors in April
Flowers are a favourite for me. I love vegetables and salad greens, but I LOVE flowers. For multiple reasons, flowers are very special. Not only do they make the garden and our house look nice, they are so very versatile. Flowers make great gifts, flowers can some can be dried and used for teas or tinctures, and so on.
The flowers we started this month were:
- Dahlia seeds
The best part about flowers are that they are mostly easy growing. We also haven’t had any pest issues with flowers, which is a bonus!
Other seeds to start inside in April (like fruit and herbs)
This will be our first year growing more fruit in the garden. I have put off growing fruit because our climate isn’t really the ideal conditions for fruit to grow well. It doesn’t really get warm enough or stay warm for long enough to grow fruit successfully. Although, I figured that it’s time I at least try it and see if we get a surprise.
For our first “fruit year”, I chose a small a Watermelon variety (Blacktail Mountain) and little fruit like Ground Cherries (Aunt Molly’s Ground Cherry) for our first fruit year, just to see how they would do here.
My list of fruit and herbs to start indoors April include:
Vegetables to direct sow outdoors in April
The temperatures outside are still relatively cool, which makes it the perfect growing conditions for our cool loving crops like:
- Pac Choi
- Swiss chard
For some of these crops that are quick to mature (like radishes, pac choi, and arugula) we do a few sowings every 3 or 4 weeks.
It may seem odd to plant the potatoes now since they love warmer temperatures. Because our ground is no longer frozen, they are okay to plant now. They also don’t have tender leaves that could point from a frost, so they can be planted in April.
Seedlings to Transplant in April
The final responsibility in April is to transplant the seedlings that we started in prior months. To do this, we begin the “hardening off” process about 1-2 weeks prior (see “hardening off” section above for directions”).
Our seedlings that are ready to be translated include:
- Swiss chard
April is the month for seed starting
Now that you know which seeds you could consider planting in April, I hope that you have a productive and efficient April preparing for your garden.
You could read more about starting seeds indoors (including containers, soil, and light set-ups) here.
If you are still figuring out the right timing and what to plant when, read how easy it is to make a garden calendar here.