The Best Vegetables to Plant in April
April might be the best month for showers that bring May flowers, but do you know what else it’s good for? Planting tasty and delicious, home-grown vegetables. The weather is getting warmer, the days are getting longer, and flowers are beginning to bud all around. Sunshine rays, cool breezes, chirping birds, and blooming plants, we are now in the spring season on the east coast of the country.
With this beautiful April weather, the ground’s soil is warming up to a perfect temperature to start planting vegetables for summer harvest.
In this blog post, we go over the top April vegetables to add to your garden and how to best care for your veggies. So put on your gardening gloves, and get ready to plant your vegetable garden!
A Cornucopia of Vegetables
Each region of the country falls under a hardiness zone that indicates the best time to begin planting your vegetable garden. Typically in mid to late April is when soil becomes optimal for the early stages of your vegetable’s life.
The Virginia and North Carolina regions are in Zone 7 of the hardiness zone. This region has a medium growing season for your vegetables to fully mature before the first frost.
When it comes to planting your garden, planting between the last frost and first frost dates of the region is ideal for the desired growth of vegetables.
For Zone 7, mid April is usually the time when there won’t be any more frosts coming in, leaving your soil warm enough for excellent vegetable growth.
Juicy, Flavorful Tomatoes
One of the staple vegetables for a garden is the deliciously delightful treat of a tomato. Whether you use tomatoes for sauces or as a food additive, tomatoes are an essential vegetable to grow. Set to reach full maturity by summer, this sun-kissed vegetable will thrive on warmth.
To get the most flavorful tomato, be sure you’re growing them in a consistently sunny spot. Tomatoes will need 6-8 hours of sun to become top quality. Tomato plants with robust space and compost-enriched soil are sure to grow strong and to a tasty degree. When you plant the tomato roots, be sure to bury about two thirds of the stem into the soil to ensure it can easily access water during a drought.
Tomatoes require regular watering so if the top inch of the soil is dry, it’s time to water. Aim for a minimum of one inch of moisture every week. We have listed some of our favorite tomatoes to plant below:
Better Boy Tomatoes: a classic tomato for summer. This vegetable has a balanced flavor of acid and sugar. Better Boy tomatoes will thrive in full sun and are expected to mature 70-75 days after initial planting.
Cherry Tomatoes: a juicy, snack-sized tomato. This vegetable maintains a meaty juiciness that is perfect for salads, snacks or shish-kabobs. Cherry tomatoes will grow best in full sun, fully maturing between 60-70 days after planting.
Roma Tomatoes: a catalyst for tomato pastes and sauces. This vegetable has a thicker and drier flesh that is perfect for cooking. Roma tomatoes require full sun and will fully mature between 70-80 days after its initial planting.
Sweet and Spicy Peppers
Peppers, another signature item for any vegetable garden, come in a vast range of flavors. Whether you want a crispy sweet pepper to crunch on or a spicy jalapeno to help your eyes water, there are plenty of peppers to suit your preferred flavor.
It’s easy to grow peppers when you plant them in well-drained, sunny spots. Like tomatoes, peppers need 6-8 hours of direct sunlight and will grow best in aged compost-enriched soil. These vegetables require about 1-2 inches of water per week, so make sure you are watering them immediately after planting and regularly through the months. Organic matter will allow the soil to retain moisture for top-notch pepper production.
Wherever you are planting your peppers, be sure to place a couple inches of mulch around the plant. Mulch will keep the soil cool and moist for the best pepper results.
The pepper vegetables are best when they’re planted a couple of weeks after the last frost of the season, typically around the last week of April. The gradient rainbow range of peppers can be mild in flavor, slightly spicy and boldly hot. Perfect for salads, stir-fries, salsas and more, these top peppers are the perfect summer foods and excellent additions to your vegetable garden:
Bell Peppers: sweet, juicy and nutritious. Bell peppers are a fresh snack that is perfect for stuffing, cooking, slicing, freezing, grilling and more. These peppers are excellent additives for salads and other meals. A fresh source of antioxidants, these veggies can be tangerine orange, emerald green, sunrise yellow or a bold red hue. Bell peppers thrive best under full sun and will be ready to harvest 70-85 days after planting.
Banana Peppers: sweet or hot flavored peppers. The most common of this vegetable group are sweet banana peppers and hot banana peppers. With both types ranging from light yellows to honeyed oranges and crimson reds, these veggies provide sweet, mild, and spicy flavors to satisfy all palates. Banana peppers are ready to harvest within 75 days of its planting.
Jalapeno Peppers: popular spicy snack or food additive. Your traditional spicy pepper, jalapenos are available from heatless or mild to extra spicy. Not only in flavor, but in its vibrant coloring as well, this vegetable is sure to give your garden a pop. Spicy slice jalapeno peppers, mammoth jalapeno hot peppers, early flame jalapeno peppers and more, these plants will require full sun and will be entirely matured after 70-75 days from initial seeding. Whether you want the extra spice or something more mild, jalapeno peppers are perfect for salsas, poppers and nachos!
There are many squash vegetables to plant for the springtime when the weather is beginning to warm. Like tomatoes and peppers, squashes need plenty of sun to grow to top quality. Squashes need good drainage and will thrive in native soil that is rich in compost.
Typically, squash and eggplant use organic matter in soil to grow strong and healthily. You will want to be sure you’re keeping the soil moist to ensure positive growth. Squash are the larger of vegetables which means they need to be properly spaced out in your garden.
Eggplant: a beautiful and delicious meat-replacement treat for summertime. Fully matured eggplants are a stunning deep purple that can be grilled, breaded, fried, stuffed, sliced and cooked into any combination. Whether you’re looking to plant a traditional Black Beauty eggplant or experimenting with a Ichiban Type Japanese Eggplant or a less common White eggplant, they are sure to color your vegetable garden to a magical aesthetic. Eggplants require full sun and will fully mature in 70-80 days after its planting.
Squash: orange, yellow, green, blue. Regardless of the color and type of squash you’re planting, these vegetables will bring so much vibrancy to your garden. The squash vegetable has a wide array of options for seeding whether you want sweet squashes, zucchinis, butternut, or others. Squash plants will require full sun and, depending on the type of squash you’re harvesting, can be fully matured within 50 days.
There is a reason why April brings May flowers. With the warm weather and variety of vegetables to plant in your garden, this spring is sure to bring a bountiful harvest in the summer.
Any questions about which types of vegetables to plant for your garden? Pleasants has you covered. Give us a call and get started on your fruitfully abundant veggie garden!