April Garden in the Northern Hemisphere

April is truly the month of new beginnings in the northern hemisphere. This month you will notice more changes in the garden than any other month of the year. The ice and snow will disappear. The trees will set bud and the first flowers will appear in most parts of the northern regions of the earth.

April is named for Aprilis, the Latin word meaning to open. And so a new season in the garden gets underway everywhere. This month you will see returning birds and soon their young. The first butterflies and bees should be about before the month is over. Only very far to the north will ice and snow still have its grip on the garden by month’s end.

The sweet pea and daisy are the special flowers for April, but April is also the month of lilacs, the true harbingers of spring. Almost everywhere in the northern hemisphere this month, gardeners can begin to sow their crops outdoors as soon as the lilacs begin to bloom.

April also is the traditional month in many countries for the celebration of tree planting. Planting trees has long been associated with various religious ceremonies and also as an activity to commemorate the birth of a child. In the United States, many states celebrate Arbor Day during April. When you sow out your first vegetable seeds this month, see if there is room for a new tree in your yard, neighborhood, or nearby park.

Here is a planting list for April in the northern hemisphere:

Cool northern regions—Zones 3-6. Vegetables: artichoke suckers, beans, beets, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cape gooseberry, capsicum, carrots, celery, chard (silverbeet), cress, cucumber, eggplant, endive, kohlrabi, leeks, lettuce, marrow, melons, okra, spring onion, parsnip, peas, potato tubers, radish, rhubarb crowns, rutabaga (Swedes), salsify, Swiss chard (silverbeet), spinach, squash, sweet corn, tomato, zucchini. Herbs: basil, boarage, caraway, celeriac, chamomile, chervil, chives, coriander, hyssop, lemon balm, oregano, parsley, salad burnet, thyme.

Temperate Regions—Zones 7-9. Vegetables: beans, beets (beetroot), cabbage, cape gooseberry, capsicum, carrots, celery, chard (silverbeet), chayote (choko), chicory, cress, cucumber, eggplant, endive, leeks, lettuce, melons, mustard, spring onions, parsnip, peas, pumpkin, radish, rhubarb crowns, salsify, squash, sweet corn, sweet potato, tomato, zucchini. Herbs: basil, borage, caraway, celeriac, chamomile, chervil, chicory, chilli, chives, coriander, dill, fennel, hyssop, lemon balm, oregano, parsley, salad burnet, thyme.

Subtropical and Tropical Regions—Zones 10-12. Vegetables: beans, beet (beetroot), cabbage, cape gooseberry, capsicum, carrots, celery, chayote (choko), Chinese cabbage, cress, cucumber, eggplant, fennel, lettuce, marrow, melons, mustard, okra, parsnip, peas, pumpkin, radish, rhubarb crowns, salsify, Swiss chard (silverbeet), spring onion, squash, strawberry runners, sweet corn, sweet potato, tomato, zucchini. Herbs: basil, borage, caraway, chamomile, celeriac, chervil, coriander, dill, hyssop, lemon balm, marjoram, oregano, salad burnet, thyme.

April harvest. Here is a list of vegetables and fruits ready for harvest in the northern hemisphere during April: Vegetables: artichokes, asparagus, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrot, celeriac, Chinese cabbage, lettuce, peas, Swiss chard, spinach. Fruits: avocado, cape gooseberries, lemons, limes, mandarins, mulberries, navel oranges, raspberries, strawberries, tangelos.


Written by Stephen Albert

Stephen Albert is a horticulturist, master gardener, and certified nurseryman who has taught at the University of California for more than 25 years. He holds graduate degrees from the University of California and the University of Iowa. His books include Vegetable Garden Grower’s Guide, Vegetable Garden Almanac & Planner, Tomato Grower’s Answer Book, and Kitchen Garden Grower’s Guide. His Vegetable Garden Grower’s Masterclass is available online. has more than 10 million visitors each year.


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  1. Hooray! April finally arrived and yes it is time for the lilacs to fill the air with their sweet fragrance. All of us in Zones 5 & 6, its time to start tilling the soil, won’t it feel good to get our hands dirty again? I can’t wait.

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