April is our first full month of Spring and I hope it has fully arrived for you. Whether you have a garden full of flowers, vegetables, or a little of both, Spring is the time to get started. There are tons of flowers, vegetables, and other plants to choose from, but make your selections fast so you can get what you want. There is so much to grow it is hard to decide what to plant. Our selections this month are ones we have not previously highlighted.
Here are 6 plants that you can start growing in April:
Astilbe – Astilbe is a perennial that is easy to grow with showy fern-like flowers. The plume-like flowers come in soft shades of pink, red, and white. If you have a shady location in your garden, Astilbe would be a great choice for that spot. They will add texture and color to areas where other flowers might not grow. If they are planted in the full sun they will burn. Astilbe can be planted in spring and fall. They are slow-growing plants, but once established you will be able to enjoy them for many years. The best way to grow these plants is from an established plant or bare root. They can be grown from seeds but they are very difficult to germinate.
Ranunculus – Ranunculus are often referred to as “The Rose Of Spring”. These beautiful flowers come in orange, pink, red, white, yellow, and other colors. They make excellent cut flowers. Ranunculus bulbs are actually corms, which look somewhat like a little octopus. They can be planted in spring or fall. The rule is if you live in zones 4-7, plant them in spring for a late summer bloom and treat them as an annual. If you live in a warmer climate, zones 8-10 plant them in the fall for spring blooms.
Asparagus - Asparagus is a perennial that takes 2 to 3 years to get started and produce. Once established, you will have edible spears year after year. The key to being successful in growing this plant is not to harvest it for the first couple of seasons. It might be hard to believe but Asparagus beds can be productive for up to 20 years. Plant your Asparagus before the soil temperatures rise above 50 degrees Fahrenheit. For best results, plant them in partial sun.
Beans – There is no shortage of beans to grow. April is a wonderful time to plant both pole and bush beans. It is best to plant them outdoors and not to start them indoors as the roots are fragile and do not often survive being transplanted. There are probably more varieties of beans than any other garden vegetable. Whether you prefer Bush Beans or Pole Beans there is bound to be one you will enjoy. Beans are also a great vegetable for a kid’s garden as the size of the seed makes them easy for small hands to plant and they sprout quickly. Just give them full sun conditions with a rich soil that drains well and you’ll have plenty of beans to share with your friends and neighbors! If you grow pole beans, you will need to stake them or use a trellis to support their growth. Try planting seeds every two weeks so you can have a harvest that lasts all summer long.
Beets - Beets are believed to have been grown in the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Medieval chefs used them in their pies and Thomas Jefferson planted them at Monticello. Not only are they colorful and full of flavor, but they are also rich in antioxidants, folic acid, potassium, and fiber. Beets like cool weather in the spring and fall and are easy to grow, plus they don’t require a lot of room. Beets do best in deep, well-drained soil, but never clay, which is too heavy for large roots to grow. When planting beets, the seeds should be 1 to 2 inches apart in the row. For a continuous supply, plant your beets in several plantings, about three weeks apart from each other.
Cabbage – Cabbage is a hardy vegetable that has great nutritional value. It is an antioxidant and also nutrient-rich. It can be a challenging plant to grow. Cabbage comes in a variety of shades including green, purple, and white. The flavor will depend on the different variety you grow. One of the biggest challenges is it only likes cool temperatures and it does attract pests. The plants can be grown from seed or you might also find small plants at your local garden center. These plants can be grown in full sun to light shade.
Let us know what you are planting this month!