Should you want to grow your own vegetable starts in our northern region, there is little doubt that April is one of the busiest months of the year!
April is the time when we put most of our seeds under soil and things readily continue to ramp up with the gardening season.
If you haven’t started planting yet, April is definitely the month you can’t miss. This month is the point of no return for vegetables you didn’t plant in March. If you aren’t yet ready with your indoor garden, chances are good you will need to buy some of your garden starts for your garden.
The Scope Of April’s Gardening Activities
Not only is April the busiest planting month for us subarctic gardeners, there’s also a ton of other activity that will be happening.
With the introduction of April, our seeding schedule calls for a lot of seeding activities. Other than our very early stuff and our super fast growers, April is by far the busiest month for planting seeds in our indoor garden.
April is the time when we usually have 3-4 seedling trays going, preparing our veggies for their next stage in life.
We are also maintaining the seedlings that we seeded in March. Our seeds have sprouted and now we’re well into the process of transplanting our seedlings to their final home before they go into the garden.
This management process includes culling multiple seeds that may have sprouted and ensuring “one plant per growth site” principles. This is one of our most basic gardening tips that will get you great garden starts!
You can thin your plants out multiple ways. We use a set of fine cutters to snip off our plants. You also have the option of carefully transplanting extra plants to a new, dedicated growth site. We just snip them because it’s easier, faster and seeds are cheap.
April Begins The (Seemingly) Endless Process Of Transplanting!
Some of the seeds you planted in March will be ready for transplant into larger containers. This process is essential to maintain continual growth of your plants and to ensure you have proper garden starts for planting in your garden.
Lastly, later April often offers great weather conditions for hardening off our plants outdoors. We will often start to try to harden off some of our more mature (and frost tolerant) seedlings on those nicer days.
Careful plant management often allows us to get our plants outside a full five to six weeks before last frost!
Our April Garden Starting Schedule
Similar to what we did in March, we will do four separate plantings during the month of April.
Again, we prefer to plant on the weekends as this is when we have the most time available. A few days on either side of the schedule will not make a huge difference, so plant things when it is convenient for you.
As we mention in our seed starting schedule, we tend to be fairly aggressive with our planting schedule.
When plants have a range of potential seeding dates, we usually use the earlier of those dates. We allocate the space needed for our garden starts, which allows us to accommodate the larger garden starts.
If you are highly restricted for space, we recommend using the later of the planting dates. Gardening is simply a fairly personalized process and there’s no getting around learning what’s right for you.
This schedule uses our “aggresive” methods and techniques. You may need to use different dates, based on the recommended ranges, for your growing space.
Seeds You Should Plant Around April 6th
- Brussels sprouts
- Collard greens
- Garden Huckleberry
- Bells of Ireland
- Daisy, English
- Straw Flowers
- Sweet William
Seeds You Should Plant Around April 13th
- Dahlia Tubers
- Daisy, African
- Gladiola Corms
- Schizanthus (Butterfly Flower)
Seeds You Should Plant Around April 20th
- Lettuce, Head
- Strawberry Spinach
- Ageratum (Floss Flower)
- Alaska Cut Mix
- Baby’s Breath
- Candy Tuft
- Morning Glory
- Oriental Poppy
- Sweet Pea
Seeds You Should Plant Around April 27th
- Bok Choy
- Lettuce, Leaf
- Squash, Summer
- Squash, Winter
- Swiss Chard
- Mustard Greens
- Bachelor Buttons
The Real Gardening Challenge Happens In April!
As you probably gathered from the above lists, that’s a LOT of things to plant. You’re probably not growing every single thing on the list, but perhaps many of them.
We talk about indoor garden management concepts in much further depth, but there is some method to the madness of this schedule. You might not even notice it if we didn’t point it out.
If you look carefully at our brassicas (cabbage, broccoli, kale, collards, etc) you will notice that we spread them out across multiple planting dates. Brassicas all have pretty much identical planting times and for the most part, can be treated very similarly.
The reason for these differences is that we grow a lot of these types of plants. If we planted all of them in one weekend, it would take up a tremendous amount of space in our seeding trays. Come time to transplant? That’s a lot of work all at once!
Spreading out your plantings of things you grow a lot of will help you better manage your indoor growing space. It will help you manage your time better and also help you from getting overwhelmed.
April is hard enough to get through, with so much going on. Adjusting little details like this are some of those finer nuances that experienced gardeners use to help manage the seed planting process!
There’s More? What You Can Expect For May
We’re not quite done with our garden yet. There’s still a bit more coming in May.
If you want to get a sneak peak of what you should be planting in May, we’ve detailed this out as well.
Fortunately, the most difficult and time intensive processes are in April. May is always welcome as it means we can actually start playing in our gardens!
That’s All We Wrote!
We have an ever growing list of insightful and helpful subarctic gardening articles, waiting out there for you!
- Gardening Basics
- Advanced Cold Climate Gardening Techniques
- Growing From Seed
- Family Scale Food Production
- Subarctic Growing Techniques, Methods & More…