12 Crops to Start Planting This April

Check out what Kevin and the Epic Crew are planting this month. April is a great time to plant these 12 crops in your garden. Gardening expert Melissa Strauss and the rest of the Epic Family will help you decide what to plant in April and how to care for it in this growing guide.

April crops. Close-up of cucumbers growing in a sunny garden against a blurred background of a sunny garden. The cucumber plant is characterized by sprawling vines adorned with large, lobed leaves that are deeply veined and a vibrant green color. Alongside the foliage, the plant produces bright yellow flowers with five petals. These flowers give way to elongated, cylindrical fruits with smooth, thin skins, and dark green colors. These fruits have a pimply texture.


Spring is in full swing, and the time to plant is upon us. Depending on your growing zone, you may be just getting started. If you garden in a warmer climate, you may have lots of plants growing in your garden already. No matter where you are in your planting season, some great plants can be started in the lovely month of April.

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Different plants need different conditions to flourish. They also require different lengths of time to grow and mature. Most annuals grow in zones 2-11 if you plant them at the right time, though there are a few exceptions for plants that need an extended growing season. However, nearly anyone in any climate can grow a vegetable garden if they start the right seeds at the right time. 

 If April snuck up on you or you’re worried you missed the best planting window, we’ve got you covered. We are here to help you determine which plants will grow best in your zone if you start them this month. Read on to see what Kevin and the team are planting in April.


Glass Gem Flint Corn Seeds

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Glass Gem Flint Multi-colored Corn Seeds


Tasty Green Cucumber Seeds

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Tasty Green Cucumber Seeds


Apricotta Cosmos Seeds

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Apricotta Cosmos bipinnatus Seeds


Close-up of a corn plant in a sunny garden against a blue sky. The Corn plant (Zea mays) is characterized by tall, sturdy stalks with long, narrow leaves that alternate along the stem. These leaves have a vibrant green color and parallel veins running from the base to the tip. At the top of the plant, corn produces elongated structures called ears, which contain rows of kernels tightly packed together. The kernels are a bright golden yellow color.
Plant versatile corn varieties in April for a delicious future harvest.

Corn is an incredibly versatile and useful plant that can grow in most climates. This vegetable came about through the selective breeding of a type of grass called teosinte. While corn is an ingredient in most processed food, we prefer eating it fresh off the cob. 

There are multiple types of corn to grow, and April is a great month to get them started. Flint corn, like the gorgeous ‘Glass Gem’ variety, is an ornamental type we grow simply for its beauty. Consider this for a bundle of dried, brightly colored cobs added to a stunning harvest wreath for the front door. But don’t forget that it’s edible, too – flint corn can be nixtamalized to make hominy!

If you’re a popcorn lover, like I am, plant some popping corn this month. Not all corn varieties work in this way, but ‘Robust Pop R400MR’ is a tasty hybrid variety that does. Let these cobs dry, and toss the kernels in your popper for a delicious and natural alternative to store-bought popcorn. 

Finally, if you just love an ear of sweet corn, there are delicious varieties you can start right now. ‘Sugar Baby’ is an extra-flavorful variety that matures in just 65 days. This is great for cooler climates with a shorter growing season. 

Technically, there are other corn varieties, too—flour corn and dent or field corn—but these are primarily grown commercially for cornmeal production and related products. You can still grow these at home if you’d like (consider ‘Striped Japonica’ dent corn as a perfect example)!

We recommend directly sowing your corn seeds as the seedlings don’t transplant well. Corn plants need to grow close together in a block because they are wind-pollinated. The pollen from the tassels on top falls down and pollinates the silks of the cob. Each strand of silk will cause one kernel of corn to form, so you want to ensure they have good pollination for ear development!


Close-up of ripening cucumbers in the garden among green foliage. The cucumber plant is characterized by sprawling vines with large, lobed leaves that are deeply veined and rough to the touch. Cucumber fruits are elongated and cylindrical, with a pimply, thin skin of dark green color. Small yellow star-shaped flowers grow on vines.
Grow multiple cucumber varieties for a delicious summer treat.

Fresh, cool cucumbers are a summer salad staple. I love a crisp cuke chopped up and tossed in balsamic with a ripe tomato, yum! These veggies are easy to grow and make great neighbors in the garden. 

If you have plenty of space, ‘Tasty Green’ has thin, tender skin. There is no need to peel; just slice and enjoy. This Japanese variety likes to vine, so it needs a sturdy support structure to grow on. The long, slender cucumber produces very few seeds, and it’s burpless and non-bitter, making it a prime candidate for slicing up for your salads!

If you need to conserve space, you’re in luck! ‘Spacemaster’ cucumbers are a wonderful compact variety that grows well in a container or raised bed. Its short vines produce full-sized cucumbers that are multipurpose champions, ideal for everything from pickling while small to slicing or snacking when large.

In very warm climates, consider growing ‘Armenian’ cucumbers. This variety is actually a type of melon with a cucumber-like shape and flavor. It tolerates a lot of heat and sun, so it’s a great option for those Southern gardeners. 


Close-up of a dug up peanut plant in the garden. The peanut plant is characterized by sprawling, low-growing vines with pinnate leaves comprised of several leaflets arranged along a central stem. These leaflets are oval-shaped, smooth, and typically a medium green color. Peanut pods are small, oblong-shaped structures that develop underground, just beneath the soil surface. They consist of a thin, papery outer shell that encloses two or three peanut seeds.
Grow peanuts in warm climates to make homemade peanut butter.

Peanut butter is a staple in my house. No matter how picky my kids are, I can always count on a peanut butter sandwich to satisfy them. On football game days, my family loves to snack on boiled peanuts, and we also love them fried and salted. 

You may or may not know much about how peanuts grow, so I will fill you in quickly. Peanuts are warm-weather plants that aren’t nuts at all. They are actually legumes that form pegs above ground which bend down, dive back into the soil, and grow the legumes underground. They require a decently long growing season, so this is a great crop for places with long, hot summers. Most varieties take 120 to 150 days to mature.

If you don’t reliably get four to five months of frost-free weather, don’t despair. The ‘Northern Hardy Valencia’ peanut has better cold tolerance. These take about 90 to 100 days to mature, making them a viable option for cooler climates. Epic’s own Meg Lloyd of Meg Grows Plants recommends the ‘Festiviata Pinstriped’ variety because it’s a beautiful peanut with purple stripes. It also makes delicious peanut butter. 


Close-up of a growing Parsley in the garden. Parsley is a biennial herb characterized by dense clusters of vibrant green, deeply lobed leaves that grow in a tufted rosette. The leaves are divided into multiple leaflets that are finely serrated along the edges, giving them a delicate and frilly appearance.
Enjoy fresh, vibrant parsley easily at home.

Parsley pops up in the recipes of many cuisines. It’s easy to find in any supermarket. But why pay someone else to grow it when it’s so easy to grow in your own garden? Flat-leaf Italian parsley is delicious and has a strong, vibrant flavor. Better yet, it grows best in the cooler weather of early spring or in the fall!

Another great reason to plant parsley, and specifically the curly variety, is for the wildlife it attracts. This type isn’t as popular for eating as Italian parsley (in fact, it’s often used as a frilly garnish on plates), but it is a pretty plant. It also serves as a larval host plant for the black swallowtail butterfly.

Keep your seeds warm and moist while they germinate. Once your plants are in the garden, remember that they like consistent moisture. Don’t let the soil dry completely between waterings. 


Close-up of a growing pumpkin plant in the garden. The pumpkin plant is characterized by sprawling vines with large, lobed leaves that have deeply indented edges and a vibrant green color. Pumpkin fruits are large, round, slightly flattened, with smooth, ribbed skins of bright orange color. These fruits grow attached to thick, sturdy stems.
Get a head start on pumpkin season by planting now.

Pumpkin season may seem far off, but pumpkins take a while to mature, so this is the right time to plant them. There are so many beautiful types of pumpkins that it’s difficult to decide on just one. 

If you’re looking for a pie pumpkin, we recommend ‘Sugar Pie.’ This variety has been the star of the Thanksgiving dessert table for over a century. Pumpkins mature in 90-115 days and store for months in a cool location. If you live in a warmer climate with a long growing season, you can wait a month or two before planting and still get the perfect fall harvest. In cooler climates, now is the time. 

If you are looking for beautiful ornamental pumpkins to decorate the front porch, we have those, too. The exotic ‘Black Kat‘ pumpkin is compact and striking, with a black rind and bright orange edible flesh.

‘Galeux d’Eysines’ pumpkins are distinctive and charming, with peanut-sized warts forming under the skin and a supremely sweet flavor. Plant these for an elegant autumn design element. 

Pumpkins don’t transplant well, so direct sowing is best. Before planting, snip the very tip of the seed for faster germination. This allows water to enter the tough hull of the seed. Plant seeds in groups of three and let the vines grow together. For bigger, decorative pumpkins, you want one pumpkin per vine. 

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Summer Squash

Close-up of a growing summer squash plant in a garden. The plant features large, broad leaves with slightly fuzzy texture and scalloped edges, providing a lush backdrop for the fruits. The squash itself is cylindrical, with smooth, glossy skin and a bright yellow color.
Plant summer squash now for a quick and tasty harvest.

One of the easiest and fastest vegetables in the summer garden is summer squash or zucchini. Start these seeds now, and you will have tasty squash to harvest in as few as 55 days. You can harvest summer squash at different stages depending on how you like to eat them. 

I’m a fan of the yellow varieties with their sweet, buttery flavor. ‘Max’s Gold’ is a fast-growing variety that produces lots of thin, golden squash. For a more complex flavor than standard zucchini, consider ‘Costata Romanesco.’ 

Squashes prefer fertile soil. Plant these seeds directly in well-enriched soil or a mound of compost atop your soil for fast-growing and robust squash plants. Plant three seeds to a spot and thin to one plant once you can tell which seedling is the strongest.

Harvest them small for tender, sweet squash, or let them grow larger for a more substantial harvest – but be careful, as many summer squash varieties can become less palatable as they get huge!


Close-up of flowering cosmos plants in the garden. The cosmos plant is characterized by its feathery, fern-like foliage and profusion of daisy-like flowers. Growing on tall, slender stems, the finely divided leaves create an airy and delicate appearance. Atop these stems, the flowers bloom in clusters, showing vibrant colors such as pink, white, and red, with contrasting yellow centers. These blossoms have a distinctive shape with a single row of petals radiating from a central disc.
Grow cosmos for vibrant blooms and endless garden beauty.

Once you grow cosmos in the garden, you’ll want to plant these pretty flowers yearly. They look great, are highly vigorous growers, and work excellently in the cutting garden. There is a wide range of varieties and sizes, so choose carefully for your space. 

Either directly sow your cosmos seeds in the garden or start them early in seed trays. These seeds don’t need any special treatment. Just plant them in groups of two and cover them lightly with soil. Keep your seeds moist during germination. 

When your plants reach three inches tall, pinch them off to encourage branching. This will produce a bushier, more attractive plant with more space for flowers. I love the ‘Diablo’ variety, which blooms in shades of yellow and orange. These attract scores of butterflies like very few plants in the garden can. 


Close-up of a flowering okra plant in a garden on a blurred green background. The okra plant is characterized by its tall, upright stems adorned with large, lobed leaves that are heart-shaped and deeply veined, with a slightly fuzzy texture. At the leaf axils, the plant produces a showy, hibiscus-like flower that ranges in color from pale yellow to creamy white with a maroon-red center. These flowers give way to elongated, ridged fruits, commonly referred to as okra pods, which are harvested for culinary use.
Grow beautiful okra for pickling or ornamental garden charm.

Love it or hate it, okra is a wonderful plant to grow. I grew my first plants last year because one of my kids goes nuts over pickled okra. It’s so easy to grow! The flowers are so pretty that you could grow this as an ornamental plant if you don’t love the taste. A relative of hibiscus, okra flowers bear a strong resemblance to those of their cousins. 

You can directly sow okra in warm climates, but start your seeds indoors in cooler climates ahead of time. This is a heat-loving plant, and it’s fairly drought-tolerant, as well. It grows quickly and does well with a regular application of organic fertilizer. 

Choose a spineless variety for easier handling and a nicer texture. The small spines or hairs on the outside of non-spineless varieties can irritate the skin. ‘Clemson Spineless 80’ is a tasty, spineless variety with pods that are most tender when harvested young. They are also quite flavorful!

Sweet Potato

Close-up of dug up sweet potato tubers in a garden against a background of green leaves. The sweet potato plant (Ipomoea batatas) is characterized by its sprawling vines and lush, heart-shaped leaves of a dark green color. The plant produces edible underground tubers. These tubers are oval, oblong in shape with pink thin skin.
Effortlessly start sweet potatoes with this simple planting method.

For a tasty treat that you can plant and forget about, sweet potatoes are a perfect veggie for your garden in April. Getting your sweet potatoes started doesn’t have to be difficult. Rather than the long process of growing your sweet potato slips in water, try this method Jacques The Garden Hermit recommends. 

Plant your whole sweet potato in a shallow box or container and cover it with soil. Moisten the soil and keep your container warm. A heat mat does a great job of supplementing heat when needed. Your potatoes will produce slips in as little as a week or two. Because they are already in the soil, the roots will already begin to form. Gently break off this rooted slip and plant it directly in the garden to grow more potatoes. 

Cypress Vine

Close-up of a Cypress Vine plant in bloom in a sunny garden. The Cypress Vine is characterized by its delicate, fern-like foliage and vibrant, star-shaped flowers. The leaves are finely divided and arranged along slender, twining stems, creating a light and airy appearance. The flowers, borne on long, wiry stalks, bloom profusely throughout the summer, showcasing hues of red. Each flower has a tubular base that flares out into five pointed petals.
Dress up your garden with stunning climbing vines on trellises.

Climbing vines that flower can really dress up the garden. I love growing vines on trellises in the entryways of my garden space. They add a vertical element that allows the eye to travel and take in even more beauty with a very small footprint. 

Cypress vine is a stunning annual vine that thrives in hot weather. In cooler climates, start your seeds indoors, using a heating mat to give them a head start. Since their roots are sensitive to disturbance, use a biodegradable pot that you can plant when it’s time to transplant it outdoors.

Sow your seeds in a moist seed-starting mix. Cover the containers with a plastic cover and keep them warm and moist during germination. Once the seeds sprout, remove the plastic. Keep them warm until you are ready to move them outside. ‘Funny Valentine’ blend is a lovely variety that produces white and red flowers that are highly attractive to hummingbirds.  


Close-up of a blooming Roselle plant in a sunny garden. The Roselle plant is characterized by its tall, upright stems and deeply lobed, serrated leaves with a vibrant green color. At the leaf axils, the plant produces large, showy flowers of creamy white color with a crimson center. These flowers give way to fleshy, red calyxes, commonly referred to as pods, which encase the plant's seeds.
Add vibrant roselle to your garden for beautiful flowers and tasty calyxes.

Another great crop to plant in April is roselle. This hibiscus species has similar, beautiful flowers. The flowers give way to stunning, crimson calyxes, with the outer sepals of the flower lingering just below. Growers treasure the calyx most for what it can do. 

These calyxes can be used to make jams, jellies, sauces, puddings, and a sweet and tangy beverage (hibiscus tea) using these and a handful of tasty spices. They are a rich source of vitamin C, calcium, and magnesium. 

Roselle plants are as easy to grow as other plants in the same family. They like hot weather and fertilizer, and they like a fair amount of water. Grow this plant for its lovely flowers as well as the tart and tangy calyxes. 


Close-up of a watermelon plant with ripe fruit in a garden on dark brown, almost black soil. The watermelon plant is characterized by its sprawling vines and large, lobed leaves with a coarse texture and a vibrant green color. The watermelon fruit is oblong in shape, with a smooth, thick rind ranging in color from dark green to light green.
Savor the unmatched flavor of homegrown watermelons this summer.

April is a great time to plant watermelons. Those sweet, juicy summer treasures have a flavor that rivals none in the garden. Watermelons like to sprawl, so choose a spot with ample room for their vines to spread out. 

Work a lot of compost into the soil when planting watermelons. Form a mound of moist compost and plant your seeds directly in the center. Keep your watermelon seeds and plants moist; growing these tasty melons takes a lot of water. They’re called watermelons, after all! 

If you have a limited space but still want to grow watermelons, we recommend ‘Sugar Baby.’ This variety produces a smaller fruit that ripens quicker, although it still has vines that are 6′ to 10′ long. For a spin on the traditional, try out ‘Mountain Sweet Yellow.’ This cheery yellow-fleshed variety is large and super sweet. It’s certain to get attention at that 4th of July cookout.

Final Thoughts

April is prime time for planting, and these are all wonderful plants to start this month. If you need some help getting your garden started this spring, check out our thorough gardening guides for more advice. There is no better time to get moving on sweet summer produce. Happy planting!

Sunlight bathes a verdant potato plant, its leafy emerald fronds reaching skyward from a burlap sack in a garden bed. Deep green hues and smooth edges tell a tale of health and vigor, promising a bounty of tubers beneath the soil.


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