Vegetable Seeds to Start In April For Zone 3-5 Gardening (Simple Guide)

Read on to find out exactly what seeds to start in April to boost your garden’s productivity in our short zone three growing season. Make the most of your precious in ground growing time by starting several of your garden staples in April. This will guide help ensure that your plants reach maturity before a late August or Early September frost sweeps in!

Growing Zones

Plant hardiness zones are traditionally used by gardeners, farmers, and other growers to understand which plants will grow, thrive, come to maturity, and survive the winter. When making a plan about what seeds to plant in April, it is important to thing about your growing zone and how much time you have to grow your harvest before the threat of frost arrives.

Canadian Plant Hardiness (Growing) Zones

Canadian hardiness scales are calculated using seven different factors including daily minimum and maximum temperatures, frost free days (above 0°C), snow depth, wind, rainfall, and suitability. Click here to find out about your Canadian Hardiness Zone.

USDA Plant Hardiness (Growing) Zones

USDA growing zones are based solely on the average annual minimum temperature of an area. It is divided into 10°F zones. Click here to find out about your USDA Hardiness Zone.

Tips + Tricks

Designate a space in your house or garage that is warm (21°C or 60-70°F). This space should have access to plenty of natural light. Ideally you will start seeds with grow lights but natural south facing windows work great too! Make sure that this space has “room to grow” as your seedlings grow and have individual transplanting needs.

Know your frost dates and use your seed packages to find out exactly when each seed should be started. Organize the seeds that need to be started each month in separate envelopes or ziplock bags. Packages will often advise you to plant ‘x’ amount of days before last frost. is a great resource to help you find your own growing zone and your unique frost dates.

In Northern Alberta our last frost date is typically between May 21-31st and the first frost date in the fall lies between September 1st and 10th. The best reference for when you should plant individual seeds is the back of your unique seed package or the website that you ordered them from.

Use soil blocks to produce healthy seedlings that can be started in close proximity. Check out my newest tutorial to discover how to mix, pack, and press soil blocks of various sizes easily.

Seeds to Start in April: List

Seeds to Plant in April- plant Information:

Broccoli: Many species of broccoli take up to 100 days to reach full maturity! Maximize your growing time by sowing them in early March.

Brussels sprouts: These sprouts take 100-120 days to reach full maturity. Yikes! Start early for best results.

Cabbage: Most types of cabbage take a minimum of 70 days to reach full maturity. They should be started indoor 8-10 weeks before last frost. Once you transfer them into the garden, they should be protected from bugs using fine netting or your preferred insect deterrent.

Cauliflower: It is recommended that you wait to transplant cauliflower into the garden until it has 4-5 leaves. This growth can take upwards of six weeks. It is best to start this mid-late April.

Corn (late april): Corn is a late bloomer and depending on the variety it requires a longer growing season. Start indoors to help it along.

Cucumber (If you have a lot of room-Late April):

Lettuce + Kale: These two greens can be started indoors for an early harvest or direct sown into the ground.

Kohlrabi: Kohlrabi can be started in late April for a timely summer harvest.

Leek: The earlier you get your leeks planted, the longer their stems have to thicken. Late planted leaks will have a thinner stem.

Zucchini + Other Summer Squash: Summer squash can be planted in late April to allow it to get a head start on our short growing season.

Pumpkins, Butternut Squash + Other Winter Squash: Many winter squash take from 90-110 days to reach full maturity. They are delicate and a bit finicky to transplant but you wont regret starting them early to avoid being rushed by late august or early September frosts.

Click here to access my guide about what seeds to plant in March!

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