Michigan Planting In April – Plants For Early Spring Gardens

Gardener Planting In The Early Spring Garden
(Image credit: AlexRaths)

In much of Michigan, April is when we really start to feel like spring has arrived. Buds are out on trees, bulbs have emerged from the ground, and early flowers are in bloom. The soil is warming up and there are plenty of plants for early spring gardens to start now. 

Michigan Gardening in April 

Michigan covers USDA zones 4 through 6, so there is some variation in when and how to start gardening this month. Here is a tip for determining if the soil is ready for planting. Take a handful and squeeze it. If it crumbles, then you’re good to go. 

Once your soil is ready, you can start with some preparatory work. Consider getting a soil test, for instance. If you haven’t done this before, contact your county’s extension office to find out how you can get a test to determine pH and any mineral deficiencies. Based on recommendations, April is a great time do some specific fertilizing. 

In addition to fertilizing, turn the soil and break it up so it’s ready to take transplants or seeds. If the soil is too wet, wait until it dries out. Turning wet soil destroys the structure and interferes with the supportive microbiome. 

What to Plant in April in Michigan 

Michigan planting in April begins with some cool weather plants. You may be starting seeds inside right now for flowers or vegetables that thrive in the summer months, but there are plenty of things you can plant outside as early as April. 

Zone 6:

Zones 4 and 5 (mid to late April):

  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Carrots
  • Kale
  • Onions
  • Peas
  • Peppers
  • Spinach

Transplants of seeds you started indoors can also go outside in most places in Michigan in April. Just be aware of frosts and use row covers if needed. In April you can generally transplant: 

Mary Ellen Ellis

Mary Ellen Ellis has been gardening for over 20 years. With degrees in Chemistry and Biology, Mary Ellen's specialties are flowers, native plants, and herbs.