Gardening for Earth Day
April showers bring may flowers and more! So what things can we plant in April?
We all know that there are certain plants that thrive/grow in each season. Well, maybe not all of us. That is why I am here to talk to you about different seeds that we can plant in April so they can grow and bloom in May and other months. “April showers bring May flowers,” right? Well, it is not just the showers; we actually have to plant something to be fed and nurtured by us, the rain, soil, and sun.
Not only are plants beneficial to our environment in so many ways, but it is also a good learning opportunity for your little ones. It teaches them responsibility, by having to look after and care for living things. Gardening teaches them about science and the different plant cycles, helps them to learn about sustainability and how to grow your own food, and can be a great way to put down the electronics and get outdoors for some fresh air. What better way to kick start Earth Month!
Let’s Talk a Little About Gardening
Before we get into the types of plants we can plant, I want to discuss some basic planting knowledge. Like why do we start planting indoors vs outdoors for some plants. Or what does it mean to plant after the “last frost”.
Indoor vs. Outdoor
Why is it that we start some of our plants inside versus planting them outside first? Vegetables, herbs and flowers need 2 things: Consistent moisture and steady warm temperatures. Starting your plants indoors allows you to manipulate the environment the seedlings grow in. Such as the temperature, soil moisture levels, as well as the texture of the soil and nutrient given to the soil. Some plants can be directly sown into the ground, but there is little to no control over its environment. i.e weather conditions, insects and animals. Many factors come into play when deciding where to plant first so be sure to learn about the plants or vegetables you are wanting to grow.
What is the "Last Frost"?
You will see me mention the last frost a few times in this blog post. The last frost is an estimated time frame of when the final temperatures go below freezing in the spring. This date determines when it is best to plant your seeds and when it is safe to transfer them outdoors. The last frost varies depending on location (you can find some charts based on your area), so be sure to do your research before starting your gardening.
Let’s get planting; here are a few flowers and vegetables that would be great to plant in April!
Amaranth This is a pretty interesting flower. It is a gorgeous pink flower that produces spinach-like leaves that we can eat. It is also a good source of nutrition, flour for bread, and a great source of fiber. The tallest Amaranth flower was in the Guinness Book of World Records and grew to 27 ft and 10 inches! How awesome is that?! Something fun to look at and tasty to eat. It is best to start planting this flower indoors and then transfer it outdoors when the weather is no longer cold.
Sunflowers are up next. We all love sunflowers right? Sunflowers produce the tasty sunflower seeds that we eat. You can also replant the seeds to grow more sunflowers the next year. These can be started inside this month as well and planted in the garden once it is warm. There are different types of sunflowers that produce different heights. Some sunflowers can grow as small as a foot and as tall as 14ft! (if you are planting at home with limited space, I would definitely go for the smaller ones).
Bell Peppers Yes, we had to throw some vegetables in the mix. This is a super fun vegetable that has a variety of colors and is a great source of vitamin C. Bell peppers can be planted 8 to 10 weeks before the final frost date and once it’s nice and warm, transferred to your vegetable garden. Unfortunately, they take quite a bit of time to grow and typically show around the end of September. I will say it is worth the wait and you will have a good source of vitamin C for the colder months to help keep your immune system nice and strong!
And lastly, one of my favorite vegetables (known as tiny trees in some households).
Broccoli Did you know that broccoli contains a great amount of potassium, Vitamin C, and Fiber? Broccoli is one of the easier vegetables to grow. These can be started indoors as well and then after about 3-4 weeks of growth gradually exposed to the sun (recommended for about an hour each day) so that your broccoli can get used to the change in climate (from indoors to outdoors). Two weeks after the last frost they can be planted in your vegetable garden!
I am pretty novice when it comes to planting, but there is a super awesome author and content creator named Armen Adamjan who goes into detail about different fun and cool ways to plant many different things, and because this is Earth Month he is the perfect guy for the job. All of his content is based around upcycling, not throwing away your scrap foods and more. If you would like to learn more, check out his Instagram.
He also has 2 books out showing you how to grow fruits and veggies from things we would typically scrap!
Here’s a couple of other fun books from the Lulu bookstore for you and your little ones:
Gardening creates space for us to learn and connect with the environment. It also provides many benefits that you may not even realize, from the air that we breathe and to our overall mental and nutritional health. Hopefully, learning about these plants will encourage you to get outdoors and get to planting (well once you’ve grown the seedlings indoors of course!)