Vegetable and Herb Seeds to Sow in Michigan in April

We made it.

For most of us in Michigan, winter is finally over and we can solidly set our sights on the spring and summer garden. While some of us in the coldest zones may still have a snowbank or two lining the driveway or covering the garden, there are still seeds to be sown.

Image by congerdesign from Pixabay 

Here’s your zone-by-zone list of which seeds you can sow in April in Michigan, with a look forward so you’ll know what to have on hand for next month’s sowing.

Note: these are the dates for sowing seeds indoors or in a greenhouse. Plant most seedlings outdoors after your last frost date, but be sure to keep an eye on the weather, because we all know how unpredictable Michigan weather can be! If snow or frost is in the forecast, put your planting off for a day or two. Also be sure to start hardening your seedlings off a couple of weeks before you plant them out in the garden.

Michigan Zone 3 (Average Last Frost Date: June 15th)

This area includes a large swath of the western upper peninsula and a few small inland areas of the northern lower peninsula.

Vegetables/Herbs to Sow in April:

  • Artichokes {last week of April}
  • Beets {late April}
  • Broccoli {late April – early May}
  • Cabbage {early April – early May}
  • Cauliflower {late April – early May}
  • Celery/Celeriac {first half of April}
  • Collards {early – mid April}
  • Eggplant {late April – early May}
  • Kale {early – late April}
  • Kohlrabi {early -mid April}
  • Leeks {first week of April}
  • Lettuce {mid – late April}
  • Mustard {early – mid April}
  • Peas {as soon as the soil is soft enough that you can sow them outdoors, likely toward the end of the month}
  • Spinach {early – late April}
  • Swiss chard {late April – early May}
  • Tomatoes {late April – mid May}

Michigan Zone 4 (Average Last Frost Date: June 1st)

This includes most of the northern lower peninsula and the eastern side of the upper peninsula.

Vegetables/Herbs to Sow in April:

  • Artichokes {first week of April}
  • Basil {last week of April}
  • Beets {early – mid April}
  • Broccoli {early – mid April}
  • Cabbage {early – late April}
  • Cauliflower {early – late April}
  • Collards {first week of April}
  • Eggplant {early – mid April}
  • Kale {first week of April}
  • Kohlrabi {first week of April}
  • Lettuce {early – mid April}
  • Mustard {first week of April}
  • Peas {as soon as the soil is soft enough that you can sow them outdoors}
  • Peppers {mid-April}
  • Spinach {early – mid April}
  • Swiss chard {early – mid April}
  • Tomatoes {mid April – early May}

Michigan Zone 5 (Average Last Frost Date: May 15th)

This area includes almost all of the southern lower peninsula and the west coast of the lower peninsula.

Vegetables/Herbs to Sow in April:

  • Basil {early – mid April}
  • Cabbage {first half of April}
  • Cauliflower {first half of April}
  • Corn {mid April – mid May}
  • Cucumber {late April – early May}
  • Eggplant {first week of April}
  • Okra {mid April – mid May}
  • Peppers {mid March – very early April}
  • Tomatoes {late March – mid April}

Michigan Zone 6 (Average Last Frost Date: May 1st)

A very small area of Michigan is Zone 6. If you live near Detroit or the southern west coast of the lower peninsula, this is your zone.

Vegetables/Herbs to Sow in April:

  • Corn {early April – early May}
  • Cucumber {mid – late April}
  • Melons {mid – late April}
  • Okra {early April – end of April}
  • Pumpkins {mid – late April}
  • Squash {mid – late April}
  • Tomatoes {March – very early April}
  • Watermelon {mid – late April}

I hope this list is helpful for you, and I hope you’re as excited as I am to get my garden going. If you don’t have space indoors, many of these herbs and veggies can be sown directly into the garden after your soil has warmed and danger of frost has passed. Basil, corn, cucumbers, melons, lettuce, kale, kohlrabi, squash — all of them can be sown right into your garden soil and it works fine, though those of us who have shorter growing seasons may have to get creative with season extenders if we’re direct-sowing. And, often, the seeds that you sow directly into the garden end up being hardier overall, because they don’t have to go through the process of hardening off, transplanting, and acclimating to a new area. So don’t despair if you have to direct sow — other than peppers, eggplants, tomatoes, and some of the more finicky annuals, we can direct sow most annual herbs and veggies just fine here in Michigan.

Happy gardening! If you have any questions, feel free to drop them in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer. Thanks for reading!

Originally posted in 2015, updated 2020.