April is a pivotal time for gardening, as it's the ideal time to plant fruit and vegetables for harvesting in summer. If you missed the chance to plant in March, here are the fruits and vegetables you need to sow in early April to avoid late harvests.
To start with, it's important to prepare your soil before planting anything. Weed your soil and feed it with fertiliser to keep it healthy. Then you can start planting the fruit and vegetables you want. If you need equipment for this new gardening season, don't hesitate to visit the Gamm Vert website.
Carrots can be planted as early as the beginning of April, as they are resistant to cold and late frosts. However, if you wait too long, they will have trouble developing because of the heat and drought.
Lettuce is a vegetable that can be harvested from May to November. If you want fresh lettuces before the summer, plant them in early April. It takes around seven to ten days for the seeds to germinate, and then five to eight weeks to harvest the first lettuces.
You can also plant strawberry plants, particularly remontant varieties such as Mara des Bois or Vivarosa, for sweet fruit as early as this summer. Plant them in soil enriched with plenty of compost, water them two or three times a week, and the strawberries should appear 60 days after planting.
Onions can be planted from late February to early April and are harvested in summer. For a successful harvest, onion bulbs should be planted 10 to 15 centimetres apart. Plant each bulb 3 centimetres deep, with the tip facing upwards.
Potatoes can also be planted in April in most parts of France for harvesting before summer. However, wait for the soil to warm up and temperatures to reach 10 degrees before planting.
Asparagus is harvested in May and should be planted in very moist soil in early April.
Aromatic herbs such as mint, chives and tarragon can also be planted at this time, as they are resistant to the still cool temperatures.
If you want to grow medicinal plants to treat everyday ailments, don't hesitate to sow them in April. These plants are easy to grow and require little maintenance. You can plant them in pots or in the ground to enjoy their benefits all year round.
There are many aromatic plants to soothe headaches, stomach aches, fatigue or skin problems.
Chamomile is a charming plant that blooms throughout the summer, producing pretty daisy-like flowers. As well as beautifying your garden, it has gentle, soothing properties that are ideal for promoting sleep and reducing stress and anxiety.
Mint, known for its refreshing scent, has digestive properties, as it can relieve nausea and stomach ache. It can be drunk as an herbal tea in cases of poor digestion, bloating or fatigue. It is also effective for relieving headaches, such as migraines and menstrual pain.
Lavender is a plant renowned for its fragrance and its soothing, relaxing properties, ideal for reducing anxiety and promoting sleep. It has antiseptic and healing properties when prepared as an essential oil. It can also be applied directly to damaged skin with compresses. As an herbal tea, lavender aids digestion and soothes stomach aches and headaches.
Although its stinging hairs inflict severe pain when touched, nettle has many health benefits. It stimulates the immune system, helping us to fight allergies and joint and muscle pain. It also treats skin problems such as acne and eczema. This easy-to-grow plant thrives in any soil, regardless of exposure. You can also make a natural fertiliser from nettle manure.
As well as brightening up our gardens with its colourful flowers, marigold is a plant used in the pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries for its healing properties. Marigold is an excellent anti-inflammatory, helping to repair skin lesions and soothe irritations when its fresh leaves are used as a poultice.
Plantain has two main properties: it protects the skin and relieves coughs. For example, plantain leaves can be rubbed into the skin to relieve mosquito bites. This plant calms skin irritations and rashes. It can also relieve coughs and colds by thinning bronchial secretions. In herbal tea, it soothes the throat thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties.
Lemon balm has a sweet lemony scent that emanates from its leaves. It is an excellent digestive plant, promoting the secretion of gastric juices and reducing intestinal gas. Very easy to grow, it thrives everywhere, whether in the sun or semi-shade.
In addition to its culinary uses, sage is known for its antiperspirant and anti-inflammatory properties. It is also beneficial for digestion, relieving abdominal pain caused by poor digestion. This easy-care plant loves the sun and can be grown in pots. This article is devoted to the benefits of sage.
Oregano is a medicinal plant with many benefits for the body. Its essential oil is used to treat respiratory tract infections such as tonsillitis, rhinitis, sinusitis and otitis. As an infusion, this plant helps to clear bronchial tubes and soothe coughs. Finally, it is also beneficial for the skin and can be used in a bath.
Seasonal and local vegetables in April
Asparagus, a perennial plant, has many benefits similar to those of vegetables. Rich in fibre and vitamins B9 and K, it helps to improve digestive well-being by promoting drainage and the elimination of toxins by the kidneys. It would be a shame to go without them.
The button mushroom is a delicious food that can be enjoyed all year round for its woody flavour. Although it is not a vegetable, it has many benefits for the body. Rich in water, fibre, vitamins B and D, it strengthens our bones and immunity.
If you suffer from intestinal problems, consider eating watercress. This April vegetable is rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. It stimulates intestinal transit, protects the bones and helps combat cardiovascular disease and certain cancers.
Endive, a seasonal vegetable in April, is a spring classic. Rich in minerals, trace elements and vitamin B9, it has many beneficial properties for the body. Among other things, it improves digestion, regulates intestinal transit and lowers cholesterol levels.
Spinach is famous for being rich in iron, vitamins A, B9, C, K and minerals. This vegetable, popularised thanks to the Popeye character, reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and certain cancers, and combats eyesight problems.
Frisée and lettuce
April's seasonal vegetables, frisée and lettuce, are rich in minerals, carotenes and vitamins. Regular consumption of these vegetables helps to preserve the liver thanks to their purifying and digestive action.
In April, the turnip is the vegetable of the season, rich in minerals, fibre and vitamins C and B. It is particularly recommended for people suffering from intestinal problems such as bloating, gas or heartburn.
Onions are rich in antioxidants, helping to lower cholesterol levels and prevent cardiovascular disease and certain cancers. What's more, onion peelings can be reused to reduce food waste.
Peas are rich in fibre and are a valuable ally in stimulating intestinal transit and combating constipation. They are also an excellent source of antioxidants.
Leeks are a healthy vegetable, rich in fibre, vitamins and minerals. As a natural diuretic, it helps eliminate toxins through the urinary tract. What's more, it can help reduce blood pressure, which helps protect the heart against cardiovascular disease.
Although often considered a starch rather than a vegetable, the potato is packed with nutrients that are essential for good health. They are rich in vitamins, antioxidants, fibre and carbohydrates, which provide our bodies with the energy they need to stay healthy.
The radish, with its slightly pungent taste, is a vegetable rich in organic vegetable sulphur, which stimulates digestion and may protect against certain cancers. So it's a valuable food to include in our diet.
Seasonal and local fruit from April
Grapefruit has many health benefits. Its juice, for example, is rich in vitamin C and antioxidants, while its seeds have a stimulating effect on the immune system. It's an excellent choice for recharging your batteries and stimulating your body.
Apples are powerful antioxidants that can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity and cancer. However, it is important to choose organic apples to avoid pesticides.
Rhubarb is considered a stem vegetable, although it is often eaten as a dessert. Like peas, it is beneficial for digestion and can help combat constipation. It is also known for its liver-draining properties and for reducing the risk of infection in the body.