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There's nothing quite as satisfying as growing (and eating!) your own vegetables. New to the 'Grow Your Own' world? Or keen to try something a little different this year?

Read on for some wonderful options you start growing right now.

What to plant in April

Courgettes are best started indoors from the beginning of April from seed. Once your young seedlings begin to appear, move into bigger pots and continue to grow them indoors until the end-of-spring frosts have passed. Courgettes are ready to harvest when they are about 10-12cm long.

Squash, like courgettes, can be a very rewarding crop to grow in your garden and produces an abundant harvest. Start to sow your squash seeds in April in a weather protected space.  Squash is fast growing so it should be ready to be moved to your grow bags or vegetable patch by late spring. When growing squash outdoors, plant at least 1.2m (48in) apart as the plants will trail across the ground. Squashes are heavy feeders and so dig in a good organic compost for nutrients. Your squash will be ready to harvest in autumn and make sure you store it at a temperature of 10-15°C.

Beetroot can be sown undercover in April and can be sown every few weeks for a continuous harvest through to autumn. If sowing the seeds outdoors wait until late April. The beetroot will poke its head above the level of the soil as they grow, so you can judge their size and pick them small if you want baby beets. Beet leaves can also be harvested for use in the same way as spinach or chard. For larger beets, leave the plants to grow for 3 months from sowing.

Runner beans are a reliable plant to grow in either your vegetable garden or they can even be grown in a container. Start sowing your runner beans seeds indoors in April or outdoors in late May or early June. The young seedlings can be planted out once the frost has disappeared, normally later in May. They will need support through canes or bamboo tepee structures if in pots or on the ground. You can harvest your runner beans from July when they reach 20cm long.

Leeks come in several varieties including early, mid-season, and late varieties. Below-Zeros F1 Hybrid and Blauwgroene Winter Bandits, Musselburgh, Autumn Giant, Pandora, and Lyon are great varieties of leeks that you can sow in April. These types can be planted throughout the warm spring and summer months, will withstand the harshest winter conditions, and can be harvested and consumed from December until May of the following year.

Peas seeds can be sown from late February to June, but April is a good month to sow peas. Sow them in a trench around 15cm wide and 3-5cm deep, spacing them around 8cm apart in rows, and in well-drained soil. When sowing dwarf varieties, insert pea sticks as you are sowing the seeds so they can climb. If your peas are tall, you will need stakes attached to netting or twine so they can climb. You won't need to feed the peas if your garden soil is healthy, however, you can feed them a liquid tomato feed once the pods begin to form.

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