Zone Four Gardening: 36 Plants Perfect for Growing in Your Zone

Are you trying to decide which fruits and vegetables should you plant in your garden this year?

Not feeling overly confident that anything will do well in your planting zone?

If you’re located in planting zone four, you’re in luck. I’m going to bring you a list of fruits and vegetables which should grow well in your area.

Also, I’m going to give you a few basic gardening tips to help you find greater success in your garden this year.

Curious what will grow well in your area and how to get items to grow better in your area? Here’s what you must know:

Zone Four Gardening Tips

The best thing you should know when gardening in planting zone four, beyond fertilizing and watering skills, is how to give yourself a longer growing season.

Since this is still a relatively cold area, your growing season isn’t as long as other places. Therefore, you must find ways to give your fruits and vegetables the necessary time they need to produce.

Your first option is to construct a greenhouse. If you choose a cold-frame style greenhouse, this will give you the opportunity to begin growing items early and protect them from the frost to help them have a longer period for harvest.

However, if you choose to go with a heated greenhouse, this would allow you to produce certain vegetables year-round.

You could even choose to grow dwarf fruit trees as part of your container garden and move them in and out of a heated greenhouse as the weather permits if you choose to grow fruit trees which wouldn’t normally do well in your area.

The next option is to use raised garden beds. These beds will thaw faster than the earth around them, and they’re easier to work with.

Raised garden beds make life easier on your back and also give you a smaller area to work with which makes amending your soil and thawing the soil a little easier too.

Also, however you choose to grow a garden, plant either north to south or south to north. This will give the plants the maximum amount of sunlight during the day. This is important when you grow in a colder climate.

Lastly, whether you use a greenhouse or not, remember to start your seeds indoors to give them time to germinate and sprout prior to planting. This will give your crops a head start whenever possible.

This will allow you to transplant seedlings, which can give you a month or more of grow-time which won’t have to be accounted for outdoors.

Fruits and Vegetables to Grow in Zone Four

There are a variety of fruits and vegetables which will grow well in zone four throughout the growing season. Here are the plants you should consider for zone four gardening:

1. Cherries

cherry treecherry tree

via Art and Arts

If you have a cherry tree in your yard, you know what a gorgeous addition they are to any landscaping design.

But they also produce delicious cherries which are great for making cherry jam, cherry pies, and also for easy snacking.

2. Apples

We have multiple apple trees in our yard. They’re also a nice addition to our landscape, but they produce an abundance of delicious apples too.

If you enjoy apple pies, fresh applesauce, or a crisp apple as an afternoon snack, you should consider growing your own apple trees. Keep in mind, they take approximately three to five years to begin producing.

3. Blueberries

When we moved to our new property, there was an abundance of blueberry bushes already established. They’re gorgeous to see in the side yard, but they also produce a bountiful harvest.

Picking blueberries can be a tedious task during harvest season, but it’s a great problem to have. If you’re a fan of blueberry syrup or fresh blueberry pie, consider growing your own blueberries.

4. Cantaloupe

Cantaloupe is a delicious melon variety which is made mainly of water. Therefore, realize when you plant cantaloupe, the more you water and care for them the larger the melons are.

Also, cantaloupe is produced on a vine. This should be taken into consideration if growing in a raised bed. You may want to consider adding a trellis to keep the vine under control.

5. Grapes

Another wonderful addition to our property is a gorgeous vineyard filled with a variety of grapes. Though grapes take a few years to begin producing, they’re easy plants to care for.

Also, they make delicious wine, grape juice, and jelly. If you enjoy any of these items, it may be worth investing your efforts into growing grapes.

6. Pears

If you’re looking for other edible landscaping ideas, consider growing a pear tree. There are different varieties of pear trees (some which are only decorative and some which are edible.)

Be sure to do your research before investing in any pear tree variety and realize they do take time before they begin producing as well.

7. Plums

You guessed it, I have a couple of plum trees in my front yard too. They’re pretty little trees and produce an abundant harvest.

If you enjoy plums to snack on, to make pudding out of, or to make jams or jellies, you may be interested in growing them yourself.

8. Raspberries

Raspberries

Raspberries

Raspberries are sometimes overlooked when growing a berry patch because they have a tarter flavor to them than other berry varieties.

However, if you don’t mind a lip-puckering fruit in your garden, this could be a great option for you to grow in zone four.

9. Strawberries

If you’re looking for a versatile fruit which will come back stronger with each passing year, you should consider strawberries.

They can be grown in containers, in the ground, or in raised beds. If you choose a perennial variety and cover them with mulch at the end of each season, they should be waiting for you after the spring thaw.

10. Watermelons

If you’re working with limited space, watermelons may not be the best option for you. Yet, if you have a corner of your yard you’d like to avoid mowing this summer, consider planting watermelons and letting them run.

Because they grow on a vine, they like to sprawl out. Keep in mind, they also come in smaller varieties. You could match a smaller variety with a trellis and still raise them in a raised bed, but it would take up valuable growing space.

11. Turnips

Turnips have a very distinct flavor to them. In my experience, you either love them or hate them. Whether you grow turnips for the actual turnip, or you only like the greens, it’s still a great vegetable to grow.

In my case, I only like the greens. Therefore, I harvest a great deal of greens, can them, and feed the turnips to my chickens.

12. Corn

You may assume you must have a large area to grow corn. This may be true if you’re looking to preserve corn.

However, if you only want a few ears to nibble on during the warmer months, you can grow corn in containers. It could be a great fit for someone who has a larger greenhouse in zone four, or you could add them to a small container garden.

13. Chives

Chives have become one of my favorite herbs because of how hardy they are. If you enjoy using chives as a garnish to soups and other dishes, you must consider raising it.

In my experience, if you properly mulch your chives, they return bountifully in the spring. If for some reason this doesn’t work out for you, chives are easy to grow in containers, and they can be moved around to be protected from the elements.

14. Pumpkins

I enjoy growing pumpkins because they’re good for many things. You can have pumpkins for making pumpkin puree or pumpkin pie.

Pumpkins can be sold or used as decorations during fall. You can make your own Jack-o-lanterns for a fun experience.

15. Spinach

Spinach

Spinach

Living in a cold area, you may not realize how spinach could be such a vital part of your garden. In all actuality, spinach is extremely hardy.

Therefore, you should seriously consider adding spinach to your mix this year. It can be grown in a greenhouse, in the garden, or in containers.

16. Tomatoes

When living in colder climates, you may assume tomatoes are off the table for you, but they aren’t. If you start the seeds indoors, they should have plenty of time to grow and produce in your garden.

If a cold snap hits, be sure you have a way to protect the tomatoes from frost, such as a greenhouse. You could also use a row cover for fast protection too.

17. Peppers

Peppers fall into the same thought process as tomatoes when most gardeners consider raising them in a colder climate.

Again, as long as you start the seeds indoors a few months prior to planting, they should have plenty of time before the frost to produce a bountiful harvest.

18. Eggplant

eggplant

eggplant

Eggplant goes along with tomatoes and peppers. They require warmer temperatures to grow and produce a nice harvest.

Therefore, the seeds must be started indoors a few months before the frost ends. When the threat of frost has passed, you should be safe to move them outdoors.

19. Garlic

If you have a small raised bed you could give to growing garlic, you should have enough to store and use throughout the year.

Garlic is easy to grow because it prefers to be left alone while it grows. As long as your soil is thawed enough to plant and has the proper nutrients, you should be good to go.

20. Radishes

Radishes are a wonderful plant to grow in a cooler climate. They’re a root vegetable and are therefore protected from the elements underground.

Plus, they require only 45 days to go from seed to harvest. They can be grown well in containers or in a greenhouse too.

21. Arugula

The first time I planted arugula it was by accident. It was the best mistake of my gardening life, as far as I’m concerned.

Arugula is a great addition to a salad mix. It grows easily, is hardy, and adds a nice peppery flavor to the traditional salad.

22. Celery

If you live in a cold climate, consider yourself fortunate when it comes to celery. Many people realize they can’t grow celery in their area because it becomes too warm.

By living in a cold climate, you should have a greater chance at success with celery.

23. Zucchini

zucchini-squash

zucchini-squash

I love growing zucchini and squash. It’s because you can plant only one or two plants and have enough zucchini and squash to feed an army.

If you’re needing hardy plants which will give you an abundant harvest, add this option to your list. They can be grown well in containers which is great for moving them in and out of a greenhouse as needed.

24. Potatoes

Vegetables grown beneath the ground are great options for colder climates. They miss some of the harsh elements because of being insulated by the soil.

Therefore, consider planting potatoes in zone four. You can plant only a few seed potatoes and end up with a great harvest which can be easily stored in a root cellar or a make-shift root cellar.

25. Sweet Potatoes

The great thing about producing your own vegetables is you can decide which vegetables you grow and why.

Sweet potatoes should be added to your list because they’re full of vitamins and nutrients your body will gladly take. They’re also tasty!

26. Carrots

Carrots are another root vegetable option which is great for growing in a colder climate. They can even be overwintered in the garden under mulch and protected by the soil.

You can also harvest them and store them in your root cellar. When growing carrots, they’re a wonderful option for raised beds and container gardens as well.

27. Parsnips

Parsnips are a close relative to carrots. They’re a wonderful addition to zone four gardening for this reason.

Therefore, they’ll grow well in containers or raised beds, are well protected by the soil as root vegetables, and can even be overwintered in your garden with a thorough layer of mulch.

28. Onions

Are you looking for an easy vegetable to grow underneath your feet? Onions could be what you need.

You can start them from seed before the ground thaws, transplant when the soil is workable, and fertilize as needed until harvest. They’re easy to grow and store for later use.

29. Cabbage

If you’re looking for a versatile vegetable, consider cabbage. It’s able to handle cooler weather because this will help keep the bugs at bay.

But once it’s been harvested, you can use cabbage in a variety of ways such as coleslaw, in cooked recipes, or even fermented which will produce sauerkraut.

30. Broccoli

Broccoli

Broccoli

Broccoli is another vegetable which enjoys cold weather. The only thing to consider with broccoli is you must plant a decent amount to get much of a harvest.

Though there are multiple parts of the broccoli head which can be harvested to make it go further, it requires a good deal of work for the amount of product you receive.

31. Brussels Sprouts

When your mind goes to Brussels sprouts, you might face children sticking their noses up at them because they’ve been overcooked.

In reality, there’s a variety of delicious recipes using Brussels sprouts. They’re also a cold-friendly vegetable making them perfect to be grown in zone four.

32. Beets

Beets, in my mind, are like turnips. You either love them or you don’t. My husband adores beets but only when they’ve been pickled.

I don’t mind pickling them for him because they’re easy to grow. They’re hardy in cold temperatures because they’re a root vegetable and protected by the earth around it. If you’re looking for a durable vegetable to easily grow, beets could be what you’ve been searching for.

33. Beans

I love raising beans. They handle the colder temperatures well, and they also give you a humdinger of a harvest from few plants.

Whether you’re growing a traditional style garden, a container garden, or a raised bed garden you can grow a few bean plants and have a quality harvest from them.

34. Peas

via holypine.com

Peas are delicious, but they’re much like broccoli in my mind. You must plant a large quantity to get a decent harvest.

If this doesn’t deter you from planting fresh peas, go for it! They produce well in a cold climate but will require a reasonable amount of space.

35. Cucumbers

If you enjoy cucumbers in your fresh salads, cucumber sandwiches, or homemade pickles, you must consider growing your own cucumbers.

They’re a variety of options which make them a great choice for any size garden. Also, you don’t need many plants because each plant provides a bountiful harvest.

36. Asparagus

The last vegetable which grows well in zone four is asparagus. Though it takes some time for asparagus to begin producing, it’s a great addition to your property.

You can make asparagus beds and have a nice harvest for years to come. It’s easy to grow and great for you too.

If you stick with this list, you should have a full garden. The great news is much of the vegetables mentioned are perennials.

Though this may take some time before you get a harvest from them, with a little care, they should come back to produce year after year.

Hopefully, you’ll find a few items here you’ll enjoy and will grow for years to come, and we hope the zone four gardening tips will help you have greater success in your area with gardening as well.

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