Monthly Garden Calendar for Midwest United States

Organic Gardening Month-to-Month Almanac

By Paul Rodman

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APRIL

"The world is mud-luscious and puddle wonderful"— E.E. Cummings, American poet

Prepare to Prune. Cut back butterfly bushes (buddleia) to six inches above the soil line. The branches of butterfly bushes make excellent plants supports and or row markers. They are very straight.

Cover Up Bald Spots. Rake debris from the lawn, over seed any bare spots or thin areas.

Support Your Plants. Place growth supports next to top-heavy plants such as peonies and dahlias.

Move Over, Mulch. Remove winter mulches from plants as temperatures rise and from strawberries, but keep it close by in case of a late frost.

Oil Check. Spray shrubs with dormant oil spray to control insects and scale that survived the winter.

Happy Arbor Day! Arbor Day is celebrated this month. Go to The National Arbor Day Foundation to determine on what day you state celebrates this event. Plant a tree or better yet get some kids involved and plant a tree at a school or park

Shake Up Your Compost. Give your compost pile a good mixing. I like to use my mini-tiller for this task.

A Use for Lint? Place clothes dryer lint and short pieces of string on trees and shrubs to aid birds in their nest building.

Don't Forget to Deadhead. Deadhead spring flowering bulbs as blooms fade. Leave foliage until it turns yellow or brown.

Cool Crucifers. Continue to plant cool season crops such as cabbage, collards, chard, carrots, broccoli and lettuce.

Fertilize Organically. Fertilize woody ornamentals with a good organic fertilizer.

Heard It Through The Grapevine. Prune grape vines, remove dead or weakened vines as necessary. Repair arbors or another supports as needed.

Plant Bare Root Roses This Month. When planting, place a handful of bone meal in the hole. Mound the soil up around the plant up to one inch of the top. Remove the soil as new growth appears. In addition to roses, onion sets, lettuce and spinach may be directly seeded into the garden during the month of April.

Take moment to enjoy your garden as it emerges from its long winter nap.

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