Monthly Garden Calendar for Northeastern United States

Organic Gardening Month-to-Month Almanac

By Amy Goldman

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APRIL
Spring couldn't be more welcome. It's a pleasure to see the snow recede and patches of earth and lawn reappear, even though it's looking a bit scruffier than usual. Mounds of debris, almost like mini terminal moraines, left by glaciers, sit deposited along my driveway. An overzealous snowplow was the culprit, of course, leaving no stone unturned. Despite all the hassle of clean up, I wouldn't trade my gravel drive for a paved one. Gravel says country, not suburbia; slow down, and kick up a little dust.

Ditch the Debris. Get an aerobic workout by raking away winter debris.

Seed Starting. Start seeds of warm-season vegetables like peppers, eggplant, and tomatoes the first week in April. These will be ready for transplant into the garden in late May. Start seeds of herbs, such as dill, parsley and basil, inside through the end of the month, as well as flowers like zinnias and marigolds.

Save Your Soil. Prepare your garden soil once it has dried out and crumbles easily in your hand. Till in green manure crops that have wintered over.

Seed Savvy. Direct seed into the garden cool season vegetables and flowers including carrots, beets, peas, parsnips, foxgloves, and hollyhocks. Set out hardy seedlings such as onions, cabbage, leafy greens, pansies and snapdragons. Harden them off for a day or two by leaving them out in a protected area.

Potato Preparation. Pre-sprout potatoes two weeks in advance of setting them out in the garden to give them a head start.

Dig In. Dig, divide and transplant perennials, like asters, that bloom in summer or fall.

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