National Gardening Month: April To-Dos

As the weather begins to get warmer here in north central Indiana, it’s hard to fight the temptation to get an early start in the garden. It’s important to remember, however, that there’s a right time and place for every action in the garden. Some plants can tolerate the cooler temperatures of the season and even some light frost, while others will not survive being put out too early.

There are lots of resources to help guide you through the whens and whys of gardening. Two of my favorite sources for info on the web are the Chicago Botanical Garden and the Missouri Botanical Gardens, and they are both fantastic places to visit in person. Each source has specific checklists and tips for the month here and here.

Another great source for the Midwest gardener is Possum in the Pawpaw Tree by B. Rosie Lerner and Beverly S. Netzhammer. Here are some of their tips, condensed, for April:

  • Apply to fertilizer to many houseplants. Follow recommendations for your specific plants and on the fertilizer label.
  • Finish any clean up in the yard and flower beds.
  • Complete pruning of woody plants, trees, and shrubs.
  • Plant a tree for Arbor Day (April 28, 2017).
  • Leave foliage on spring bulbs even after the flowers are gone so they can continue to collect energy for next year.
  • Prune grape vines and plant strawberries, raspberries, and other small fruit.
  • Plant seeds of cool-season crops — like peas, lettuce, beets, and Swiss chard — directly in the soil.
  • Plant transplants of other cool-season crops — like broccoli, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts.

Enjoy your time outside!




  1. If it ever stops raining long enough! I’m near Muncie, and it’s still too wet to do much of anything, even in raised beds. The peas, snow peas, radishes, garlic, shallots, cilantro, and onion sets are up but haven’t been able to get back in to sow next round (beets, carrots, spinach, arugula, and lots more peas) Forecast: rain tonight and tomorrow! 😦

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