Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Northern & Central Midwest

April, 2004
Regional Report

Grow Your Easter Lily in the Garden

Put your Easter lily on a bright windowsill until danger of frost has passed. Select a sunny protected spot in the garden, remove the plant from its pot, and tease out the roots. Plant a little deeper than in the pot, water well, and fertilize with a bulb fertilizer.

Prepare Tomato Cages

Get your tomato cages ready now even though it's still some time before tomatoes should be planted. For sturdy, reusable cages that are inexpensive, use concrete reinforcing wire to make 2- to 3-foot-diameter tubes. Wire the ends together and pound two sturdy stakes in the ground. Slip the tube over the stakes and secure with staples, wire, or twine.

Start a Container Salad Garden

Not enough garden room? Start a salad garden in a container. Fill a large tub with potting soil and sow lettuce, onion sets, spinach, radiccio, baby carrots, nasturtiums, and pansies. As these vegetables finish, replace them with a patio tomato, small sweet peppers, an oriental eggplant, and basil.

Plant Clematis

Don't be afraid to grow clematis. Select a spot that allows the top to be in full sun and the crown and roots to be well mulched or sheltered with shrubs. Plant the clematis crown about 4 inches below the soil level. This allows it to put out new shoots if the top should succumb to clematis wilt.

Prune Woody Ground Covers

It's time to prune woody ground covers to keep them in bounds. Set the mower as high as you can (4 to 6 inches) and mow over euonymus, Gro-Low sumac, vinca, and English ivy. After spring growth, pinch out the tips of pachysandra to keep it shrubby.


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