Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

New England

April, 2009
Regional Report

Celebrate Arbor Day

Plan to plant a tree in celebration of Arbor Day. Consider wildlife-friendly trees and shrubs. Fruiting plants, such as crabapple, serviceberry, mountain ash, and viburnum, will attract birds; honeysuckle will draw hummingbirds.

Be Patient

Although some plants may have succumbed to winter's cold, be patient before digging up and replacing perennials. Some plants sprout much later than others. Wait for shrubs to leaf out, then prune away winter-damaged twigs.

Remove Mulch

Remove protective mulches from perennial beds, taking care not to injure young sprouts. Prune away last year's growth and gently rake out beds, and remove organic debris to the compost pile. Wait to apply decorative mulch until plants are up and growing strong.

Help Protect Iris from Borers

Iris borers are the larvae of certain moths, and they can destroy iris plantings. The moths lay eggs in the fall in dead flower stalks, and the eggs hatch in the spring. The young larvae bore down to the rhizome, introducing bacteria that cause a soft rot. To remove these overwintering iris borer eggs, remove old iris foliage now and dispose of it.

Tend Garlic

Remove mulch from fall-planted garlic. If you didn't get around to planting last fall, plan to plant some this spring -- but vow to remember to plant garlic this coming fall, since fall-planted garlic provides a bigger, better harvest.


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