Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Northern & Central Midwest

April, 2001
Regional Report

Clean Up Debris

Remove all garden debris not disposed of last fall. Garden debris is a prime spot for overwintering pests, so add it to the compost pile before the pests emerge to damage the garden. If any of the materials are diseased, it's better to send them to your city composting site than to compost them yourself.

Harden Off Plants

Begin to harden off cold-loving flowers such as primroses, pansies, English daisies, Shirley poppies, and Iceland poppies to be planted in mid-April or when the soil is ready. Plant warm-season plants such as tomatoes and eggplants in your cold frame to slowly harden them off for a May planting.

Plant Strawberries

Plant strawberries based on the type of growing system you're using--such as matted row, spaced row, or hill system. After you plant, mulch with clean straw or pine needles. Pinch off all flowers the first year to help the plants develop strong roots. Keep the area weed free.

Plant Cool-Season Veggies

After preparing the soil, plant cool-season vegetables such as asparagus, potatoes, cauliflower, carrots, turnips, cabbage, rhubarb, spinach, onions, mustard, lettuce and other greens, and radishes. Mark dates on the calendar to plan for second and third sowings of carrots, radishes, and greens so you'll have a steady supply through the early summer.

Support Grapes and Brambles

Grapes and brambles such as raspberries and blackberries should be pruned by now and should be supported on a wire trellis for best growth. Check your local extension service for information on pruning and training these plants. Proper training makes plants more productive.


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