Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

New England

April, 2001
Regional Report

Start Dahlias

Dahlia tubers that were stored indoors can be potted up now and grown indoors for a month. Starting plants now will help the dahlias flower earlier and longer into the season. Check tubers for signs of rotting, and discard those roots. Pot up healthy tubers in a soilless potting mix and keep them well watered and lightly fertilized.

Plant Pansies

Pansies and violas can be planted outdoors now in a protected spot for some early spring color. For the best show, pot up pansy transplants in a container on your deck or patio. Keep them in a sunny location, well watered, and fertilized.

Plant a Tree

Do something nice for the earth on Earth Day (April 22) and plant a tree. Dig a hole twice as wide and as deep as the rootball. Place the tree so that the top of the rootball is level with the ground and use the native soil to fill the hole. Water well and mulch with bark.

Aerate the Lawn

The soil beneath your lawn gets compacted over winter, making it difficult for air and water to reach grass roots. Aerate your lawn by renting a lawn aerator or walking on your lawn with aerating sandals. The small clumps of soil left on the lawn by the aerator will decompose naturally, helping your lawn grow strong and lush this summer. You also could spread a thin layer of compost over the lawn with a spreader so this organic matter will fall into the holes and nourish the grass.

Start Basil

If you love basil, start seeds indoors now for transplanting next month in the garden. Basil likes warm soil conditions, so don't rush them into the garden until the soil is at least 60oF. Starting seeds indoors allows you to transplant large plants and harvest your basil crop earlier.


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