April Gardening: Where to Start

English Garden PotWith spring in the air, the garden calls. For some people, pre-spring gardening started in February when they planted trays of seeds indoors. For those of us who had to get to the pollen allergy stage of spring to decide to do something, it’s overwhelming when we finally get out there. It can be hard to know where to start.

Luckily, the vegetable patch can still wait a week or two, provided we go with nursery stock instead of seeds. First priority is to clean up the winter debris from our yards and nip those early weeds in the roots. Weeding and cleaning may sound like a chore, but consider that the results are immediately visible and satisfying. Research has found that certain bacteria in the soil actually act as a mood enhancer. Gardening lifts your spirits and boosts your immune system.

While you’re in high-spirits and spring-cleaning mode, now’s a good time to sharpen your tools. Once that’s accomplished, take some time to amend the soil in your vegetable patch and get it ready for those seedlings.

April’s a good time to divide any perennials. While it’s all right to cut back any dead stalks we might have missed last fall, resist the temptation to prune hedges and bushes until the leaves have started to come in. That way you don’t get several months of dead patches. Remember not to prune flowering bushes until after they’re finished with their display for the year.

Finally, take a few minutes to clean up your deck or patio. Paint or seal any wood and then bring out the patio furniture. After all what’s having a garden if you can’t sit out and enjoy it after a day’s work?

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