Northern & Central Midwest

April, 2005
Regional Report

Divide Perennials

Get ready to divide mature perennials, either for rejuvenation or to share with friends. Wait until they are about 4 to 6 inches tall to dig the clumps and split them. Replant quickly or put in a pot with good soil until you have a place to put them in the ground.

Prepare Roses for Summer

As soon as the weather stays above about 40 degrees F, begin uncovering hybrid roses. Remove the mulch and use a hose to wash away mounded soil (using tools might injure the plants). Next year, consider putting in shrub roses; no winter protection is needed!

Acclimate Houseplants To Outdoors

Get houseplants ready to go outdoors. Prune them back and repot if necessary, and water and fertilize if necessary. Move them out for the first time on a calm, cool day. This is a good time to hose off the winter dust. Watch carefully and bring them back indoors when night temperatures fall below 45 degrees F.

Start Tomato Seeds in a Cold Frame

If you have a cold frame, consider purchasing a heating cable for it and start tomato seeds in the frame. With a little attention, you will have robust tomato transplants ready for the garden just about the same time as they show up in garden centers. Only you will have many more varieties.

Prune Raspberries

Prune back by about one fourth any raspberry canes that will produce this year's crop. Last year's fruiting canes should be cut back to ground level. Thinning this year's canes to about three to five per foot of row will make your crop more abundant and your plants healthier.

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