Mid-Atlantic

April, 2005
Regional Report

Plant Perennials

Assuming the ground is not too wet to work, many perennials can be planted, divided, and transplanted now. Early planting allows more time for their roots to become established before the hot summer weather sets in.

Top-Dress

Spring is a great time to top-dress the garden with a layer of good quality compost. A 1/4-inch-deep layer will benefit the soil and plants, and more of this precious material is even better. Some lucky gardeners have enough to use it as mulch!

Stop Weeds

Weed seeds germinate and seedlings grow fast in the wet spring weather. To slow them, scuffle the soil surface with a sharp hoe to cut them off short and disturb germinating seeds, then layer on several inches of organic mulch to smother them.

Prepare Soil Before Sodding

To succeed with sod, prepare the soil to encourage healthy root growth: Eliminate existing weeds, loosen the soil, and add organic matter. If indicated by soil tests, add lime or fertilizer. With good preparation and good aftercare, your sod should take hold quickly.

Plant Veggies

Plant early-season veggies in the garden: seed peas, radishes, carrots, lettuce, and spinach. Set out transplants of fennel, cabbage, and broccoli; also plant cold-tolerant annual and biennial herbs, such as parsley and dill, and set out asparagus crowns and rhubarb plants.

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