April, 2014
Regional Report

Boost Houseplants

Houseplants respond to the longer days of spring just as outdoor plants do -- they kick into growth. Pinch or trim back leggy specimens to encourage branching, repot those that have outgrown their quarters (use a slightly larger pot, or trim and root prune and replant in the same size pot). Return to routine fertilizing if you haven't already.

Spice Things Up

Spice up your life and savor the garden with all your senses by planting some herbs either in the garden or in containers where you can enjoy them up close. Culinary herbs, such as basil, parsley, chives, and thyme, are easy to grow. Rosemary, lavender, and many tender herbs, such as lemon grass and pineapple sage, are also rewarding.

Think Summer

The rush to garden centers in spring reveals all the most popular spring-blooming shrubs, such as forsythia and lilac. But don't forget the summer bloomers, among them rose of Sharon, caryopteris, summersweet (Clethra), and hydrangeas. Save space to plant summer bloomers so you can enjoy flowering shrubs all season long.

Choose Spring-Blooming Trees

Some of our most familiar and cherished flowering trees bloom during the spring. Dogwood, redbud, ornamental cherry, crabapple, pear, plum, and magnolia trees wow us with their floral displays. Before you plant one, research its mature size and understand its growing requirements to assure it will thrive and bloom its best for you year after year.

Don't Plant Tomatoes Too Early

Tomato plants love warm weather, thrive in rich, warm soil kept evenly moist, and require full sun. Planting tomato transplants in the garden too early can be a false start. They may become shocked or stunted due to frosty nights, raw windy days, and cold soil. Plant them when you are certain all danger of frost is past and the soil has warmed.

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