Northern & Central Midwest

April, 2001
Regional Report

Plant Potatoes


Plant mid-season potatoes now. Cut seed potatoes into sections with at least one eye and let them dry for a couple of days. Put them in the bottom of a trench and fill it with soil as the plants begin to grow. Hill the plants and mulch them with straw to keep the soil moist.

Repot Houseplants


Check houseplants for repotting. If the plant is struggling, tap it out of the pot to check the roots. If they are tightly bound, pot the plant into a 1-inch bigger pot with drainage holes, using fresh, sterile potting soil. Water well and make sure the pot drains well. After a week, apply a dilute fertilizer.

Test Your Soil


Spring is a good time to have your soil tested. Dig some soil from several spots of the same garden, mix it in a bucket, and then put about a cup of the mixed soil in a plastic bag. Take separate samples for separate gardens and the lawn. Contact your local county extension office for details on how to have the soil tested.

Harden-Off Transplants


It's time to begin hardening-off warm-season transplants such as tomatoes and peppers in the cold frame. Move them outdoors each day for a few hours at a time until they can stay in the cold frame. As the weather warms further, gradually expose them to more wind and sun over a one-week period.


Remove Spent Bulb Flowers


Remove spent flowers from spring-flowering bulbs such as daffodils as they fade. But be sure not to remove the leaves until they begin to yellow. Bulb plants need the leaves to continue photosynthesis to replenish their bulb for next year.


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