May 21, 2024

Cross items off your gardening checklist in April

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — April is the perfect time to get to work on your home garden.

Rosie Lerner, retired Purdue Extension consumer horticulture specialist, shared a list of things to do in April:

• Plant seeds of cool-season crops directly in the garden as soon as the soil dries enough to be worked. When squeezed, soil should crumble instead of forming a ball. Cool-season crops that can be direct-seeded include peas, lettuce, spinach, carrots, beets, turnips, parsnips and Swiss chard.

• Plant transplants of cool-season crops, such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi and onions.

• Plant or transplant asparagus and rhubarb crowns. For best plant establishment, do not harvest until the third year after planting.

• Plant sections of certified, disease-free potato “seed” tubers.

• Allow the foliage of spring-flowering bulbs to remain in place after blooms fade. Leaves manufacture the food reserves, which are then stored in the bulb for a repeat showing next year.

• Plant hardy perennials, such as daylilies and delphiniums.

• Start tuberous begonias and caladiums indoors for transplanting to garden later.

• Remove winter mulch from strawberries, but keep mulch handy in case late frosts are predicted and to help keep weeds under control.

• Plant or transplant strawberries, raspberries and other small fruit.

• Prune grape vines to remove dead or weakened limbs and to thin as needed.

• Repair support trellises as needed.

Erica Quinlan

Erica Quinlan

Field Editor