Frost is a possibility throughout the month of April, so sprouting plants and perennials should remain covered up. As the air and soil warm up, though, there are some more tasks that can be completed in the lawn and garden, even while we endure a few more weeks of frosty mornings.
Take care of the lawn
Related: May’s gardening to-do list
If you didn’t get a chance to clear your yard of sticks and leaves in March because of the snow and cold temperatures, do so as soon as your lawn has dried out.
According to Michigan State University Extension, rake up leaves, sticks and other debris to help your lawn recover from winter. Remove blades of grass blighted by snow mold by raking lightly. This will help to restore the grass, as will warmer temperatures.
Work the soil
Your garden’s soil should be well-drained, loose, deep and crumbly. Once the soil can be worked, trees, shrubs and vines can be planted. Pick up a handful of soil and squeeze it. If it breaks apart easily, it can be worked.
For new gardens, rototilling is a viable option. It isn’t recommended to rototill your garden every year because it disturbs soil organisms as well as the soil’s balance. However, you can rototill when creating a new garden.
The University of Maryland Extension suggests adding 3 to 6 inches of organic compost or dry leaves, grass clippings and garden waste before rototilling. The soil should be fairly dry before it is rototilled.
After the soil has been turned up, you can apply fertilizer according to your soil’s needs. In the fall, cover your garden with a couple inches of compost, which will create garden-ready soil for the following spring.
Tune up the mower
Michigan State University Extension also recommends tuning up your mower. Sharpen blades, change the oil, replace or clean the spark plug and clean your mower’s air filter to ensure that it will be up and running when you need to cut the grass.
While you’re in the shed or garage getting your mower in shape, check on your gardening tools if you haven’t already. Make sure they’re ready before gardening season is in full-swing.
Sow cold-weather plants
You may have started some seeds indoors over the past month. April is prime-time to directly sow some seeds in the ground before the last frost and to transplant the seedlings you’ve started, depending on your region’s climate. For most parts of Ohio, try planting the following:
- sweet peas
- Swiss chard
Have any other spring gardening tips or questions? Let us know in the comments section.
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