T.S. Eliot opined: “April is the cruelest month, breeding Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing memory and desire, stirring dull roots with spring rain.”
certainly occasionally cruel, April has a gentle side as well, tempering thunderstorms and late frosts with soft rains and sunny warm days that coerce you outdoors with unspoken promises.
And April smells like no other month, tempting us with a green and fertile perfume as the ground warms and wakes, pushing forth a host of tender seedlings, both welcome (hello, peas!) and unwelcome (ugh, crabgrass!).
This April has been a weather rollercoaster for us, with 70 degree (F) days followed by snow squalls followed by thunderstorms. We pretend to be shocked by the whiplashing but April in our part of the Ohio River Valley behaves this way most years, a tantrum-throwing toddler of a month.
I like April. Despite the mud (and there’s a lot!), and the inability to dress properly for the capricious weather, it’s a blessing to get out and putter around in the garden, even if I’m not doing anything more productive than pulling up a wayward dandelion here and there. It feels so good to be outside in the April air and take stock of the yard and garden. Time to see what winter damage may have occurred to the various plants and shrubs . Oh, and pick up the hundreds (possibly thousands) of branches and twigs shrugged off from our trees during the winter gales. (Which gives us an excuse to build a cheery bonfire on a chilly spring day.)
Chores for April:
- Add compost to the garden beds
- Start even more seeds indoors (if I can find a horizontal space left uncovered)
- Plant peas, spinach, kale, swiss chard, radishes and other hardy treats
- Make a tentative plan for the annual beds
- Turn the compost bins
- Do battle with emerging chipmunks
How’s April treating you where you live? Are you itching’ to get gardening again?