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April is Gardening Month

2010 April 1

After the winter storms, it’s truly a wonder to see how Mother Nature comes to life during springtime. As the hours of sunlight get longer and temperatures get warmer, you see the first signs of spring in sprouting bulbs such as daffodils and early bloomers like forsythia bushes. Hints of color interrupt the gray outdoors practically overnight. Chirping birds and singing frogs also contribute to the awakening of the new season.

I confess that my backyard is a sorry sight nowadays. The trees survived the wintry onslaught, but the bushes and perennials did not fare as well. The garden will need some major care that will span several weeks maybe even months. Even though I do not have a green thumb, the time invested in gardening definitely will be rewarding on the personal and environmental level.

Since April is gardening month, it’s a nice time to roll up your sleeves and have fun planting in your back yard. Here are some green tips to take care of your garden with minimal use of chemicals. Selecting native plants is also a way to reduce the need for chemicals to control pests and use water efficiently. You might have to go to the Web to identify nurseries in your area that sell native plants or visit USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service for state/territory specific information. Simple actions can go a long way to protect the environment.

Another “tradition” that I have tried to adopt at home has been to plant a tree on Earth Day. Our Earth Day trees have survived in spite of the winter storms this year. If you don’t have a back yard to plant a tree, maybe you can buy a good house plant for your apartment. Every environment counts—whether indoors or the great outdoors.

Are you planning anything special to revamp your garden this month?

About the author: Lina Younes has been working for EPA since 2002 and chairs EPA’s Multilingual Communications Task Force. Prior to joining EPA, she was the Washington bureau chief for two Puerto Rican newspapers and she has worked for several government agencies.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

15 Responses leave one →
  1. armansyahardanis permalink
    April 1, 2010

    You are correct….. This afternoon my wife brought orange seed for to plant in our garden. She also bought, her plan, compost for it. My daughter, 19, doesn’t care about that, also her friends. I am rarely, here, to see the girls interest for the gardening. What next ?

  2. David Mc permalink
    April 1, 2010

    Your daughter doesn’t like oranges? Remind her when they’re ripe! Or maybe you meant orange flowers.

  3. P. DeRosa permalink
    April 2, 2010

    Hello EPA,

    Do you by any chance have any free seedlings or trees to mail
    out? the story after the winter time that was written truly is my
    backyard also. the of my beautiful trees were hit. A beautiful Lilac that blossomed 12 inch blooms literally distroyed. And also a
    Magnolia that was over 34 for years old.I don’t have the money
    to replace these at this time and i’m asking as a favor.

    Thank You
    P.DeRosa

  4. Al Bannet permalink
    April 2, 2010

    Where I live the temperature jumped from the 60s to the 80s in one week. So, it looks like gardening will be challenged by perhaps a record-breaking hot Summer.

  5. Lina-EPA permalink*
    April 2, 2010

    Sorry. Wish I had free seedlings. Perhaps conservation groups or extension offices in your area might have something available.

  6. Lina-EPA permalink*
    April 2, 2010

    It’s hard to tell, but no doubt the weather is erratic.

  7. Al Bannet permalink
    April 3, 2010

    Humanity’s industrial economy is brutalizing the entire planet, so quite naturally the weather systems are becoming more brutal and less predictable.

  8. Michael E. Bailey permalink
    April 3, 2010

    We are moving forward on our recycling program but in stages. To invest in improved water, sewer, stormwater, and water recycling systems and put in new systems where needed, we are supporting the U.S. Conference of Mayors proposal to provide for several trillion dollars in funding over the next 20 years. The Mayors program will replace aging water ans sewer pipes, put in new more environmentally sensitive systems for water and sewer, stormwater and recycled water infrastructure and so will help to improve water quality across the country while making water use more efficient. Best wishes, Michael E. Bailey.

  9. Keith McCain permalink
    April 5, 2010

    Gardening is one of my favorite past times. But I have found winter in Canada is not a good common ground for many plants. I have taken in upon myself to plant most of my veggies indoors and it has seemed to work out fine. I have also started to sprout seeds and harvest grasses for consumption.

    Best Regards,
    Keith McCain

  10. Ron H. permalink
    April 5, 2010

    The missus and I have jumped full feet first this year by setting up rainwater collectors and have most of our backyard “rezoned” for flower and hedge beds to cut out the use of our gas mower in the back. We’ve also planted fruit trees around the perimeter of our entire property. We both said “it’s about time we took responsibility” and have invited our neighbors to join in. And, some have already!
    We’ve also begun our own little going green blog to share everything we can find about saving our fragile planet and it’s resources!

  11. Lina-EPA permalink*
    April 7, 2010

    Kudos, michael
    keep up the good work.

  12. Lina-EPA permalink
    April 7, 2010

    Vegetables, indoors? Good for you. Do you need special lighting? What types of veggies work better in closed environments?

  13. Lina-EPA permalink*
    April 7, 2010

    Ron,
    Sounds great! What’s the link to your blog?

  14. IFA permalink
    April 15, 2010

    On the topic of gardening, There nothing that accents your flower gardens more than a green lawn. Find a good program that you can apply yourself and follow its seasonal application.

  15. hanna kimmy permalink
    September 30, 2010

    I am planning to revamp my garden. Well I do not think so that April is gardening month, I just love the nature when springtime you just mention the chirping of birds and daffodils, I love to see garden it makes me feel relaxed and away from stress.

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