This month is pure perfection.
Spring blossoms against the brilliant new green of the grass make this a month of promise.
IN THE VEGETABLE GARDEN
Transplant cool weather herbs and vegetables. Wait until later in the month when temps are warmer, a minimum of 50 degrees at night, basil, tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant like it warm.
BEWARE: Nurseries start selling warm weather vegetable transplants too early.
Direct seed lettuce and salad greens. When the soil temperature has reached 50 degrees during the day, sow beans, corn, cucumbers, gourds, lima beans, melons, okra, southern peas, summer and winter squash, watermelons, and zucchini.
Put in some sunflowers in the vegetable garden, where their unruly behavior will be better tolerated than in the flower garden, unless you have an unruly cottage garden..
Plant sweet potato slip. Plant potatoes.
Keep weeding emerging annual weeds or you’ll really regret it in a month.
Cover brassicas (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, colards, and kale) with spun-polyester row cover to prevent cabbage moths from laying eggs. Cover emerging squash and pumpkin plants with row cover to prevent squash vine borers.
The covers must be removed when the plants start to flower, to allow for pollination.
Stake peas. Set up stakes and trellis for beans, cukes, and tomatoes.
Protect strawberries with bird netting. Put out birdscare tape to protect emerging seedlings of beans, corn, melons, squash, and sunflowers.
Be vigilant on observing slug and cutworm activity. If need be, go into the garden at night with a flashlight and handpick slugs off all the greens and sorrel.
IN THE FLOWER GARDEN
Transplant March’s indoor flower seedlings or purchased plants.
Plant or set out pots of canna, dahlias, gloxinia, arum lilies, achimenes, and tuberous begonias.
Direct seed cosmos, gomphrena, mammoth dill, nasturtiums, zinnias, and morning glories.
Take softwood cutting of artemisia, cistus, geraniums, lavender, roses, and santolina and pot up.
Pinch off smaller lateral peony buds, for larger main flowers.
Prune boxwood, spraying the foliage with water beforehand, to give a clean cut.
Trim privet every 6 to 8 weeks during the growing season.
IN THE KITCHEN
Try all different recipes for vinaigrettes for your Spring baby greens. Leave the heavy balsamic vinegar for Autumn. Use champagne vinegar or verjus, your best olive oil, and some herbs to dress your freshly harvested greens.