HOME (Indoor plants and activities)
Start seeds of warm-season plants, including tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, marigolds, zinnias and petunias, indoors for transplanting later to the garden.
Harden off transplants started earlier in spring before planting outdoors - gradually expose the young plants to outdoor conditions of wind, brighter sunlight and lower moisture.
Apply fertilizer to houseplants according to label directions as days grow brighter and longer and new growth begins. Foliage plants require relatively high nitrogen fertilizer, while blooming plants thrive on formulations that are higher in phosphorus.
Keep Easter lily in a bright, cool location, out of direct sunlight. Water as soil begins to dry. The yellow pollen-bearing anthers inside the flower can be removed by pinching to prevent staining of the petals.
YARD (Lawns, woody ornamentals and fruits)
Plant a tree in celebration of National Arbor Day, April 25. Bare-root stock should be planted before new top growth begins. Balled- and-burlapped and containerized stock can still be planted later in spring.
Fertilize woody plants before new growth begins. Two pounds of actual nitrogen per 1,000 square feet should be sufficient.
Complete pruning chores, removing dead and injured branches first.
Apply a prebloom, multipurpose orchard spray to fruit trees.
Remove winter coverings from roses, but keep mulch nearby for protection from late freezes. Prune and fertilize as needed.
Apply pre-emergent herbicide to control crabgrass in lawns. Approximate dates of application are April 1 to April 20 in southern Indiana and April 21 to May 10 in northern Indiana. So far we are a little slower to warm up than last year throughout the state, giving you a bit more time to treat your lawns. The Growing Degree Day Tracker website is a helpful tool in planning your precise application time. www.gddtracker.net/
GARDEN (Vegetables, small fruits and flowers)
Plant seeds of cool-season crops directly in the garden, as soon as 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.