April is National Garden Month. Join the celebration with these tips!

We all know that “April showers bring May flowers,” but did you know that April is recognized as National Garden Month? As the weather shifts, now if the perfect time of year to consider how you can make your personal yard or community a greener, more livable space.

Instead of letting a little rain get you down, join the celebration and get your green thumb in shape with these tips.

Organize a community-wide event: Like many activities, when it comes to gardening, the more people involved the merrier it can be. Why not take the lead on gathering your neighbors to tackle a neglected local park or other public space?

  • Start a Green Up Day: The National Garden Association has plenty of tips for planning and promoting a day dedicated to “greening up” the neighborhood. Be sure to contact local organizations that can potentially help with donations, trash pick-up, etc.
  • Spread the word online: Post a free ad on eBay Classifieds under the “Community” category. It’s a quick, easy way to connect with others in your area who are interested in pitching in.

Involve your kids: Make gardening a fun family activity (rather than a chore) with simple projects that will keep kids engaged, like the following suggestions from KidsGardening.com.  

  • Create an herbal plant wash and bug spray: Kids who love squirt guns will probably love the task of spraying plants. Ingredients include the grated rind of one lemon, 1 cup wormwood or tansy, 1 cup lavender, 1 cup sage, 1 pint boiling water, and 1 teaspoon nondetergent soap such as castile or Murphy’s Oil Soap. In a heat-resistant quart jar, mix lemon and herbs. Pour water over the mix. Let it steep until cooled to room temperature. Drain, reserving the liquid. In a plastic spray-pump bottle, dilute 1/8 cup of the herbal liquid to 2 cups water and add the teaspoon of soap. Teach your child how to safely apply the spray to indoor and outdoor plants.
  • Race to the sky with vines: Have each family member plant a different type of flowering vine along the side of your house. Be sure to mark the course to compare growth. Wait to see which sprouts first, takes off and who wins. Don’t forget to water and fertilize for good competition.

Gear up: Creating a garden space or maintaining one that already exists can be a challenge if you don’t have the right materials. Obtain what you need now to make sure all bases are covered throughout this season and next.

  • Ease up the workload: Don’t let yourself carry bags of soil or fertilizer back and forth. Invest in a sturdy wheelbarrow that can last year after year.
  • Use color: There are all sorts of options for adding flair through different flowers and fruit or vegetable plants. Mix it up with high bush cranberry plants and bromeliads.
  • Personalize your space: Add a bench, bird feeder or a few unique pots that help make your garden an area that represents who you are.

And don’t forget that April 22nd is Earth Day! What steps will you take to celebrate the environment this month?