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  • Upcoming events in Middle Tennessee

    Plant SaleThe Herb Society of Nashville’s annual Herb and Plant Sale returns this year on Saturday, April 30, 2002, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. at The Fairgrounds Nashville. The sale offers an extensive selection of herbs, heirloom vegetables and fruit trees. Members of HSN will conduct free “herbinars,” and will provide shopping assistance. Shoppers will also find a wide variety of gifts to purchase for plant lovers. To learn more visit The Herb Society of Nashville’s website and Facebook page.

    Garden TourThe Hillsboro-West End Neighborhood in Nashville hosts its First Annual Garden Tour May 8, 2022, 1 – 5 p.m.  Stroll or drive through one of Nashville’s premier historic neighborhoods and take in delightful gardens, refreshments and surprises at this family-friendly event. For details and ticket info: hwen.org

     

     

     

     

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April Garden Tips & Tasks

Spring — however capricious it may be — has arrived, and it’s time to head back outdoors, keeping an eye on the weather. Gardeners in Middle Tennessee — Zone 7a, where The Garden Bench calls home — are anxious to get the season started. Warmer areas are already in full swing; if it’s cooler where you are, it’s getting close!

If you live in Middle Tennessee, there are a couple of good garden events to look forward to — both live this year! The annual Perennial Plant Sale sponsored by the Perennial Plant Society of Middle Tennessee will be held Saturday, April 9, 2022. The Herb Society of Nashville’s annual Herb Sale will be Saturday, April 30, 2022. Both will be at The Fairgrounds Nashville’s Expo 3 Building. Details are in the sidebar, or visit the organizations’ web sites. The annual Herb & Craft Fair sponsored by First Unitarian Universalist Church of Nashville will be Saturday, April 23, 2022, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Here’s what else is on your garden to-do list for April.

Early this month

Did your hardy herbs survive winter? Trim dead foliage of sage, rosemary, thyme, oregano and other cold-damaged herbs. Replant those that didn’t make it through the freezing weather.

Thyme The Garden Bench

Trees and shrubs planted in spring need plenty of water during the first year of growth, especially as the weather gets warmer.

Set out hummingbird feeders to welcome the birds back to your garden. Hummingbird nectar recipe: one part sugar to four parts water. It’s not necessary to use red food coloring.

Plant your favorite herbs: parsley, sage, thyme, rosemary can be planted early in the month. Basil and dill are more tender herbs, so wait a bit longer to be sure the weather is warm enough.

To have a big display of flowers in summer, sow seeds and plant summer-flowering bulbs in April: zinnias, sunflowers, cleome, cosmos and other summertime favorites.

Mid-April

Get rid of weeds while they’re small and easy to pull. Use mulch to keep weed growth (and weed-pulling) to a minimum.

Mid-April marks the official last-frost date in Middle Tennessee, and it’s usually safe to set out warm-weather bedding plants such as petunias, coleus and begonias, and vegetable transplants — tomatoes, peppers, eggplants. But keep an eye on the weather. Spring is unpredictable!

Sow seeds of okra, cucumbers, squash, beans, melons, and other kitchen-garden favorites.

Don’t skimp on mulch. Use it to keep weed growth (and weed-pulling) to a minimum, and to help keep the soil moist in annual, perennial and vegetable beds.

Remove the dead flowers and stalks of daffodils, tulips and hyacinths, but leave the foliage until it turns yellow. This is the time spring-flowering bulbs build up energy to bloom again next year.

Later this month

If you don’t have space for a kitchen garden, at least plant herbs in a pot. Some favorite container combinations for cooks: parsley, basil and thyme; rosemary sage and chives; mint, basil and dill. Remember to water containers frequently as summer weather approaches.

The best time to prune azaleas, flowering quince, forsythia, lilac and other early-flowering shrubs is right after they finish blooming. These plants begin forming buds for next year’s flowers on this year’s growth.

Many houseplants thrive in shady, protected spots outdoors. Place them where they won’t get blown by strong winds, pelted by hard rain or disturbed by marauding animals.

If you plant shrubs and trees this spring, make sure they get plenty of water during their first year of growth, especially as the weather gets warmer.

Provide about an inch of water a week to lawns and garden beds.

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