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HomeCommunityThe Watering Can-April, the month to get those gardens cleaned up!

The Watering Can-April, the month to get those gardens cleaned up!

Welcome to April from the Angle Tree Garden Club.  I am writing this article at the end of March and spring has sprung, but it is still very cold! April is the month the Angle Tree Garden Club starts to clean up the gardens we take care of in the Town of North Attleborough.

Our most recognized garden is the Revolutionary War Garden at the intersection of South Washington Street and Route 120, across from CVS. In July of 2019 through September of 2019 the garden was completely reconstructed by the hard work of member Janet Pion’s grandson Jacob Pion, the Boy Scouts of Troop 23 and the many sponsors who donated materials. This red, white and blue perennial garden is dedicated to the memory of the brave men and women who fought a revolution in order to gain specific freedoms for the generations to come. If you look closely at what is planted in the garden, you will see the Garden Club tried to find plants native to North America during this time in our history.

Janet Pion was president of the club at that time the garden was initiated, and working with Attleboro Farm and Gardens, put together the following plant list for the Revolutionary War Garden:  cardinal flower, great blue lobelia, cranesbill geranium, bee balm, lambs ear, coneflowers, inkberry, creeping phlox, delphinium, astilbe, hibiscus, rose mallow, silver mound, red stick dogwood and a weeping cherry tree among others. Please take the time to enjoy our garden on your next trip down Washington Street.

The average temperature range for April is 40-53 degrees and the average monthly precipitation is 3.5”.  If you can wait and once the temps are consistently above 50 degrees you can start to remove the leaves and mulch from your gardens. I usually start removing leaves the first to second week of April. There is so much work to do this time of year! A gardener can be outside from early morning until the sun goes down. Below are a few items that can be done this time of year.

Once the forsythia starts to bloom it is time to prune your roses. Sweet autumn clematis should have been trimmed in the fall, if not, do it soon. Keep an eye on your favorite clematis and train the new growth so it grows where you want it to. Fertilize the plant with 5-10-5, be careful not to get any on the stems. Water it in, mulch the roots and it should start to flower in July. I was given a sweet autumn clematis by my sister-in-law and brother and it is a beauty! If you take care of it now, you will be rewarded with a symphony of white flowers in the autumn.

Now is the time to divide late summer and fall blooming perennials. Do not divide spring blooming perennials until after they have flowered. I have some coneflowers which I want to divide and will do so in April. They normally bloom in late August. April is also the time to dress all perennials with 5-10-5 fertilizer when they are approximately 4” tall.

In early April, you can sow the seeds for these cool season hardy vegetables: broccoli, cabbage, garlic, kale, leeks, lettuce, spinach and onions. The end of April is the time to sow half-hardy cool season vegetables seeds. Beets, carrots, cauliflower, endive, parsnips, potatoes and swiss chard. I plant swiss chard in my perennial beds. I love the different colors and texture that they add as the season goes on. I have never cooked them!

Happy gardening! Kathy McDeed Bessette, secretary, Angle Tree Garden Club

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