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Four Tips to Grow Your Garden

April showers bring May flowers and summer produce that you can devour! Whether you’re a beginner or looking to expand your garden, Karen Mitchell, consumer horticulture Extension specialist, reminds us of four simple tips so you can plant confidently.  

1. Start with your gardening goals 

April is a great time to consider your gardening goals. Are you trying to feed your family? Or are you gardening for fun and stress relief? The amount of inputs, like time and money, should reflect your goals. A small garden of ornamentals can be excellent for reducing stress, while managing a large vegetable garden to feed your family may be more stressful at times. 

2. Think about timing 

Many vegetables, like squash, beans and corn, can be directly seeded into the garden, but some vegetables, like tomato and pepper, need to be started inside and transplanted into the garden. Whether you are using seeds or transplants, timing is critical. The timing will vary depending on the type of vegetable and your location. Check out the Indiana Vegetable Planting Calendar and the Purdue Extension seed starting publication for information on specific vegetables. 

3. Consider cost 

No matter what your gardening goals are, make sure to consider your budget. Make a plan and stick to it. Don’t be afraid to start small. And, consider joining a local garden group to share tips, tools and maybe even transplants.  

4. Choose the right plants 

Gardeners have a critical role in reintroducing and caring for Indiana native plants. Consider adding native plants to your garden beds this year. Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa) was named the 2022 Native Plant of the Year by the Indiana Native Plant Society. This showy native flower will bloom all summer long and because it’s a perennial, it will come back year after year. 

Gardeners find additional information and resources.

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