What to do for April

Inside: Give kitchen cupboards a spring cleaning. Donate extra canned goods to the food bank. Wash your windows inside and out; it will lift your spirit.

Send your tax return in or file for an extension.

Pack up humidifiers for the season. Be sure to clean the tank to prevent the growth of bacteria and fungi.
Feed hungry houseplants.

Prepare winter clothing for storage. Store only clean clothing, rehang and wrap. Donate unwanted items to charity.

Deep clean carpets and rugs. Vacuum, throughly and shampoo. Replace heavier winter rugs with lighter rugs, or leave floors bare until fall.

Have your heating system cleaned and checked.

Launder mattress covers, bed skirts, blankets, and duvet covers. Vacuum and rotate mattresses. Let beds air out for several hours before remaking them.

Clean screen or filters around your clothes dryer; buildup can cause the machine to overheat. Clean around the back of the machine.

Clean refrigerator and freezer. Wash and deodorize all surfaces.

Outside: Clean out bird feeders with hot soapy water and bleach, rinse and let air dry.
Remove insulation from outdoor faucets. Have your sprinkler system serviced.

Have your lawn mower serviced.

Get your gas grill ready. Wash inside and out with hot soapy water and rinse. Spray the interior with a grease-cutting solution made of one part distilled white vinegar and one part water. Close the lid and let sit for at least an hour. Scrape gently with a putty knife and hose off.
Plant bare-root roses, shrubs, trees, and strawberries.

Start warm season annuals and vegetables indoors by planting them from seed.
Remove tree wrap.

Plant hardy summer bulbs in the garden. These include lilies, hardy gladiolas and crocosmia.
Control weeds in your lawn and garden as they emerge.

Prepare flower beds by gradually removing mulches and debris around perennials. Top dress the bed with 2 to 3 inches of compost.

Divide perennials. When new leaves appear, divide astors, bellflowers, mums, daylilies, sedums and yarrow. Dig plenty of compost into the soil before replanting. Pass on extra plants to neighbors and friends.
Before putting pesticide in your sprayer for the first time this season, fill it with water and pressurize it. Leaks and clogs are safer to deal with when it’s only water running down your arm. Replacement parts can be found where sprayers are sold.

When planting new plants, remove tags around limbs and trunks.

Susan Woody has been a home and garden writer for over 20 years and is an advanced Master Gardnener.

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