What to do for April

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Inside: Give kitchen cupboards a spring cleaning. Donate extra non-expired canned goods to a food bank.

Wash your windows inside and out, it will lift your spirit.

Prevent lint buildup inside and outside your clothes dryer; which can cause the dryer to overheat. Clean the screen or filter after every use. While the dryer is running, check that exhaust is coming out of its external vent. If blocked, disconnect and clean thoroughly. Clean around the back of the dryer.

Send your tax returns in or file for an extension.

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

Feed hungry houseplants.

Prepare winter clothing for storage. Have coats cleaned professionally if needed, rehang and wrap. Store clean sweaters and woolens in a cedar chest. Donate unwanted items to charity.

Deep clean rugs and carpets. Vacuum thoroughly 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 and duvet covers. Vacuum and rotate mattresses. Let the beds air out for several hours before remaking them.

Clean out the refrigerator and freezer. Wash and deodorize all interior surfaces. If you have removable glass shelves, be sure to let them come to room temperature before washing with hot water, so they won’t crack.

Outside: Clean out bird feeders; they should be emptied of feed, scraped out, washed with soapy water and bleach (a capful per bucket), and rinsed well three or four times a year. If you are new to the area, check with the local Audubon Society chapter for tips on care for birds in the area.

Set up a birdbath for the warmer months to come. Hose it out daily and wash and rinse once a week.

Remove insulation from outdoor faucets. Check hoses and repair or replace washers if necessary. Have your sprinkler system serviced.

Have your lawn mower serviced.

Get your gas grill ready for heavier use. Wash the outside with dish soap and water, rinse. Scrub burners with a grill brush. 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.

Do a little pruning, but not too much. Shape spring blooming shrubs like lilac after they have bloomed and cutback overgrown ornamental grasses. Wait on roses until after the last frost date — usually around May 10.

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.

Susan Woody has been a home and garden writer for more than 20 years and is a master gardener.  

By |March 30th, 2017|

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