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April is National Garden Month

Posted by Wendy Wasserman, Office of Communications in Conservation Initiatives
Apr 17, 2015
Vegetables growing in raised beds at Hollygrove Market and Farm (HGMF) in New Orleans, LA
Vegetables growing in raised beds at Hollygrove Market and Farm (HGMF) in New Orleans, LA. USDA photo by Karen Lawson.

Nothing says springtime more than the sprouts and shoots of a garden. Secretary Vilsack has declared April, 2015 as National Garden Month.  The official proclamation celebrates the great American tradition of gardening at home, at school and in the community.

USDA’s commitment to gardening has deep roots. The USDA People’s Garden Initiative, was launched in 2009 and since 2,116 gardens have registered as People’s Gardens in communities across the United States and its territories and in 12 foreign countries.  The First Lady’s Let’s Move! Initiative has great information about starting a kitchen, school or community garden and the Plant Hardiness Zone Map, developed by USDA’s Agricultural Research Service, is a go-to guide for gardeners across the nation.   Have a gardening question? Visit eXtension for in-depth and research-based gardening and landscape advice from your local land grant university.

Gardens are not just oasis for people.  They are critical habitats for pollinators like bees, bats, birds, beetles, butterflies, and other animals.  That’s one reason USDA hosted pollinators at the recent White House Easter Egg Roll and is distributing pollinator-friendly seed packets to the public donated by the Burpee Seed Co. We even have our own apiary on the roof of our Washington headquarters and a live bee-cam where you can watch our bees get ready for springtime.

So as part of National Garden Month, whether you are in Washington and can visit the majestic 446 acre National Arboretum during its extended public hours, or can take a quick stop in a community, home or school garden near you, celebrate that winter is behind us. It’s time to tend the garden!

Person touching soil on a rooftop vegetable garden.
A rooftop vegetable garden is ready for planting. USDA Photo by Lance Cheung.
Category/Topic: Conservation Initiatives