WASHINGTON, April 17, 2015 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has declared April National Garden Month. Throughout the month, USDA will celebrate the contributions of home, school and community gardens in providing healthy food for the table; pleasant surroundings and recreational benefits for people; and beneficial habitat for wildlife across the Nation.

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 recentWhite 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!
Source: US Department of Agriculture