April is a planning month for gardeners throughout the middle of the country, and many are trying to decide what to do amid rapidly shifting weather conditions.
Recent rains have broken some of the drought that gripped two-thirds of the nation last year, but parts of Wisconsin and states west remain dry.
Climatologist Brian Fuchs of the National Drought Mitigation Center says the forecast is for more rain than usual through early June. But he notes that the drought came on quickly last June, emerging over a couple of weeks.
Chicago Botanic Garden horticulture director Tim Johnson says one way gardeners can increase their chances for success is by using mulch. He says it helps retain moisture, and it adds nutrients to the soil as it breaks down.