Put up birdhouses for bluebirds, chickadees, nuthatches, purple martins, tree swallows, wrens, and other birds that nest mid-April through May. The UMaine Cooperative Extension offers guidelines.
Disinfect garden tools as a precaution against spreading plant diseases. Spray or wipe blades with 70 percent isopropyl alcohol or soak for 30 minutes in a 1:9 bleach-water solution.
As soon as the soil is dry enough to be worked, sow seeds for beets, carrots, lettuces, peas, parsnips, radishes, shallots, spinach, and turnips. Indoors, under lights, start broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, eggplant, and tomatoes. It’s also time to prune butterfly bushes, hydrangeas, roses, and other summer bloomers.
In mid-April, a new generation of browntail moth caterpillars creeps from winter webs to shed microscopic, rash-inducing hairs that drift in the air and settle onto brush, remaining toxic for up to three years. Prevent this by clipping infected branches and burning the webs or soaking them in soapy water. The Maine Forest Service has a helpful FAQ.