April Gardening Tips

As things start to warm up (and cool  down and warm up) things are starting to get going in the garden. We have to act fast as soil  temperatures get to be around 55 to 60 degrees at the three inch level. Here are some quick reminders to keep you on the right track!

Perennials:

Now is the time to split ornamental grasses,  daylilies,  hostas and other perennials as they start to emerge. Be sure to water well as you transplant.

Split daylilies before their leaves get too large. Remember to water plants well before and after splitting!

Cut back lavender if it has grown too large.

Plant bare root Peonies.

Pull the rest of fallen leaves off your perennials. Apply mulch as needed.

Cut down ornamental grasses before growth starts to emerge.

Ornamental grasses are growing quickly now. Be sure to cut down last years growth before new growth comes in. Remember some ornamentals are slower to emerge than others so don't panic!

Bulbs:

Plant your summer bulbs when soil temps reach 60 degrees. Glads and Dahlias will need to be lifted before or just after the first frost in the fall.

Start slow emerging bulbs such as elephant ears inside to get a jump on growth. Transplant outside after all danger of frost has passed.

Lawn/Turf:

Apply gypsum to areas that have been affected by road salt and animal urine.

Apply Step one of a four step program now. Avoid crabgrass by using a program or fertilizer with crabgrass  preventer. You only have until the end of the month to apply step one!

Rake out debris left from last fall and winter plowing before it does permanent damage.

Annuals:

Plant frost resistant pansies for color.

Sub zero pansies can withstand frost and even snow. Primroses are also safe to plant now for that extra burst of color!

Change the dirt out of your patio containers.  Nutrients leach from your pots and salts from fertilizers can build up. This also helps prevents pests and disease.

Start appropriate seeds. Follow our seed planting guide for correct planting times.

https://myflowerland.com/caresheets/pdf/vegetable-planting-table.pdf

Vegetables:

Buy seed potatoes now. Plant outside after the last threat of frost.

Seed potatoes and onion sets are selling fast! Get asparagus roots now too, they are two year roots so you can harvest this year.

Plant onion sets.

Plant cool weather cool weather cole crops such as lettuce, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, beets and radishes. Their seeds can be sown outdoors now.

Trees and Shrubs:

Wrap up dormant oil applications.

Apply Diplodia tip blight applications on Mugo and Scotch pines before new tip growth starts.

Prune Eastern tent caterpillars out of crab and flowering trees.

It you leave Eastern tent caterpillars their nests will sure take over your trees. They tend to do the most damage to crab trees, and other flowering ornamental. Prune out branches early to make sure the problem is eradicated (Photo courtesy of Wiki Commons).

Sharpen your pruners, or invest in a new pair. Make sure you read up on how to prune before doing more damage than good!

Prune back your hydrangeas. If you are not sure what type of hydrangea you have, do not prune and simply cut out dead growth and flower heads. Here is a great link on how to prune hydrangeas!

http://www.hydrangeashydrangeas.com/pruning.html

Soil:

Take a handful of soil and squeeze it in your hand, if it crumbles when you open your hand it is ready for planting!

Get a pH test. New gardeners underestimate the power of pH. It can literally mean the difference between life and death of the plant. Having the correct pH of the soil can also allow your plants to thrive and have large blooms. Flowerland offers free soil pH testing and can direct towards what you can/should use to amend your soil.

Apply fresh compost to your soil. Add two inches to the top and mix in with a hoe or rake.

Other info:

As Garlic mustard begins to emerge, be sure to pull the plant with attached root. Solarize the plants in a garbage bag for two weeks to kill seeds before disposing. Never toss in your compost pile or in the woods, this will simply spread the problem.

Garlic mustard may have small leaves right now, and not have flowers like the plant above. It is best to pull this invasive now before flowers emerge.

Turn on your outside water and check your hoses for leaks. Remember that most hoses are not food grade, and therefore should not be drank out of.

Get a step on weeds by applying a pre-emergent such as Preen and do your best to remove perennial weeds with spray or hand pulling.

Flowerland offers products such as Preen in several sizes, so you can buy what you need! Store leftover product in original bottle in a cool, dry area.

Happy Gardening!