If April showers bring May flowers what did March give us? Take a look at these picture from the garden taken at the end of March 2021.
Every spring is different so we gauge the arrival of flowers, weeds and bugs based on an accumulation of “growing degree days” and warming soil temperatures. April 2020 was an unseasonably cold spring. This year (2021) things seem to be progressing in a more normal fashion. Nothing wrong with some chilly weather, we want the landscape to wake up from its long winter sleep and break dormancy progressively, at a pace. And why not? That way we get to enjoy the Magnolias longer when they burst into bloom, the Witch Hazel with its unique spider blooms, and bulb plants pushing their way out of the soil into sunlight. The Hellebores or Lenten Rose are always a welcome sight for early spring color. Peonies can handle chilly weather and break through the soil with red sprouts pushing upward. The Siberian Squill planted last fall puts on a show and we add to the color parade by planting Pansies. Pansies can tolerate some frost and chilly temperatures and bloom their heads off when the sun shines. Of course the daffodils and tulips take center stage as we progress through April. Plus April is a great tree planting month (Arbor Day anyone?) and a great time to prepare the yard and garden for May, the month where we generally see our last frost date. (In Grand Rapids, May 10 is a good rule of green thumb to use for an anticipated last frost date.)
April is also the month to apply pre-emergent weed control for overwintering weed seed. This can be applied as a crabgrass preventer for the lawn and pre-emergent weed barriers for the landscape. Corn gluten is a great natural choice for this purpose! We see these weed seeds germinating when soil temperatures get to 55 to 60 degrees. This usually happens between April 1-30 here in West Michigan but every year is different. That’s why we are here for you all year long, whatever the season brings us. Enjoy! And live outdoors.