April Garden Activities

N

ow is the time to do some serious Spring “cleaning” in the garden. Trim back dead foliage and gather up winter’s detritus, such as small branches and excess leaves.

Trees and shrubs like Azaleas, Rhododendrons, Spiraea, and Viburnums, if planted now, will provide some beautiful late Spring color. 

Set out annuals and other perennials now. Cool season vegetables, such as spinach, lettuce, peas, broccoli, cauliflower, and beets can be planted as soon as the soil can be worked.

A good test of “soil readiness” is to take a handful of soil and squeeze it. If it remains in a ball, it’s too moist and should be allowed to dry further. If it crumbles, start planting!

Look for and remove any tent caterpillars that have appeared (or signs of their presence like the start of webs in branches.

Water new plantings and blooming shrubs (such as azaleas & rhododendron) regularly. Don't forget to water plants under overhangs.

The best way to control pests in your garden is to plant resistant varieties. Garlic and pepper sprays, row covers and wood ashes are other effective natural methods for guarding your garden against unwanted visitors.

Test your underground sprinkling system by monitoring a full cycle to make sure it is still operating correctly. Inspect all sprinkler heads for cleaning, adjustment, or replacement.

Set out annuals, perennials, and other bedding plants in late April and remember to apply a balanced fertilizer.

Begin planting indoor seedlings outdoors. Harden them off first with several short days outside.

Fertilize winter planted vegetables early in the month and after any danger of frost, begin planting warm season vegetables.

To keep your Easter lilies blooming longer; place them in indirect sunlight in a cool room. When the flowers open up, pinch off the yellow anthers. Once your blooms have faded and all danger of frost has passed, remove the lily from its pot and plant it in a sunny spot in the garden. Easter Lilies like lots of water and good drainage. Be sure to mulch the roots of the plants over winter and remove the mulch again in spring. You'll enjoy your Easter Lilies for years to come.

The best way to control pests in your garden is to plant resistant varieties. Garlic and pepper sprays, row covers and wood ashes are other effective natural methods for guarding your garden against unwanted visitors.

Get the lawn ready by treating it with some pre-emergent crabgrass killer right after forsythia bloom. Don’t do this if you plan to seed your lawn with fescue grass. The pre-emergent will prevent that type of grass seed from germinating.

Don’t forget to do an all-points check on the old lawn mower. Sharpen or replace dull, worn blades, install new spark plug, clean or replace the air filter, and change the oil. Fill it up with gas and be sure to check the pull cord (if manual start) for any undue wear. Replace it immediately if frayed.














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