April 14th is National Garden Day!
- Use a soil thermometer to help you know when to plant vegetables. Some cool season crops (onions, kale, lettuce, and spinach) can be planted when the soil is consistently at or above 40°F.
- Spread compost over garden and landscape areas.
- Prune gooseberries and currants; fertilize with manure or a complete fertilizer.
- Fertilize evergreen shrubs and trees, only if needed. If established and healthy, their nutrient needs should be minimal.
- If needed, fertilize rhododendrons, camellias, azaleas with acid-type fertilizer. If established and healthy, their nutrient needs should be minimal.
- Prune spring-flowering shrubs after blossoms fade. Early-spring bloomers, such as lilac, forsythia, and rhododendron, bear flowers on wood formed the previous year. The best time to prune them is late spring — immediately after they finish blooming. If pruned later in the growing season or during winter, the flower buds will be removed and spring bloom will be decreased.
- Fertilize cane berries (broadcast or band a complete fertilizer or manure).
- Remove spent flowers of large-flowered bulbs, such as tulips and daffodils, as soon as they fade. This channels the plants’ energy into forming large bulbs and offsets rather than into setting seeds. Allow foliage of spring-flowering bulbs to brown and die down before removing. Do not remove bulb foliage while it is green; the green leaves nourish the bulb and next year’s flower buds, which form during summer. Cut or pull off leaves only after they yellow. Do not braid leaves to get them out of the way. Braiding reduces the amount of sunlight the leaves get and hinders growth. Allow smaller bulbs (like: muscari and puschkinia) to set seed, so they self-sow and form ever-larger drifts.
- Cut back ornamental grasses to a few inches above the ground, in early spring.
- Prune and shape or thin spring-blooming shrubs and trees after blossoms fade.
- Plant gladiolus and hardy transplants of alyssum, phlox, and marigolds, if weather and soil conditions permit.
- Fertilize Lawns. Apply 1-pound nitrogen per 1,000 square feet of lawn. Reduce risks of run-off into local waterways by not fertilizing just prior to rain. Also do not over-irrigate and cause water runs off of lawn and onto sidewalk or street.
- April is a good time to dethatch and renovate lawns. If moss was a problem, scratch surface prior to seeding with perennial ryegrass.
- If necessary, spray apples and pears when buds appear for scab. And spray stone fruits, such as cherries, plums, peaches, and apricots for brown rot blossom blight.
- Plant balled-and-burlapped, container, and bare-root fruit trees.
- Plant container and bare-root roses.
- Prepare garden soil for spring planting. Incorporate generous amounts of organic materials and other amendments.
- Divide and replant spring-blooming perennials after bloom.
- Plant fall-blooming bulbs.
Terra Gardens Nursery & Bark