Continuing on with my automotive analogy from previous to-do lists, April is going to put us into 4th gear, which is almost top speed. We will save overdrive for May. Here are some thoughts to consider:
ROSES: Apply 2 cups of an organic rose food, such as E.B. Stone Organics “Rose and Flower Food”, and a handful of lime around each rose, then scratch them into the soil. There are lots of options for controlling insects and disease, whether you choose natural or synthetic, do something now. Finish pruning this month and plant a few new roses too!
LAWNS: April is the consummate month to resurrect an ugly lawn. This could mean simply removing a few weeds and fertilizing to killing whatever is left and starting over. Don’t miss this window of opportunity. Come into the nursery and speak with a CPH (Certified Professional Horticulturist). These people really know their stuff and won’t make you feel like an idiot (like I may).
PRUNING: As spring bloomers like Forsythia, quince and winter heather fade it is time to whack them back so they can regrow for next year’s blooms. Be sure and feed them after you do this.
PERENNIALS: This is an ideal time to dig and divide perennials, as well as plant new ones. When transplanting, consider using some Liquinox Start. It contains several nutrients, along with yucca extract, and is cheap insurance in my book. I have personally used this product for over 55 years and wouldn’t garden without it.
VEGGIE GARDENS: April is the month to plant potatoes, carrots, peas, radishes, onions, lettuce, spinach, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and any of the perennial veggies like artichokes, asparagus and rhubarb. Don’t forget the compost and fertilizer! It can be the difference between success and failure. For raised beds, try E.B. Stone Organics’ new “Raised Bed and Potting Mix.” It’s all organic.
FRUITS AND BERRIES: Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, grapes, kiwis, currants, gooseberries and, of course, all fruit trees can be planted now. Remember, these are permanent plants so it is especially important to use some compost and organic starter fertilizer when planting. Do you hear a re-current theme here?
BULBS: Summer blooming bulbs are now in stock, such as dahlias, gladiolas and lilies, that can be purchased and planted this month. In the case of dahlias, I like to drive in a stake next to the tuber, at the time of planting, so I don’t accidentally stab it later. If you like fragrance, try some Acidanthera this year.
WEEDS: Most weeds can be controlled without the use of toxic chemicals. Use a Hula Hoe when they are still young and tender. Once they are removed, cover the soil with an inch of compost.
LANDSCAPING: Once the soils are dry enough to work, it is fine to get going on your landscape projects. Remember that while the fun part might be the plants, the most important part of a successful landscape is the ground work and the drainage. Spend the time and money to install good soil and proper drainage, everything else will naturally fall into place.
April is a fabulous month to plant anything and everything! The best route to success is to use a lot of compost and organic fertilizer (and of course a shot of Liquinox Start). Don’t let a few April showers keep you out of the garden. Get out there and get gardening!