Gardening in April

If your garden soil is too heavy and too wet to till, get a planting mix and place it 3 or 4 inches deep to plant early season vegetables. Work this in after harvest and be ready for warm season crops.

Compost or top-dress perennial vegetable crops such as artichokes.

Expect Black Spot on roses as the temperature warms up. To avoid the problem, be sure to rake away any infected leaves that have dropped so they don’t re-infect the plant. You can also be sure to water at the base of the plant so as to avoid spreading Black Spot to new leaves.

In the garden, this will be a busy month to plant, among others, carrots, cabbage, lettuce, onion sets, peas, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, radish, and spinach. Many are available as starts in garden centers if you want to save the time necessary to start your own from seed. Last average frost date is mid-month.

Prune and fertilize shrubs after bloom, then mulch if needed. Remove spent bloom stalks from daffodils and other Spring bulbs. Leave the foliage until it starts to turn yellow. Tops are left to produce food for the bulbs.

Important month for lawn feeding (if not done already in March). Plan to do this twice in the Spring and once in the Fall. Strong formulas require watering in; organic or slow release types generally do not. April is a good month for new lawn construction whether from seed or with sod.

Wet, cool weather promotes leaf disease in dogwood trees, apples, cherries, and roses. Early detection and early treatment with fungicides may be necessary.

Local garden centers and nurseries are well-stocked with lots of exciting trees, shrubs, ground cover, summer blooming bulbs, perennial and annual flowers. Look for bare root bargains and summer blooming bulbs in packages at discount prices in early April. This is a prime month to add excitement to your landscape!

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