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** APRIL GARDEN NOTES **

 

  • What To Fertilize:
    Fertilize all early spring flowering plants like forsythia and evergreens like holly early in April if they were not done in March. Feed hybrid tea roses regularly using a balanced fertilizer for best blooming. Pansies and other flowering annuals should be fertilized regularly.

     

  • What To Plant:
    Some shrubs grow best on acid soils with a pH of about 5.0. These include peiris, azalea, blueberry, camellia, mountain laurel and rhododendron. Set out flowering perennials like phlox and shasta daisies. Annual flowers can be planted outside this month after the last frost. Some commonly planted annuals are begonia, geranium, marigold, petunia, salvia and zinnia. Don't restrict yourself to buying plants in bloom. Plants without blooms will actually bloom better and more profilic the rest of the summer. Place Easter lilies in medium indirect light and keep soil lightly moist.

    Many gardeners prefer to transplant azaleas in April so they can group the plants according to their flower color. The following vegetables can be planted this month: beans, beets, cantaloupe, corn, Chinese cabbage, cucumbers, pumpkin, squash, Swiss chard , and watermelon.

    *Average last frost is April 15.

     

  • What To Prune:
    Prune April flowering plants like azalea, lilac and weigela after the flowers fade. Continue pruning evergreens and berry producing shrubs like holly and pyracantha. Once new growth begins on trees and shrubs, cut back twigs which were winter killed to living green wood.

     

  • Pest Outlook:
    Check the following landscape shrubs for the following insect pests: azalea-lace bug, boxwood-leaf miner, camellia-tea scale, euonymus-scale, hemlock and juniper spider mites. Spray hybrid rhododendron for borers. Spray iris beds for iris borers. Spray dogwood trees to protect from the new dogwood anthracnose before extended wet weather. Spray redtip photinia weekly with a recommended fungicide if leaf spot has been a problem. Spray broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower for worms. Spray wooden homes and wooden lawn furniture for carpenter bees. Spray your squash plants at the soil line to control squash borer. Spray for black spot on roses. Continue through June lst. Begin weekly tree fruit sprays after flower petals fall. Start a weekly fungicide spray program for your bunch grapes this month. Continue with a weekly rose spray program.

     

  • Lawn Care:
    Plant warm season grasses like Bermudagrass and centipedegrass this month. Zoysia is planted in May. Apply pre-emergent early in April if not already done.

     

  • Propagation:
    This is a good time to layer new plants.

     

  • Specific Chores:
    Mulch all of your landscape plants as needed. Pine needles, cypress mulch, and pine bark are good mulches. Plastic jugs make inexpensive and easy to use "hot cups" for your vegetable seedlings. Thin young fruits of apples, pears and peaches to ensure larger, healthier fruit. Moles are tunnelling insects-eaters particularly attracted to grubs. When bulbs are missing or shrubs have root damage, look for voles or field mice to be the culprits.

     

 
Is Your Lawn Growing Too Fast?

The more you fertilize a lawn, the more you'll have to mow it. 
Of course if you fertilize it at the wrong time you may also do
some major damage and now is the wrong time.  This doesn't mean
you should starve your grassy areas, but you might consider
altering how you nourish them.  Fertilize with grass clippings
and by using natural organic lawn foods, which are
water-insoluble and have low analyses - 6% to 7% nitrogen,
compared with 20% in some of the non-natural, non-organics. 
Synthetic fertilizers of insolubility and low punch makes for
slow release of organic nutrients, and that means slow growth -
up to 50% slower than the harder hitting fertilizers.  Your next
fertilizer application is not until September.

Mowing Height Keeps Lawn Looking Right

More lawns are damaged by improper mowing than you might imagine. 
For some reason many homeowners feel that their grass must be cut
almost to ground level.  This is not bad if the lawn is one of
the warm season grasses, such as Bermuda.  But to subject one of
the cool season grasses, such as fescue, is really detrimental to
the lawn, especially if it is a young lawn.  But you can also let
a lawn get too tall between mowings.

Letting a young lawn grow too tall and then cutting it back to
the recommended height is detrimental.  Such extreme leaf removal
stops the flow of food to the roots, weakens the plants, and
opens the lawn to diseases.  Never let it grow so tall that you
have to cut off more than one third of the grass blade.

You should also sharpen your lawn mower blade monthly since a
dull blade can pull grass seedlings from the soil instead of
cutting them.

Protecting Trees During Construction

The American Society of Consulting Arborists (ASCA) has a
consumer information brochure that answers questions builders and
property owners most frequently ask about the damage construction
can cause to trees, methods of preventing this damage, and who
should bear the added cost.

"Protecting Trees During Construction" addresses property owner
concern about tree-related injury and death.  It answers
questions about preventing injury and gaining restitution from
careless builders.  It also provides builders with information
concerning their rights and the steps they can take to protect
their interests while reducing tree damage.  Copies may be
obtained at no charge from ASCA, 5130 West 101st Circle,
Westminster, CO  80030.

 

                   

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