April Gardening “To-Dos”

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april gardening to dos

Welcome to April, a month full of gardening “to-dos!”

April is a great month for planting just about everything, including trees (Arbor Day is Friday, April 24th this year) and woody shrubs, perennials, grasses, ground covers and vines and vegetables and fruits.

In the latest GD Green Thumb episode, I talked to Green Diva Meg about what to do in the garden in April. Listen up then read on for more details.

LISTEN:

Planting Outdoors 

In our zone 5 garden, April gardening to-dos include starting our vegetable garden outside. (Find your planting zone here.)poppy flower

Now’s the time to plant lettuce, peas, onions, radishes, spinach, kohlrabi, carrots seeds and cauliflower, broccoli and other cool season vegetable seedlings. It’s also a good time to plant perennials including asparagus (use two year roots), rhubarb and strawberry plants. The perennials will provide you with harvests for many future years to come. We’re also planting flower seeds outdoors including sweet peas, cleome, poppies, calendula, allysum and baby’s breath.  

Planting Indoors

If you haven’t started your heirloom tomato, pepper and other warm season vegetable seeds, you can start those indoors now. If you start some annual flowers like nicotiana, zinnia and other warm season seeds in peat pots, it will be easier to put them exactly where you want them after they are seedlings.

Seeds allow you to get exactly the colors and forms that you would like for your garden. Look for seeds that are organic and pesticide free to help the birds and bees! Save some to direct-sow into garden beds once the soil temperatures have warmed up in mid-May.

Garden Care

This is a great time to work through each flower bed (being careful not to compact the soil in the beds!).

~ Prune the dead remains of plants that may be left over from winteraster flower for april gardening
~ Cut a fresh edge on the bed
~ Weed now to avoid future larger problems
~ Divide perennials

  • Bee balm
  • Summer phlox
  • Mums and asters
  • Astilbes
  • Hostas, etc.
  • (wait until after spring-blooming plants bloom to divide them—like bleeding hearts and bearded irises.)

~ Replant divisions, amending the soil with organic mulch and/or fertilizer in the planting space
~ Mulch the beds with leaf mulch and water the new plants in
~ Prune spring-flowering shrubs after they’ve bloomed-like forsythia.
~ Prune summer blooming vines and groundcovers like trumpet vine, ivy, sweet autumn clematis and cotoneaster
~ Mulch trees and shrubs while the ground is damp
tulips

Harvest

In our area in late spring: asparagus, lettuce, spinach, peas, onions, daffodils and hyacinths for the garden. 

Blooming

Early hardy bulbs start to bloom… including winter aconite, snowdrops, scilla, early daffodils, early tulips, netted iris, etc., low growing phlox, pansies planted in containers or in the garden this year.

Enjoy the cool weather, the clean green of newly-emerging leaves, the first lawn mowing of fresh-cut grass, and the flavors of the first fruits of your garden this April.

BONUS:

Listen to the latest episode of The Green Divas Radio Show

images via shutterstock.com

Listen to the latest Green Divas Radio Show—and other green and healthy living podcasts—daily on GDGDRadio.com (or get the GDGD Radio app)!

Earth News, GD Ticker, Green Divas in the Garden, Green Divas Radio Show, Grow It, Outdoor Activities

About the author / 

Green Diva Ali

Alison Hoffman is one of the many lifelong gardeners and plant geeks that come to it via family history and personal passion. She enjoys mentoring others in gardening through her business and blog, Every Green Plant, and by speaking to garden groups. She grows food, flowers, trees and shrubs organically in the northwest suburbs of Chicago for her family, friends and clients. Alison and her husband, dogs, cats, honeybees and visiting friends, birds, deer and other animals and insects appreciate that she does not use chemicals in the landscape. 

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