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.
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.
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.
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 winter
~ Cut a fresh edge on the bed
~ Weed now to avoid future larger problems
~ Divide perennials
- Bee balm
- Summer phlox
- Mums and asters
- 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
In our area in late spring: asparagus, lettuce, spinach, peas, onions, daffodils and hyacinths for the garden.
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.
Listen to the latest episode of The Green Divas Radio Show…
images via shutterstock.com
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