31 Mar April Garden To Do List
April is prime time to get planting! It’s a good month to plant most trees, shrubs, and perennials. Planting annuals and vegetables that could tolerate a potential frost (spinach, snapdragons, lettuce, etc.) is also a great idea! April is also an ideal time to dig and divide hardy perennials and transplanting trees, shrubs, & perennials that need more room.
General garden care
- Clean up garden; Remove last year’s dead plants, clean up leaves, fallen twigs and other debris on lawns and beds. Rake back winter mulches and top-dress beds with compost.
- Start a compost pile if you don’t already have one. If you have one, turn it to aerate it after winter low temperatures and compaction. Add a compost starter.
- Install mason bee housing.
- Check irrigation systems and hoses for leakage or breaks.
- Set up raised beds and install hoops and fabric to protect young seedlings from cold nights.
- Watch for slugs and treat if required.
- Top off raised beds with “Bumper Crop”.
- Clean up your pond, pumps and filters and think about adding new features and plants.
- Remove infected stems and litter of pachysandra and begin spraying every two weeks (until hot weather) with liquid copper or Fung-onil to control volutella blight.
- Install hummingbird feeders.
- Apply beneficial nemetodes toward the end of the month to control black vine weevils and beetle populations later in the season.
- Place supports over peonies, grasses or other perennials that will need them later on in the season.
- Toward the end of the month, begin mulching beds and apply Preen or corn gluten meal to prevent future weeds.
- Apply a season-long fertilizer on flower beds.
- Dig, divide and replant perennials, such as helenium, fall asters, shasta daisies, chrysanthemums and phlox.
- Plant transplants of pansies, forget-me-nots (Mysotis spp.), foxglove (Digitalis spp.) and other cool-weather flowers.
- Sow seeds of sweet peas, batchelor’s buttons (Centaurea cyanus) and Larkspur (Consolida ajacis) in flower beds.
- Select new azalea and rhododendron bushes while they’re in bloom to make sure that the color complements your landscape.
- Plant summer flowering bulbs and tubers indoors (Cannas, Dahlias, Caladiums, Begonias & Lillies) to be planted outdoors after May 15th.
- Sow seeds in garden beds for annuals like Zinnias and Marigolds.
- Fertilize spring blooming bulbs when showing 2″ to 4″ stems and leaves.
- Prune roses and fertilize if not done in March. Also, begin spraying for blackspot and insect control.
- Cut back all winter damaged horizontal stems and leaves on hellebores.
- Begin planting perennials, along with dividing existing plants (wait until fall to do peonies).
- As flower buds begin to open on mountain laurel, azaleas and rhododendrons, spray with fungicide to prevent flower blight and leaf blight.
- Spray ornamentals for early deer control.
- Plant an asparagus bed.
- Plant seed potatoes (if soil is above 50 degrees).
- Put up a trellis for tall varieties of peas.
- Mulch around the base of cool-season crops to keep their roots cool and moist.
- Plant peas and cool season vegetable seeds or plants (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, collards, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, mustard greens, Pak Choi, radish, spinach, Swiss chard and watercress).
- Plant onion sets.
- When strawberries show new leaves, move winter mulch between rows or in pathways so plant growth is not delayed. Plant new plants if needed. Fertilize with a granular, slow release fertilizer.
- Unwrap winter protection on fruit trees and shrubs before it gets too warm.
- Cover garden soil rows with black plastic for two weeks to warm soil early so sweet potato slips can be planted by May 1st.
- Plant cool season herb seeds or plants like chives, parsley, dill, thyme, rosemary and oregano.
- Plant green manure (cover crops) if early vegetables are not being planted.
- Plant horseradish roots.
- Plant warm season vegetable and flower seeds indoors.
- Plant berries, brambles and grapes and mulch with salt hay or shredded hay and straw.
- Begin the season fruit tree spray program as buds begin to swell.
- Look for snow mold on the lawn. It won’t kill the grass; lightly rake it to improve circulation and lightly fertilize lawn.
- Make sure lawnmower blades are sharpened so as not to leave jagged edges on grass blades.
- Test your soil.
- Apply lawn treatments if soil test requires.
- Plant grass seed if not done in March.
- Apply crab grass control if you are not seeding.
- Begin mowing grass.
- Apply corn gluten meal for organic weed control and fertilizer when Forsythia is blooming.
- Apply weed control to established lawns to control chickweed, clover, ground ivy, henbit and violets.