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.