April in Your Garden
- Work in the Garden – This is a good month to plant new shrubs and hardy perennials and to prepare for the coming summer. Keep roots cool and weeds down by applying mulch around flowers and vegetables, particularly Azaleas, berries, and Camellias which have more shallow root systems. Plants will benefit from a dose of an all-purpose fertilizer such as Gro-Power. Tie vines to supports.
- Planting and Transplanting – Buy new geraniums now so they’re established before the hot weather. Banana, Bougainvillea, Hibiscus, Lantana, Natal Plum and New Guinea Impatiens all can be planted soon as the weather is warm enough, which is now. Beautiful lavender, purple, white or pink Wisterias are in bloom now and can be trained as a climbing vine or a dramatic small tree.
- Bedding Plants – Pick up Evergreen Nursery’s economical 4” 8-packs of warm weather annuals such as Ageratum, Begonias, Cosmos, Coleus, Dahlias, Dianthus, Impatiens, Lobelia, Marigolds, Petunias and Zinnias.
- Vegetables and Herbs – Plant string beans, beets, carrots, corn, cucumber, eggplant, leaf lettuce, melon, parsley, pumpkin, radish, spinach, tomatoes and squash. Stake peas.
- Fruiting Plants – Plant strawberries. Thin over-bearing citrus, apple, peach and other fruit. Citrus and avocado trees need half their annual doses of nitrogen now – give one pound per inch of trunk diameter. If leaves are yellowish with green veins, work Iron Chelate into the soil.
- Roses – Rose bushes are at their peak now. Disbud and strip bad leaves. As they complete their cycle, prune moderately to encourage more blooms. Spray for fungus and insects every 4-6 weeks as needed through September.
- Lawns – Both warm and cool season grasses can be fed with a high nitrogen fertilizer. Feed when the ground is moist but the grass is dry, and then water thoroughly. Plant cool season grasses such as fescue now. This is a good time to reseed.
- Houseplants – Finish repotting older plants to give them fresh soil. Give them a dose of an all-purpose fertilizer a couple weeks later. Wipe leaves. Move outside in a protected area to catch a light spring rain.
- Some Specific Plants – Start feeding and watering cacti and succulents as they may be starting to send out new growth. Choose from a variety of exotic plants, such as Agave, Aloe, Crassula, and Echeveria. Plant them in drier parts of the yard with Rockrose, Salvia and Rosemary.
- Pest Control – Snails, slugs and aphids do their most damage now to soft, new growth. Bait or hand-pick snails and slugs. Spray aphids with the hose or a solution of 1 tablespoon of non-detergent soap per gallon of water (in the morning so plants are dry before the heat of the day).
The End of the Rains is Near – Time to Begin Planting
- Spring is the time to add color and texture to your garden with the largest variety of blooming annuals, shrubs and vines available all year.
- As the weather warms, water trees and shrubs deeply. Water in the morning so you won’t encourage pests and diseases. Evaporation and risk of sunburn is minimal in the early hours.
- Major weeding now, before roots have time to establish themselves and while the weather is still moderate, will save a lot of time and work later on.