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 or trellises.
Planting and Transplanting
Buy new Geraniums now so they’re established before the hot weather. Bougainvillea, Hibiscus, Lantana, New Guinea Impatiens, and other cold sensitive plants, all can be planted as 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.
Vegetables and Herbs
Plant string beans, beets, carrots, corn, cucumber, eggplant, leaf lettuce, melon, parsley, pumpkin, radish, spinach, tomatoes and squash.
Plant strawberries. Thin over-bearing citrus, apple, peach and other fruit by removing two out of three fruits in each cluster. 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 along with Gypsum.
Fertilize regularly. Use Bayer 2-in-1 Rose Care for feeding and insect control every six weeks during the growing season. As they complete their cycle, prune moderately to encourage more blooms. Watch for signs of rust and mildew and spray as needed through September.
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 bare areas and remember to apply a thin layer of seed topper to protect and keep seeds moist.
Finish repotting older plants to give them fresh soil. Give them a dose of a water-soluble fertilizer a couple weeks later. Wipe leaves to discourage mites. 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.
Snails, slugs and aphids do their most damage now to soft, new growth. Bait or hand-pick snails and slugs. If aphids are noticed, spray with the hose or a solution of 1 tablespoon of non-detergent soap per gallon of water (in the morning so plants have time to 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.