April Showers Bring May Flowers

April should be a month of showers for the May flowers. April, as we all know, has been very cool and not our usual April. The yards and gardens are very slow to wake up. The grass has enjoyed the cool and rainy times and is responding with bright green color.

Chores for this month include

  • Transplant trees and shrubs

  • Prune evergreens

  • Prune the forsythia as it finishes blooming

  • Fertilize broadleaves and conifers

  • Plant summer bulbs such as Dahlias, Gladiolas

  • Divide Chrysanthemums, Daisies, and Iris

  • Deadhead spring flowers, but leave the greens. Those green leaves are making food for the bulbs for next year’s flowers.

  • Continue to start vegetables seeds inside; if they have germinated, put them out during the day and bring them in at night. This helps get them ready to be put in the ground. Remember that the frost date for Frederick County is May 10th to May 15th.

  • Rinse the dust from the house plants and make a plan for putting them outside for the summer in a shaded place out of the sun. They will thank you for the summer vacation in the yard by producing beautiful flowers and greenery for the fall.

  • Remember to mow at 3”-3 ½”, the height will help keep the weeds at bay, provide shade for the roots, and keep the roots cool in hot weather.

  • Aerate, over seed, and thatch the lawn

  • Put out the bird bath and bird houses. Change the water in the bird bath often to keep out the mosquito larva from hatching

Interesting mushrooms may appear around the lawn and garden. They do not do any damage to the lawn or gardens, they are just feeding on the organic matter in the soil and they will disappear when drier conditions return.

Eastern Box turtles are coming out of hibernation in April, so be on the lookout for them. Amphibian eggs are beginning to hatch. Be careful around ponds, streams and vernal pools so as not to disturb the eggs.

May will be here before we know it, with new chores. So each day, walk through the garden and lawn and enjoy a little bit of Mother Nature at her handiwork. It is a beautiful time of the year with a fresh new look.

Article and Photo by Dawne Howard, Master Gardener and FCFCDB member

Nature Note for 4/29/2018