April tips for the happy home owner

Fertilize spring bulbs, including daffodils and hyacinths, after they bloom.

(Photo courtesy of Wikipedia Commons)

April is a delightful month! We have more hours of light and our days are getting warmer. The out-of-doors looks inviting, so we begin to decide what to do first. This is a list of possibilities. Let’s start with

  • Continue to prune trees and non-flowering shrubs while they are still dormant

  • Fertilize your trees and shrubs following the guideline on the packaging — more is not better.

  • Inspect your trees and shrubs for insects, rodent damage, and possible disease problems. Look for aphids, scale, and gypsy moth eggs. The moth eggs are tan, felt-like, one to two inches long, and may be found on tree bark, firewood, or any outdoor structure. Remove them and destroy them before they hatch this month.

  • Remove and deadhead foliage on perennials and ornamental grasses

  • Divide and transplant perennials

  • Fertilize spring bulbs such as daffodil and hyacinths after they bloom

  • Prune the forsythia after it is finished blooming

  • Fertilize lawns lightly and apply a pre-emergence weed control, if desired. Corn gluten can be used to control crabgrass and other annual weeds. Be sure to get a soil test for your lawn and garden. No need to apply more fertilizers or amendments than you need.

Ok, now we are ready to talk about the vegetable garden. Tilling is the first step when the soil is not too wet.

Again, the soil test will dictate what amendments you will need for a successful vegetable yield. Cool weather crops, such as spinach, lettuce, broccoli, beets, radishes, peas and carrots can be planted now. Asparagus, rhubarb, and berries can also be planted.

Remember: the last Frost Date is May 10-15, so keep all of your warm weather plants indoors at night, and outside in a sheltered place in the day to get them acclimatized for planting.

Finally, attention to the jobs of spring will certainly give your yard, lawn, and garden a head start for a successful year. Have fun!!!!

Article by Dawne Howard, Master Gardener and FCFCDB member

Nature Note for 4/16/2017