This Month in the Garden (April)

IN THE SPRING, AT THE END OF THE DAY, YOU SHOULD SMELL LIKE DIRT. —MARGARET ATWOOD

  • AprilPageImageTrees & Shrubs
    • Prune early flowering trees and shrubs after blooms have faded. Prune deciduous vines like wisteria after they finish flowering.
    • Keep roses well mulched; keep mulch away from crown and lower stems.
    • Fertilize all spring flowering shrubs and vines after they bloom.
    • Watch for insect damage on new tender growth.
    • Inspect established evergreens for signs of scale, boxwoods and hollies for leaf miner damage, azaleas and pyracanthas for lace bugs.
  • Annuals, Perennials & Shrubs
    • Deadhead your spring flowering bulbs when they have finished blooming but do not cut off the green foliage; these green leaves continue to grow for a few week and provide the bulb with food for next year.
    • Divide perennials like Daylilies, Delphiniums, Iris, Chrysanthemums, Daisies and Phlox.
    • If you have a pond or pool aquatic plants can be set after the middle of the month.
  • Fruits, Vegetables & Herbs (Sow & Plant:)
    • Fertilize fruit trees during fruit set.
    • Lightly fertilize blueberries a second time when they bloom.
    • Watch new tree growth for signs of fireblight, especially fruit trees. Remove any affected twigs by cutting several inches below the damaged area. Be sure to sterilize your shears afterward!
  • Sow & Plant
    • Carrots, celery, collards, lettuce, parsley, radishes, turnips, rutabagas, beets
    • Broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, kohlrabi and kale can be sown directly in the ground now without protection. Keep an eye out for slugs!
    • Lettuce, spinach, mustards, arugula, Asian greens, cress and greens mixes
    • Onion Sets ?plant your main onion patch asap if you are working from sets or starts.
    • Potatoes ? Plant anytime from March to June, depending on variety, when you want to harvest them and what the weather is doing.
    • Hardy herbs like chives, parsley, mints, marjoram, oregano, dill, fennel, borage, cilantro
  • This & That
    • Tune up your lawn mower — Lay sod or sow new lawns — Remove winter grunge from patios and terraces.
  • Just for Fun!   Walk through the woods or a park and enjoy Mother Nature?s gardening accomplishments!
  • Did you know…   Honeybees may be swarming, leaving their hives and seeking new hives. New swarms are not aggressive and should be left alone. If you spy a swarm, contact a local beekeeper who will be happy to help. If you don?t know a beekeeper, visit the Virginia State Beekeepers Association website at http://www.virginiabeekeepers.org/map/node to find a club near you!

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