Gardeners have lots to do in April, but beware. We still could have snow and freezing temperatures, so wait till mid-May before planting frost-sensitive greenery.
Maintenance needed now:
- Finish cleanup of garden debris, cutting back ornamental grasses if not already done.
- Dig up weeds.
- Prune any broken or damaged branches.
- Replace mulch if needed.
- Heed the weather and cover tender foliage with cloth, box or bucket if temperature drops below 25 degrees, removing the covers the next morning.
- Hang some pheromone traps for yellow jackets. Trapping them early reduces nesting by these aggressive wasps.
For your lawn:
- Core aerate your turf.
- Consider over-seeding or applying a pre-emergent
weed control. Don't do both, as the weed control will prevent the seed from sprouting.
- Apply fertilizer to cool season lawns.
- Water as needed.
- Start mowing if grass exceeds 3 inches tall.
For trees and shrubs:
- Plant trees and shrubs as early as you can work the ground, and water them well until they're established.
- If tree trunks are wrapped, remove wrapping early in April.
- Now is the time to plant bare-root roses. Soak roots for 12 hours before planting.
- Deer and rabbits are hungry, so consider deer repellent for plants they occasionally browse.
- Remove mulch from around rose plants.
- Prune dead or damaged canes first, and prune remaining canes to 1 to 2 feet.
- Fertilize with a rose food formulation of 9-14-9.
- For climbing roses, do not prune live canes but do cut back any dead or damaged canes.
- Plant cool season vegetables, lettuce, spinach, kale, peas and beets once soil temperature is up to 40 degrees Farenheit. Thin plants when they emerge.
- Start tomatoes, peppers and basil from seed indoors.
- Start seeds of flowers such as zinnias and celosia that need four weeks to germinate before planting outside.
- Transplant summer- and autumn-blooming perennials.