Growing Wisdom

April Gardening Chores For This Weekend

For many of us the upcoming weekend will the first one to get outside and so some yard work or, if you live in the city, plant up some of those containers.

Flowers
It’s safe to plant pansies now. You can get all sorts of colors and styles at most nurseries. I try to mix and match all sorts of colors this time of the year and really have fun with them.

Vegetables
You can plant seeds of peas, radish, fava beans, most Asian greens and also some kale or collards. Onions can also be set out in sets.

Lawn
I would not seed the lawn until after the 21st, but if you want to do it the only risk is the seed washes away or gets eaten before it germinates. Grass seed won’t rot like some other seeds will.

You can lime and fertilize your lawn this weekend. I only use fertilizer once during the season. Don’t over fertilize as the grass can’t use all that food anyway.

Houseplants
If you haven’t done so already begin feeding your houseplants again. This is a great time to prune and repot houseplants. I would not put them outside yet, unless they are quite hardy. Rosemary can, for example, go back outside.

Pruning
You can prune evergreen shrubs this time of year. However, if you prune shrubs that flower before mid-June, like rhododendron, you will cut off many of the blossoms. I tend to prune those plants which flower before June 15th, immediately after they flower.
Be sure to make clean cuts when pruning and discard all diseased wood in a safe place far from where it could spread the disease to healthy plants.

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Leaf Litter
Leaves are a good for the garden once they break down, but they can also protect pathogens in the soil. I tend to clear the leaves from around plants like roses and rhododendron where insects can also hide.

Starting Plants
There is still time to start tomatoes, peppers, okra and other warm weather crops in the house. If you buy your plants, don’t be tempted by what you see in some of the big box stores. I saw basil being sold yesterday. This plant should not be put outside until the ground has warmed much more, usually early June, not early April.

spring bulbs flowering.jpg

You can follow more of my tips and ask questions on Twitter @growingwisdom


Have a great weekend.

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