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9/24/2017
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General April Checklist

by Gardening123 Staff

Here are a few general gardening tips to keep in mind during the month of April:

Lawn

  • Warm-season grasses, such as bermuda, zoysia, and centipede, should be fertilized with a complete lawn fertilizer that contains a slow-release form of nitrogen. Apply at a rate of .75 pounds of actual nitrogen per 1,000 square feet.

  • Begin planting warm-season grasses now after the danger of frost has passed, usually around mid-April.

  • Begin mowing warm-season grasses once they have reached a height of 2-3 inches.

  • Grass clippings are richer in nutrients and contain fewer weed seeds if collected early in the season. Now is a good time to put them in a compost pile.

  • Now is a good time to apply weed-controlling herbicides to your lawn.

Ornamentals

  • Lift, divide and replant your chrysanthemums as soon as new shoots appear. Pinch out the top once the plants have reached a height of 4 inches for a fuller plant.

  • Prune spring-blooming shrubs, such as forsythia, weigela, and early spirea, after they have finished blooming. Pruning these shrubs before flowering will reduce their blooming potential.

  • When preparing flower beds, keep in mind that good drainage is essential to beautiful flowers. Work the soil thoroughly and deeply, and be sure to include organic matter, limestone, and fertilizer into the beds. Adding perlite can help improve the drainage if soil is sticky.

  • You can help protect young, tender plants from heavy rains, weeds, and dry spells by mulching with dried grass clippings, pine needles, or straw.

Fruits and Vegetables

  • Watch for fire blight on pears and apples this month.

  • Mulch strawberries with dried pine needles to help reduce weeds.

  • Prune out the canes on grape vines with the fewest buds. This will allow light, moisture and air circulation to reach the center of the plant and increase the quality and quanity of the vine's fruit.

  • Erect trellises now for bean and cucumber vines if you plan to train them later in the season.

  • If the weather is wet and cold, allow twice the germination time listed on the seed packet. If there are no signs of growth after that period, the seed has probably rotted and will need to be replaced.

  • To shorten the growth time of container vegetables, use black plastic pots that will absorb sunlight and warm the soil better.

Houseplants

  • Don't overpot African violets. They bloom much better and are healthier if left in small pots.

  • Don't move your houseplants outdoors until you the threat of frost and chilly night air has passed. When you do put them out, try to keep them in the same light conditions they were in while inside until they have had time to adjust.

  • Browning tips on leaves is a sign that more water is being lost than is being absorbed by the roots. Check for possible root damage, dry soil, too much sunlight, or drafts from vents.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

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