April gardening tips
Weather can be highly variable in April. We can get beautiful sunny warm days followed by a drop back into the depths of winter. But for hardy gardeners there is no bad weather just bad outerwear. And this is the funnest time of year to add new perennials to your landscape. The sun drawing out those Spring blossoms, the gardens seem to be overflowing with new growth and the air is thick with the smell of earth and the song of birds. So let’s get out and garden!
If you have a profusion of new growth and are trying to control the size of any flowering shrubs or vines like camellias or clematis – after their bloom is a good time to prune them back to a reasonable size.
Place support rings around peonies, swallowtail columbine, and or any other perennials before they topple over with all those blooms to come.
Pests and diseases
Pests are on the rise. Control aphids before they get to your veggies, look for them on roses and in the veggies garden they might be lying in wait for the broccoli to come out. Mix a teaspoon of dish soap in a quart bottle and spray liberally on the effected plant. If you are lucky enough to have garter snakes let them be – they feast on slugs this time of year! If spider webs appear remember that they will consume an amazing number of mosquitoes for you in the coming months.
Keep an eye out for fungal diseases to appear and treat before they get out of hand.
Weeds are planning the complete takeover of your garden so get at those dandelions before they have a tactical advantage.
As summer approaches it will soon be time for all our tender plants that we have overwintered to go back out for the summer. Take your succulents, orchids or whatever rare lovely that you have kept inside and give them a good dose of love – transplant into larger containers, trim off unsightly dead growth and give them a bit of fertilizer in anticipation of moving outdoor next month.
Tomatillos, tomatoes, asian greens, basil, cucumber, melons, pumpkins and squash.
Arugula, beets, carrots, chives, cilantro, dill, green onions and second rounds of kale, chard, lettuces and spinach.
This is your last chance for root and cool weather crops like radishes, beets, cilantro, onions leeks and potatoes.
Broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, greens of all sorts and onions.
It can be possible to put out tomatoes, and peppers now but they will need serious cover!!!
More veggie tips
Continue to harden off veggies to go outside. A cold frame or unheated porch will do the trick but if you rush this process and don’t allow plants to transition you can stunt them. We feel that it is better to avoid starting melons and beans inside as they don’t often transplant well.
Think about installing a watering system now before the heat of summer, it will save you time and money while conserving a precious resource. And in the mean time remember to frequently check the moisture on new outdoor seedlings and transplants to make sure they don’t dry out I can sometimes just take a day for a new plant to wither.
Plant plant plant! Now is such a great time of year to make additions to your garden and there are so many lovelies to choose from – come visit us and see!