Wow, this is going to be a busy month! Here's what to focus on in April:
If you're feeling the need for some garden inspiration, check out some of the garden tours that pop up around this time of year. You'll find lots of fresh ideas you can put to use in your own yard.
If you need to expand your back yard vegetable garden, consider moving some edibles into the ornamental beds in your front yard, Herbs and greens like Swiss chard and lettuces can blend in easily, as can fruit trees, especially citrus.
Try implementing a hydrozoning plan with your new plantings. That means grouping plants together by their water needs. Whether you use an irrigation system or hand-water, you'll find that watering will become a much simpler process.
Plant annual flowers for a cutting garden. Good choices include asters, baby's breath, calendula, celosia, cosmos, dianthus, larkspur, rudbeckia, scabiosa, snapdragons, statice, stock, sunflowers, and zinnias.
This is a good time to plant blackberries, raspberries, rhubarb, and if you live in an area where night-time temperatures are consistently above 50 degrees F, tomatoes.
It's also a good time for planting vines such as wisteria and passion fruit vines.
There's lots of clean-up to be done this month. You can remove frost-damaged branches, prune evergreens, and keep weeding!
Rain can be spotty this month. Make sure you actually check the soil occasionally to see how deep the moisture goes. Even if the surface of the soil is wet, you may need to supplement with some deep watering.
Get organized about your fertilizing schedule. It's helpful to keep track of what plants you feed and what amendments you use. If you apply a timed-release fertilizer, note on your calendar when you'll need to re-apply it and where.
Lawns need a spring boost at this time, but take care not to overdo it. Apply about 1/2 lb. of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet and make sure it gets spread out evenly.
Go on pest-patrol to watch for snails, slugs, and sucking insects like aphids and scale. If you notice ants going up and down trees, they're probably farming aphids on the trees for their honeydew. You can control both the ants and aphids by applying a sticky barrier like Tanglefoot around the base of the trunk.