Early April Gardening Checklist

PERENNIAL GARDEN:

  • Dig, divide & replant clumps of overgrown ornamental grasses.
  • Poor drainage often leads to root disease.
  • Fertilize perennial beds with FlowerTone for full healthy plants & super blooms.
  • Protect irises from iris borer by raking away old foliage & disposing of it.

ROSE CARE:

  • Prune roses the first week of April. Hybrid teas yield roses on new growth; therefore, prune canes to 7-8” long,
  •   always cutting 1/4” above a bud; cut on an angle so the high side of the cut is just above the new growth.
  • Climbers produce roses on old wood, so limit the pruning to dead or diseased canes. Cut to the ground any canes damaged by winter or devastated by cane borer, also any sucker canes springing up from below the graft union. Mulch with new wood mulch to a depth of 3-4”.

ANNUALS & VEGGIES:

  • Allow soil to dry before tilling it. Plant peas, beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, spinach, root crops & other cold hardy vegetables.
  • Plant cheerful Pansies in sun or light shade & average, moist but well-drained soil with organic matter.

TREES & SHRUBS:

  • Now is the best time to transplant dormant shrubs. Apply a root stimulate when planting to promote root growth.
  • When you have to transplant a large shrub, putit on a snow shovel & slide it across the lawn.Prune Pee Gee Hydrangea by moving down each cane until you find the lowest pair of fat, squatty flower buds, opposite each other about 5-8” above the soil. Prune 1/4” above this pair of buds on each cane.
  • French Hydrangeas are pruned differently – by moving down the cane only 6-10” to fine th uppermost flower bud (flower buds being fat in size compared with skimpy lower buds which produce foliage). Prune 1/4” above this bud, then repeat for the other healthy canes.
  • Fertilize Hydrangeas after pruning. In acid soil, French hydrangea flower will be blue, in which case, you add aluminum sulphate to the soil. (By omitting phosphorous in the fertilizer, the aluminum & iron in the acid soil will create the bluest pigment possible for the most dramatic blue flowers you’ve ever seen). Where the soil pH approaches or exceeds 6, the pigment will be pink to white.
  • Hedges that are over-grown or unshapely may be sheared severely now to improve their outline. By doing this now, the stub ends will soon be hidden by new growth.
  • Fertilize your trees & shrubs when the frost is leaving the ground & it is soft – the fertilizer reaches the root zone easier.

LAWN CARE:

  • Rake lawn of dead grass, leaves, twigs & other debris.
  • Mowing should begin when grass reaches a height of 2.5-3”. Use sharp mower blades.
  • Japanese Beetle grubs are now at root level in the soil. Begin control for grubs & other soil insects. Target the application before a heavy rainfall, otherwise you must soak it in.
  • As snow disappears from the lawn, it may leave a trail of fungus damage in its wake, know as “snow mold”. If patches are present, brush vigorously with a steel leaf rake to prevent the mold from smothering the turf.

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