We have compiled a list of some gardening tasks that can be completed in April. This list is not exhaustive so if you have any other questions about a specific plant or task – please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.
(Note: Some tasks from last month can carry over into this month due to the closeness in the season. If you have already performed any of these tasks, enjoy the feeling of having that task complete!)
- Plant Grass Seed NOW (unless you have already put down a spring pre-emergent weed preventer. Weed preventers will also prevent grass seed from germinating and sprouting)
- If you have already put down a pre-emergent, you will need to wait at least 3 months before putting down grass seed. In this case, we would recommend that you seed in the fall and apply your weed preventer again next Spring.
- If you aren’t putting down grass seed, apply Fertilome Weed Out Plus Lawn Fertilizer beginning this month. Read more on lawn care this month here.
- For weeds that have already sprouted, you can spray Fertilome Weed Free Zone. This product has been designed to be effective the cool temps of early Spring and will tackle weeds such as Dandelion and Henbit.
- Aerating the lawn is great during early Spring while their is good moisture content in the soil.
- Service mowers & trimmers and sharpen mower blades before the mowing season gets into full swing.
TREES & SHRUBS
- Clean up any fallen leaves or debris from under your trees, shrubs, & rose bushes if you haven’t already
- Prune out any broken branches from trees or shrubs with a clean & sharp pair of pruners. You can read more about Spring Pruning Here
- Plant new trees & shrubs in the landscape. Due to the cooler temps and higher rainfall of early Spring, your plants have more time to develop a healthy root system with less stress.
- Fertilize most trees & shrubs now if you didn’t perform this in March. If you use a granular fertilizer, make sure to follow this up with a good deep watering.
- Prune Spring blooming shrubs such as Forsythia, Quine, and Lilac within 2-3 weeks after the bloom petals have fallen off. You can heavily prune to encourage a new flush of green growth.
- Apply Bonide Fruit Tree Spray after petal drop on your fruit trees. This will help prevent disease, fungal, & pest problems.
- Apply Horticultural Oil sprays to Euonymus and other Scale prone shrubs
- General clean up of landscape bed
- Add a fresh layer of mulch mulch if you haven’t already. Mulch should be 3-4″ deep and usually 1-1.5″ is enough for a top dressing.
- It’s a great time to edge and mulch your landscape/flower beds.
- Mowing season is here – edge & mulch around trees prior to the mowing season to prevent mower damage from base of trees.
- Weed control in your landscape and garden beds – Read more on Spring Weed Control here.
- Start your warm season seeds such as Tomatoes & Peppers indoors this month. Hold off on transplanting outside – Tomatoes and Peppers specifically do not tolerate the cold at all so even if April throws us some beautiful warm days – keep waiting for May.
- Seed your cool season outdoor crops such as kale, lettuce, radish, & spinach directly into the garden.
- Continue growing small transplants of Broccoli, Cabbage, Kale, etc. in the garden
- Clean dead foliage from under perennials such as Lenten Rose and trim away any dead stalks or leaves from last season if you haven’t already. Cut back all winter killed perennial foliage.
- Dig & divide perennials such as Hosta & Daylily. You can divide & replant (or share with a neighbor!) Note: Peony, Bearded Iris, Lily, & Oriental Poppy prefer to be divided in late summer after blooming. Read more about dividing your perennials in Spring here.
- Fertilize most perennials with a good all purpose fertilize if you didn’t in March. We recommend Fertilome Gardener’s Special all purpose fertilizer.
- Go ahead and stake/support any perennial you know tend to “flop” from the weight of their heavy blooms such as Peony or Hydrangea. Staking now gives plenty of time for the growth to cover the support and not detract from the beauty of your plant.
- Provide extra tie or stake support for vining plants such as Honeysuckle or Clematis as they begin to grow new shoots and tendrils.
FLOWER BEDS & CONTAINERS
- Prepare your flower beds for your summer flowers. Amend the soil with some good quality amendments such as Daddy Pete’s Composted Cow Manure or Perennial Pleaser.
- Plant summer blooming bulbs such as Lily, Iris, & Dahlia.
- Remove spent blooms from Spring flowering bulbs. Remember: Don’t cut back your Spring flowering bulb foliage until it has yellowed.
- Fertilize Spring blooming bulbs after they have finished flowering. We recommend Hi-Yield Dutch Bulb Food.
- Pull and/or spray weeds around the flower beds. It is a good time before their roots grow too far and the soil is generally moist.
- If you want a pop of color now, Pansies, Snapdragons, and Dianthus are great frost & cool tolerant flowers you can plant now. You will get still color for 2-3 more months from them depending on the weather.
- It is a good time to consider repotting your houseplants especially if root bound. (The pot feels tight around the plant or sometimes the root will be growing out of the drainage holes) Remember: only pot into a pot that is 2-3” bigger than your current pot. Too large of a pot can encourage overwatering and lead to root rot.
- Clean your ponds and water features. Remove any debris that may have collected or fallen in during the late fall & winter season.
- Cut back and remove any dead plants or foliage from aquatic plants
- Begin feeding your fish again as they come out of their sleepy dormant winter period