April in the Garden
Sunny day, cloudy day, rainy days, snowy day (?) repeat! April in our area is such a fickle friend. And this year, when most of us are longing to be outdoors, is no exception!
However, there are plenty of tasks to accomplish while we wait for better weather and the chores we do this month are certain to make our gardening in the months ahead easier and more enjoyable!
On sunny days:
• Clean out your garden beds – As I mentioned last month, inside the stalks of ornamental grasses and perennials are many beneficial baby insects that are lost to our gardens if we cut back last season’s plant material too early. So wait for dandelions to start to appear and April temperatures to reach 50 degrees for a number of consecutive days before you tackle this task. Remember to compost the debris.
• If your beds are complete you can edge them now. If you are going to be adding plant material to them you may want to wait until the new plants have been added.
• When the forsythia blooms you can prune your roses. Consult your local nursery or check online gardening sites for how to prune the type of roses on your property. Shrub roses, groundcover roses, hybrids and climbers all have specific ways to be pruned. You can also start feeding your roses now and continue to do so once a month until September.
• April is a great time to divide and replant your perennials. Of course you may want to wait until after your spring flowering ones have gone by before you divide those.
• There’s still time to prune shrubs that flower in mid to late summer as they haven’t put their buds out yet.
• Get a head start on weeds. Identify the early growth of the weeds that just love to invade your beds and remove them now. Make sure to get the whole root out!
• Pamper your plants by adding compost and the proper fertilizers around each one. If you have removed a shrub or a number of perennials from a bed, remember to add compost and soil to the hole left behind to help