April: Now is the time to…
- To encourage bushier, stronger plants, pinch off blooms and buds from annuals at planting time.
- You can now plant caladium tubers and potted caladiums.
- You can also put out tomatoes, peppers and other summer veggies.
- Fertilize annuals monthly with a liquid fertilizer.
- Keep an eye out for signs of insects in your garden and containers – such as aphids, slugs and caterpillars. An insecticidal soap works well on getting rid of the aphids, and slug bait will help eliminate the garden slugs. Bt, Spinosad and Sevin will eliminate caterpillars.
- Start seeds of heat-loving annuals: zinnias, portulaca, and impatiens.
- Daylilies and other perennials may still be divided.
- Plant Canna lilies now for summer bloom.
- Fertilize your perennials now if you didn’t in March with Osmocote, Espoma Plant-tone, fish emulsion or fish meal.
- Use systemic pesticides such as Bayer Rose and Flower Care to prevent later insect infestations such as spider mites and lace bug on Lantana.
- Give Daylilies a light application of fertilizer as the buds begin to appear.
- Monitor plants on a regular basis; look at overall health and vigor. Spot check for insects munching on leaves, on new growth, and on the underside of the leaves. Also look for signs of fungal diseases.
- Prune spring flowering shrubs as soon as the flowers begin to fade. Prune to control size, remove awkward growth and diseased or broken branches.
- If you have not yet fertilized trees and shrubs, do it now.
- Water as needed, remembering that in order for trees and shrubs to develop deep strong roots, they require deeper watering than your lawn.
- Use organic mulch to keep roots cool and conserve moisture. We recommend a 2”-4” layer below trees and shrubs. Keep the mulch 6” away from the base of the plants.
- Revitalize your houseplants. Move them onto a screen porch or under the trees for the spring and summer, once nighttime temperatures reach 60 degrees.
- Spring is a desirable time to repot and/or divide containerized houseplants. We recommend using FAFARD Complete Potting Mix for all houseplants and tropicals.
- Good air circulation is necessary for healthy plant growth. Avoid placing houseplants in hot, stuffy areas. Be sure the indoor garden is well-ventilated, but not drafty.
- Check all five growing factors if houseplants are not growing well. Light, temperature, nutrients, moisture and humidity must be favorable for good growth.
- Houseplants with large leaves and smooth foliage will benefit from a shower! This will remove dust and grime, helping keep the leaf pores open, enhancing photosynthesis.
- When moving plants outdoors, prevent leaf scorch by moving them gradually from dense to light shade.
- Fertilize your lawn if you have not already done so. We recommend Lawn Pro 26-0-3.
- With the green color returning to the lawn, fungus and disease problems can now be easily recognized. Treat lawns with Bayer Fungus Control.
- Insects may also be causing stress to your lawn. This is a good time to check for mole crickets and grubs. Follow these simple tests to check for grubs, and mole crickets:
Grubs: Cut 3 sides of a 1-ft. square piece of sod 2” deep with a shovel. Pull back the sod and check for white C shaped grubs. Treat if 8-10 grubs are present in the test area.
Mole crickets: Mix 1-2 ounces of dishwashing soap in a 2-gallon bucket or watering pail. Drench a 2 sq. ft. area with the solution. If mole crickets are present they will surface in a few minutes. Since mole crickets are nocturnal insects, perform this test in the evening hours when the ground is moist.
For a 2-3 month control of these insects, use Bayer Complete Insect Killer for Soil & Turf.
- Water as needed. We recommend ½”-1” of “rain” per week during the cooler spring months. It may be necessary to water during weeks that we receive less rain. During the summer, above 85 degrees, we recommend 1 ½”-2” of water each week, depending on rainfall and soil conditions.
- If you have problems with fire ants, now is the time to use Over ‘n Out to control for the entire season.