Friday, April 1, 2011

Garden Tasks For April

Among the most frequently asked questions, "When should I...", is near the top of the list. Here are a few gardening tasks for April organized by region.

Northeast States: Frost danger continues. If you haven't begun sowing flats of warm-season annuals and vegetables indoors, get started. If you already have flats of growing warm-season annuals and vegetables, it might be time to transplant them into larger containers. Plant summer bulbs in containers indoors for putting out later. Begin planting and transplanting cold-hardy plants outdoors. Summer- and fall-blooming perennials can be divided. Prune shrubs and trees. Remove spent flower stalks from spring bulbs, but leave the foliage intact. Trim winter-damaged ground covers to 6 inch height. Lightly fertilize perennials as they emerge. Begin spring cleanup, if you haven't already. Check irrigation and make necessary repairs. Prepare planting beds.

Mid-Atlantic States: Frost danger continues. Finish sowing annuals, vegetables and herb seeds in flats indoors. Plant summer bulbs in containers indoors for putting out later. Plant bare-root perennials, potted roses, cool-season vegetable sets, annuals and strawberries in outdoor beds. Summer- and fall-blooming perennials can be divided and transplanted. Sow cool-season vegetable and herb seeds outdoors. Prune trees, summer- and fall-blooming shrubs. Remove spent flower stalks from spring bulbs, but leave the foliage intact. Trim winter-damaged ground covers to 6 inch height. Lightly fertilize perennials as they emerge. Remove winter mulches. Begin rose care. Construct trellises for climbing vegetables and vines, set tomato stakes.

Mid-South States: Frost is still possible. Plant trees and shrubs. Plant summer bulbs, divide and transplant perennials. Plant container gardens. Sow vegetable and herb seeds in the garden. Transplant vegetable and herbs outdoors. Pinch runners from strawberry plants. Prune spring-blooming trees and shrubs when flowering is completed. Continue to remove spent flower stalks from spring bulbs, but leave the foliage intact. Lightly fertilize annuals and vegetable seedlings. Fertilize spring bulbs when flowering is complete. Begin spraying fruit trees with dormant oil. Apply mulch to newly planted plants. Continue rose care. Install sod. Fertilize lawn when spring green-up occurs.

Lower South and Gulf States: Continue to plant container-grown trees and shrubs. Plant summer bulbs. Continue to divide and transplant perennials. Continue to plant container gardens. Sow warm-season annuals, vegetables and herbs. Transplant warm-season vegetable and herb seedlings. Shear spring-blooming trees and shrubs when flowering is complete. Shear conifers and evergreen shrubs. Pinch planted mums to delay bloom. Remove spent flower stalks from spring bulbs, but leave the foliage intact. Fertilize camellias, azaleas, annuals, container gardens, summer bulbs, fruit trees. Spray fruit trees with insecticide and fungicide. Thin excess fruit from fruit trees. Continue rose care. Plant warm-season grass seed and install sod.

Plains and Rocky Mountain States: Frost is still possible. If you haven't begun sowing flats of warm-season annuals and vegetables indoors, get started. If you already have flats of growing warm-season annuals and vegetables, it might be time to transplant them into larger containers. Plant summer bulbs in containers indoors for putting out later. Begin planting and transplanting cold-hardy plants outdoors. Summer- and fall-blooming perennials can be divided. Prune shrubs and trees. Remove spent flower stalks from spring bulbs, but leave the foliage intact. Trim winter-damaged ground covers to 6 inch height. Lightly fertilize perennials as they emerge. Begin spring cleanup, if you haven't already. Check irrigation and make necessary repairs. Prepare planting beds. Remove winter mulches. Begin rose care. Construct trellises for climbing vegetables and vines, set tomato stakes. Mulch newly planted trees and shrubs.

Pacific Southwest and Desert States: Plant trees, shrubs, summer bulbs, annuals and vegetable sets. Divide summer- and fall-blooming perennials. Sow vegetable, annual and herb seeds. Shear conifers. Prune spring-flowering trees and shrubs when bloom is complete. Remove spent flower stalks from spring bulbs, but leave the foliage intact. Fertilize azaleas, camellias, summer bulbs, vegetables, fruit trees, annuals, container gardens (including house plants). Continue rose care. Sow grass seed or install sod. Continue lawn care.

Pacific Northwest States: Frost danger continues. Plant shrubs, trees, summer bulbs. Construct trellises for climbing vegetables and vines, set tomato stakes. Plant annuals, warm-season vegetables and herb sets, and sow warm-season annuals, vegetables and herb seeds after last frost. Trim winter-damaged ground covers to 6 inch height. Divide crowded perennials. Shear evergreen shrubs and conifers. Prune spring-flowering plants when bloom is complete. Remove spent flower stalks from spring bulbs, but leave the foliage intact. Fertilize azaleas, camellias when bloom is complete. Fertilize fruit trees, container gardens, annuals, vegetables and herbs. Continue rose care. Mulch trees, shrubs and vegetables.

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