Your April Gardening Checklist

Your April Gardening Checklist

-Pot up Dahlia tubers and other summer blooming bulbs for an earlier and more impressive show of color late on in your garden.
-Start seed for warm season vegetable crops indoors to set out in May.
-Check the operating condition of mowers, tillers, and other lawn and garden power equipment. Change engine oil, replace filters and spark plugs, refresh the fuel supply. Clean and sharpen cutting tools, mower blades, etc.
-Inventory supplies of fertilizer, peat and other soil amendments, pest control chemicals etc. for upcoming season.
-Apply dormant oil spray to fruit trees and other woody plants as a pre-emptive insect/disease control. Be sure temperatures will remain above freezing for 24 hours after application.
-Check lawn for winter damage from rodent activity(mostly voles) and snow mold disease .To avoid compacting soil and damaging its structure, hold off cleanups until soils have drained sufficiently and are firm under foot.
-Order bulk soil, compost and mulches for future gardening projects.
-Transplant trees/shrubs while still dormant, especially crabapples, lilacs, and other early leafing species. Be sure that the soil is not too wet to form a good rootball.
-Turn compost piles.
-Take soil samples to test for fertility, pH, etc.
-Look for tree damage, prune out diseased limbs or weak growth. Cut back summer interest shrubs that bloom on new wood such as butterfly bush(buddleia) , summersweet(clethra), hypericum, hibiscus, and late blooming paniculata type woody hydrangeas.
-Begin the rake back some of the extra mulch applied to perennial beds for winter protection. Unwrap burlaps and other shrub covers that might cause plants to overheat.
-Set up a garden consultation or landscape design appointment with a landscape professional to get this season’s outdoor projects off to a great start.

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