Things To Do In April

Planting
Bedding plants/annuals are now available to replace any cool-season annuals that are just about done. Zinnia, ageratum, coleus, dahlia, marigold, nicotiana, phlox, petunia, salvia and many more have brightened up our garden center. Let them brighten up your gardens. Also, try some taller annuals such as cosmos, cleome, sunflowers, and foxgloves to add height and interest to the garden beds.

Roses, Roses, Roses. There’s still time to plant roses. They are full of buds and blooms right now–and they are simply gorgeous

If you are a beneficial insect lover, flat-topped flowers like Shasta daisies, scabiosa, strawflowers, and yarrow are perfect additions to your garden for feeding them. Beneficial insects such as the almost microscopic parasitic wasps, ladybugs, etc. keep other insect pests away from your vegetable gardens by eating aphids, scale, and other annoying insect intruders! You can use beautiful flowers to temp these garden friends into your garden. Try putting some of these flowers near to your rose garden for aphid control!

Time to plant dahlias, begonias and get in the gladiolus bulbs. Add some bone meal to the planting hole.

The narcissus and daffodils are blooming, as well as other spring blooming bulbs. However, as soon as the blooms are spent, you can deadhead–but don’t remove the foliage! The bulb needs that green foliage to add nutrients back to the bulb for next year’s flowers. Hide the clippers for a little while longer. Try and old-fashioned technique of braiding the leaves or if you must cut…leave at least half of the leaf length for the bulb. It will thank you with next year’s bloom!

It’s time to start warm season crops. Coastal areas can continue planting cool season crops like the leaf lettuces, radishes, and spinach for a while. Inland zones (not the high desert, though) can start the warm season vegetables such as beans, corn, squashes, cucumber, eggplant, tomatoes and peppers. We have them all and more.

Maintenance
Continue with fertilizing those areas of the garden you haven’t gotten to yet. Once your azaleas and camellias have stopped blooming their hearts out, they will thank you if you feed them. This is a good time to prune back these spring bloomers. Once the flowering has ended and before the new growth begins, prune and shape to your desired shape and size.

Also, you may see some chlorosis on your acid-loving plants like the azalea or camellia and also on your citrus. This is yellowing of the leaves between the veins. It is a sign of iron deficiency for the plant.

Especially near the coast, this is the time we begin to see powdery mildew on our rose foliage (and other plants too). There are several different foliar fungicidal sprays to try.

Aphids will be back. Remember that you can first wash them off with water. Really, it does help. For more severe infestations, ask us to recommend something suitable for your particular plants.

Mulch, Mulch Mulch!
We will always tell you to mulch. This does not mean mound up the mulch to 5 feet. It means continue to replenish the mulch and maintain a 2-4 inch blanket over your soil. So when you hear us singing the MULCH song, you know just what we mean!