Horticulture Tips of the Month:April
Divide over-wintered baskets of Boston fern into four sections. Plant new hanging baskets using two sections of fern in each.
• Green grass in a
• Plant dahlias, elephant ear, gladiolus and caladiums now.
• Prepare spots where you intend to sod by first killing all weeds present. Use glyphosate (Roundup) or glufosinate (Finale).
• Examine the backside of euonymous and holly leaves for the white crust that signifies scale insects. Thoroughly spray leaves with horticultural oil.
• It is safe to plant tomatoes, peppers and eggplant in your garden now that the soil is warm.
• Remove withered flowers from florist’s azaleas you receive for Easter to prolong their blooming.
• Move houseplants outdoors gradually. Never place them in full sunshine; filtered shade is best.
• It’s never the wrong time to lime your lawn. Forty pounds per 1000 square feet is approximately enough but a soil test can tell you exactly what you need.
• Spray azaleas with insecticidal soap if you have had azalea lace bug problems in the past.
• Remove guy wires from your fall-planted trees. Trees that move with the wind grow stronger than those supported for more than a few months.
• Plant Easter lilies outdoors after removing their faded blooms.
• Mulch tomatoes immediately after planting to prevent early blight fungus from splashing from the soil onto the leaves.
• “Flowering Annuals for
• Water houseplants more frequently with the onset of more hours of sunshine and new green leaves. Begin monthly feedings with houseplant fertilizer.
• Plant the seeds of annual flowers such as marigold, cosmos, zinnia and celosia. Mix lots of soil conditioner in beds to help them be drought tolerant.
• Hang garden chimes on a tree branch so the wind keeps them constantly tinkling.
• Plant corn, bean and pea seeds now. Use a soaker hose to water vegetable rows – you’ll prevent disease and weeds plus save water.
• Sharpen or replace your mower blade now that lawn grass has begun growing rapidly. Check the mowing height on a flat surface.
• Look for aphids clustered at the tips of fast-growing crape myrtle branches. Blast them off with a water hose and give a ground-dwelling spider a nice lunch.
Horticulture Tip of the Month: March
Fertilize pansies. Since the soil is warming, use any water soluble houseplant fertilizer, one half pint to one pint of solution per plant.
Cut most of the green foliage off of tattered liriope. A mower, set to its highest setting, is the best tool for large areas.
Start seed of tomatoes and annual flowers indoors. You’ll need six weeks to grow strong transplants.
Prune boxwood – but not with shears. Use a hand pruner to make foliage “holes” in the greenery so light can penetrate to the trunk.
Spray a fungicide (Captan, etc.) on apple and peach trees while the blooms are on the tree.
If you haven’t spread lime on your lawn in a year, it’s time once again. Use 40 pounds per 1000 square feet.
Now is the time to prune giant holly shrubs back to a manageable size. Don’t be shy – you can cut them to eighteen inches tall and they will come back.
Plant bare-root roses in soil that contains plenty of organic matter and which has been thoroughly tilled.
Use atrazine (Purge) to kill weeds in centipede grass lawns.
Plant beets, cauliflower, mustard, radish and turnips in your garden.
Planting fescue now? You can’t use a pre-emergent weed preventer for six weeks after seeding.
Divide overgrown clumps of hosta now that you can see the leaves unfurling aboveground.
Fertilize pecan trees with one pound of 10-10-10 for every inch of trunk thickness.
Examine the backside of euonymous and camellia leaves for scale insects. Thoroughly spray with horticultural oil if the pests are found.
Remove spent camellia blooms from the bush and from the ground. You’ll prevent camellia petal blight.
Last chance to prune bush roses to approximately one half their present size.
Repot houseplants you plan to move outdoors. Their roots will need more room as they grow rapidly in the sun.
Wait to plant gladiolus, canna and caladium bulbs until mid-April – they all need warm soil in which to grow.
Building near a tree? Be careful – ninety percent of the tree’s roots are in the top twelve inches of soil.
Forsythia, quince and winter honeysuckle can be pruned to a smaller size after flowering.
Fertilize shrubs: 1 tablespoon of 10-10-10 (or shrub fertilizer) per foot of height.
Sharpen your mower blade or replace it with a new one.
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