After the l-o-n-g winter, the sun has come out and we are all anxious to get working in the garden! Here is our list of early April garden chores. Enjoy!
•Container gardens are the perfect way to bring some fast spring color to your yard. Stop in to see our new selection of containers! You can plant pansies, nemesias, daffodils, hyacinths, hellebores, primroses and violas now for color in your outdoor container gardens.
• Clean out the dead leaves and branches from your ground cover beds to help prevent disease and insect problems.
• Do a soil test! Each plant has a different pH preference range. Test the pH in your garden every year to ensure that you are giving your plants what they need to thrive. This is particularly important for gardens near walkways and roads after our harsh winter. Salt, which was used on icy surfaces, can alter the chemistry of the soil. Limestone or garden sulphur may be needed to alter the pH. Call Jim or any of our gardening experts (203-661-5600) to determine the perfect pH for your plants, and how to get there!
• Recycle wood ashes from your fireplace. Scratch a small amount of ashes into the soil around Lilacs, Lavenders, and Peonies, as these plants thrive in sweet alkaline soils.
• Amend your soil with compost, cow manure, sand, vermiculite or perlite based on your garden’s needs. Stop in or call us if you are not sure what you need.
• Apply a dress coat of bark mulch to existing beds, being careful not to pack it against the trunk and/or branches of shrubs and trees.
ROSES, SHRUBS AND TREES
• Begin fertilizing roses now. Upon leaf-break, you can start your preventive maintenance spraying, especially for disease problems like black spot and powdery mildew.
• Divide fibrous-rooted (i.e. several small roots but no dominant root) perennials if they have fully matured. Phlox, coreopsis, scabiosa and other fibrous-rooted perennials respond best to being divided in April.
• Spray hemlocks (saturate both sides of branches) with dormant oil spray to control wooly adelgid and hemlock scale.
• Before flower buds have opened, spray fruit trees and crabapples with Daconil to protect them from cedar apple rust.
• Spray deer-attracting plants with Bobbex, a deer repellent and 100% organic fertilizer. On fast-growing plants, like tulips, remember to spray new growth every seven days.
• Prune summer-blooming shrubs, removing any dead wood and any branches that are not desirable. Spring blooming shrubs will also respond best to pruning now, but you will be sacrificing some blooms! They can be pruned after they flower, but shrubs do not have as many accumulated reserves as they do right after winter. If rosebushes and perennials were not pruned in the fall, now is the time to prune those as well.
• Transplant shrubs and perennials so the plants have a full season in their new sites before having to endure winter.
• Overseed/re-seed/spot-seed your lawn and apply mulching hay or Greenview’s Grass Seed Accelerator to aid germination.
• Early April is the best time to apply a crabgrass preventer to lawns. We highly recommend that you avoid dangerous products, and choose an organic alternative. Call us or stop in to get the right product for your lawn.