April Gardening Tips
Crabgrass starts to germinate when the redbuds are in bloom, but it continues well into the summer, so go ahead and apply ferti•lome Lawn Food plus Crabgrass and Weed Preventer if you haven’t already. An April application will still catch most crabgrass before it germinates. Be sure to water it in well. For broadleaf weed control only, use ferti•lome Weed Free Zone as a spray. Or use ferti•lome Weed-Out with or without fertilizer. Weed control products, like Weed-Out, are not to be watered in so the weed killer can stick on the weed for a day.
April is the time to seed or overseed cool-season grasses. To control crabgrass when seeding use Starter Fertilizer plus Crabgrass Preventer with Tupersan (Siduron). This is the only treatment you can use to prevent weeds and plant seed at the same time. Keep soil moist until grass sprouts. After germination, water less frequently but more deeply. Follow up in 6-8 weeks with Hi-Yield Turf & Ornamental Weed & Grass Stopper to extend crabgrass prevention through the summer.
April is an excellent time to plant trees, shrubs, vines and perennials. Use ferti•lome Bedding Plant Food slow release plant food in the planting hole to maintain your landscape plants throughout the season. Water in all new plantings with ferti•lome Root Stimulator to insure establishment and use it weekly for the first month to enhance later performance.
For an even better start to root development use Milorganite at planting time. Milorganite is mycorrhizal fungus which attaches to plant roots and encourages more and healthier roots. Apply Milorganite in the planting hole so it comes into direct contact with the roots. In early April you can put out some of the cool-tolerant annuals like alyssum, dianthus, lobelia, pansies, petunias and snapdragons. Wait until at least mid month when the soil warms up to plant summer bulbs (caladiums, cannas, dahlias, elephant’s ear) and more heat-loving flowers such as begonias, coleus, impatiens, marigolds, vinca and zinnias.
In the vegetable garden it’s time to seed beets, carrots, collards, lettuce mustard, radishes and spinach. There is still time to get in peas, onion sets, onion plants, and garlic, too. Perennial and biennial herbs such as catnip, chives, lavender, mint, parsley, sage, and thyme can also be planted now.
To keep gardens and beds weed free, use American Weed and Grass Stopper containing Treflan. Or use Hi-Yield Turf & Ornamental Weed & Grass Stopper (the same one you can use on your lawn). After clearing out exiting weeds sprinkle the granules on the ground. This will keep new weed seeds from sprouting all season. You can use these granules in flower or vegetable beds and around most plants, but always read the label for specific instructions.
FERTILIZING AND PRUNING
Use ferti•lome Tree & Shrub Food on all types of trees and shrubs now to help them get off to a good start. Apply the proper amount, based on the size of your plants, under and past the drip line, then just water it in. This feeding will not only aid in recovery from past damage but will build up plants to withstand adverse conditions this year.
Now is a good time to prune for general maintenance and to prune out winter injury. Avoid pruning spring blooming plants such as lilac, white spirea, forsythia, quince, etc. until after they are finished blooming or you will cut off this year’s flower buds.
It is also time to cut back and feed perennial Plants. These die to the ground every year so the old foliage needs to be taken off close to the soil line. Then fertilize the newly emerging shoots with ferti•lome Geranium, Hanging Basket & Pansy Food, Bedding Plant Food or Milorganite.
PESTS AND DISEASE
Cedar-Apple Rust: Control rust on crabapples and hawthorns by spraying at 7-10 day intervals between mid April and late May to cover expanding leaves. Use ferti•lome Broad Spectrum Liquid Fungicide, ferti•lome Systemic
Fungicide Pine Tip Blight: Spray pines with ferti•lome Systemic Fungicide in mid April. Repeat in 10-14 days; 2 to 3 applications.