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GARDENING INFO FROM DOUG – April Gardening Chores

By Doug Hensel
Doug's Blog

APRIL IS A GREAT GARDENING MONTH

Here we are in the middle of April. So much is happening with gardening right now.

However—PLEASE WATCH THE WEATHER FORECAST for any possible late-season frost or freeze. Our average last frost for our area is around the 20th of April. A few years ago we had a frost the first week in May.

March was a challenging month for gardeners. We had some very cold nights at the end of the month. On a positive note, March tended to give us some weekly rainfall. This kept our soil moist as we are now entering a very active gardening month.

Another important tip to keep in mind right now is our SOIL TEMPERATURE. My recent reading is 47 degrees. It is warming up!

  • Now is a good time to be planting summer-blooming bulbs such as lilies, gladiolas, dahlias, etc.
  • I would suggest delaying moving houseplants outdoors until closer to May.  These tropical plants are best with temperatures no lower than 50 degrees.
  • If you are considering growing your own vegetables, herbs, or fruit keep in mind that they all require a minimum of 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight in order to grow well.
  • When mowing your lawn think about GRASS-CYCLING. Grass-cycling is leaving your grass clippings on the lawn. Grass clippings are 85% water and break down quickly returning 20% of their nitrogen back to the lawn. DON’T BAG ANYMORE!
  • Prune spring-blooming shrubs such as azaleas, rhododendrons, camellias, and forsythia after they have finished blooming. AND, ONLY IF NEEDED! Also, this is the perfect time to give them a good, quality feeding. Espoma Plant Tone or Espoma Holly Tone are excellent suggestions to use to feed your plants.
  • Easter is Sunday, April 17. Florist-grown hydrangeas are popular gift plants. Usually, these hydrangeas are the same as our hardy hydrangeas—these florist grown have been forced to bloom early. Don’t throw them away when they finish blooming. Find a good, partially shaded location and plant. They will bloom again for you next year during the natural cycle.

WE HAVE SOME NATIONAL GARDENING ACTIVITIES THIS MONTH

NATIONAL GARDENING DAY IS THURSDAY, APRIL 14th. A day of encouragement to get outside and do some planting.

EARTH DAY IS FRIDAY, APRIL 22nd. Earth Day is a day to demonstrate support for environmental protection.

ARBOR DAY IS FRIDAY, APRIL 29th. Arbor Day is a holiday celebrating trees and encouraging individuals or groups to plant trees.

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