Wow what a month March has shown it’s self to be. 76f-26f in 24 hours and then a whole lot more variables on days when you least expect! This is N Alabama so thunder, lightening and tornado warnings thrown in the mix…Days in the hammock basking in sunshine and other days curled up the chair in front of a log burning fire with a book and some hot chocolate!
I have been updating my window boxes gently and slowly, A bit here and a bit there….. I am a Lowes shopper and I have browsed through all their lovely new arrivals knowing it’s way too early to put them in the limited space I have left in this ever emerging English Cottage garden that we have created here in North Huntsville.
So, where do we go with April? We follow Mother Nature and respect that she is in charge. Below is an “average April and it’s to do list”
Throughout the month .
Make sure you have supports or wire cades, whatever is your choice of support for emerging perennials. Dahlia, gladioli, peonies, Asiatic lilies, all starting to peep through the earth. Check each day…there they are.
Check all the trees planted last fall. Remove the stakes if you feel the worst of the rains are over or replace if they need support for this coming growing season. Reposition or remove guy wires.
Dig in any spent compost from last year, I know they day remove all old mulch…except from around my roses ( which I trash due to any disease) I dig my mulch in and replace it with composting mulch…I use dark brown, natural, it makes my brickwork pop and the spring flowers dance!
Spray fruit trees including flowering fruits, ornamental fruits and rose family, Use a product that combats fire blight.
Protect flower buds and tender shoots, frost covers/ blankets available by the check out at Lowes in the garden department!
Fertilize cool season grasses, fescue and rye with a turf slow release. DO NOT OVER FERTILIZE…it doesn’t help, to the contrary! 1lb of actual nitrogen /100sqft, If in doubt there’s a great gentleman at the Garver supply down on Holmes avenue and he will walk you through the whole process.
Check your list that everything is done from week one….Frost free date is mid month. REMEMBER I TOLD YOU!
Apply systemic insecticide that will help protect roses and hackberries . Look for a product that contains imidlocropid. It will help with future infestations of both Japanese beetles and Asian wooly aphids.
Prune forsythia, quince, spiraea and any other early flowering shrubs.
Week Three. This is assuming all other items from previous weeks have been completed…no slacking.
Be sure to complete any oil based treatments before the weather gets too warm. Hot oil will hurt the trees.
Time to plant annuals, last frost should have passed. These should last till mid-late Oct or beyond. Choose wisely.
There’s and abundance of choices…impatiens, lantana, zinnia, marigolds….the list is abundant, Sweet potato vines in the hanging baskets along with geraniums and lobelia. I throw in nasturtium seeds and trailing black-eyed Susan seeds and let them go where they wish…( usually a grand daughter task…she’s 7!) . Standard Hibiscus, gardenia and citrus trees, bay leaf (tree form) are wonderful patio or garden accents ( the term garden used in the English sense as in all back yard!).
Time for squash, tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, cucumbers, eggplants. I have my veggies in the flowerbeds and my granddaughter goes on a scavenge to find them amongst the myriad of colors I have presenting themselves in the beds!
Prune and fertilize azaleas after flowers pass, thin rather than shear. I hand clip…therapeutic….Hubby on the other hand is an Edward Scissorhands in training!
Apply a slow release fertilizer.
If you haven’t mulched, do so…Enchanted Forest in front of Home depot on 72 gives blooming bucks for your purchase…you can use them in June-July towards purchases….always an incentive …for me at least…compulsive gardener.
Cannot proceed to this week until all other tasks have been completed…
you should be at least 2 cuts in on the lawn. Dethatching well under way.
Fertilize warm season grasses such as Zoysia, Bermuda. Use a turf type slow release fertilizer. 1lb of actual nitrogen /100sqft,
Apply systemic insecticide to azaleas to control lace bugs.
Keep watering in annuals and newly divided and planted perennials until they are established.