April 2012 In Your Garden
The Easter weekend was absolutely fantastic. My neighborhood looked like an elementary school playground at recess. People streamed out of their houses in their freshly unpacked summer clothes. Mowers were mowing and future artists were busily chalking every bit of sidewalk and street that was available.
My Adirondack chairs are on my deck and even though it’s cloudy right now, I will go and sit in them and have a cuppa…right after I finish the to-do list of course!
Aerate, top-dress, overseed, lime and fertilize. Just don't do it all at once. Its best to leave a week or two between liming and fertilizing.
The list of grass tasks is endless. Your reward for that healthy lush lawn, why mowing of course!
You may want to go and check out our article index at this point for Dealing With Moss (I think this should actually be BC’s official plant), Fertilizer 101 and Overseeding Existing Lawns.
Trees and Shrubs
There is still time to tidy up some trees and shrubs though you’ll have to wait till end of July to do any further pruning on maples or birch. You are pushing your luck a bit but you can prune out any dead, damaged, or diseased and a few of the crossing and rubbing branches. Remember it’s best to stick to smaller branches at this point, pruning outside the branch bark collar, sticking to International society of arboriculture guidelines…or my instructor will come and find you, and never removing more than one third of the plant at any one time.
Also, unless you are a park, or have a shiny black front door with a seasonal wreath, topiary is frowned upon. You can however get away with larger bonsai if there is a stone lantern somewhere on your property. Shear your winter blooming heather once it’s done.
This is also a fantastic time to plant. Check out our how to plant trees video if you need to brush up. It is still a bit early to put out tender annuals. If you are a gambler, you can use remay cloth to help your odds for success with the fussy annuals.
Fertilize trees, shrubs and perennials with a good quality fertilizer like our Garden Pro products. Top-dress with compost, manure, mulch or my fave, seaweed. This will also help feed your plants, smother weeds and retain moisture. Remember not to load mulch more than 4 inches deep around trees and shrubs and less around smaller perennials.
Veggies and Flowers from seed.
Continue seeding, you are not too late. There are some very cool new varieties of veggies out there, dare to try something new. There are a number of things that you can now direct seed. I am going to plant some of the really colourful Annual Morning Glory to twine up my front railings.
Don’t worry. This is a tropical, and dies reliably each fall unlike the perennial white flowering morning glory we have as a weed.
You can plant out summer bulbs such as Dahlias and Lilies towards the end of the month. Most other perennials that you buy in packages can be planted out right now.
Keep an eye out for critters. Remember, not all bugs are thugs and not all bugs need drugs! There are a number of beneficial insects and pollinators out there starting to emerge. Observe and identify. You can expect some damage in a healthy garden. The most common spring pest is aphids. A sharp stream of water will remove them from branches as will the squishing method if you dare.
With all that racing around out there getting the to-do list done, don’t forget to stop and smell the daffodils, and daphne, and skimmia, and osmanthus…