Well, we’ve had quite a mix of sun, wind, rain, frost but best of all…no snow, at least not here in the Lower Mainland. I’ve done my annual ‘Phone the relatives back east while sparking up the lawnmower’ routine, but note, I did not say while mowing, that is hubby’s job. He didn’t appreciate the race track pattern.
Our favorite 10 year old entrepreneur (shark) has already made some money on her favorite ‘mark’ (hubby) with her dandelion hand removal business, five cents per plant and 2 cents per flower. Twenty dollars later, though bless her heart she did give him the 50% off spring special, we still have an excellent supply of dandelion flowers for the native bees and our 10 year old entrepreneur has a wheelbarrow full of flowers. Here is your list for April 2014:
Equipment & Supplies
Make sure you go through your shed or garage and take stock of your fertilizers, tools, hoses, watering wands, watering cans, wheelbarrows and other items. It will save a lot of time and money if you keep track of your summer gardening supplies. I think I bought blueberry food three times last year!! I now have a fertilizer shelf.
Aerate, topdress and overseed if you have some patches like me you need to take care of. Fertilize with a good slow release fertilizer like Arts Triple 17 + Iron. Moss killer can be applied when the lawn is going to be dry for a couple of days. If you have dandelions…I know a girl….
Trees, Shrubs & Vines
You are out of time for any large pruning…though removal of dead, diseased and damaged branches can be done any time. You can add some lime around the drip line of many fruit trees as well as Clematis.
Now is a great time to fertilize trees and shrubs with some good organic fertilizer. You can also topdress with a good composted mulch or manure depending on the type of plant. Remember your Rhododendrons, Azaleas and Pieris like an acid soil so choose mulch not manure for these guys.
Hanging Baskets & Pots
Time to freshen up your planters with some good soil. I usually take out the top 8 to 12 inches and add some Seasoil, MiracleGro potting mix, worm castings or compost and mix it up. Every 3 or 4 years I empty the whole thing out and start fresh. Check the drainage on your pots as well. You can start planting these up right about now, but keep them under cover for a little bit as we’ve had a few later frosts. We generally recommend hold off tender plantings till at least the 3rd week of April.
Fertilize, divide and topdress and weed, weed and more weeding.
Once the rain has slowed, there a number of plants you can direct sow at this time otherwise bide your time until it warms a bit.
Planting new trees and shrubs and perennials – now is the great time to plant new, but please, please do try to think about different seasons of interest and flowering times…don’t just fall for a pretty flower.
Now I could go on for days and days with the to-do list in April but this ought to get you started and leave you a tiny bit of time to stop and smell the April flowers. Cheers, Laurelle.