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April Gardening Checklist

  • Prime planting season is here! It’s a good month to plant most trees, shrubs, evergreens and perennials as well as vegetables and annuals that can tolerate potential frost, such as spinach, lettuce, radishes, pansies, snapdragons, dianthus and dusty miller.
  • April is ideal for transplanting trees, shrubs, evergreens and perennials that you realize are in the wrong place or in need of more room. The younger the plant, the better odds it’ll survive the move. Try to get as much of the rootball as possible and replant immediately at the same depth. Then water as you would with a new plant.
  • April is also the time to dig and divide hardy perennial flowers – especially ones that bloom in fall, such as mums and sedum. Dig up the clumps and either pull them apart or cut them into fist-sized sections with a knife, spade or even ax, if necessary. Replant the pieces at the same depth, and you’ll have free new plants.
  • Not enough spring color from bulbs? You don’t have to wait until fall to plant more dormant bulbs. Add impact now by planting blooming, potted bulb plants from the garden center once they've bloomed. Most will come back in future years. Add some to flower pots, too.
  • Be sure to mark empty spaces in the landscape to show where to plant spring-flowering bulbs next fall.
  • Start pruning early-spring-flowering trees and shrubs such as forsythia, redbud, star magnolia, viburnum, cherry, pear and bridalwreath spirea right after they’re done blooming. Evergreen hedges also can be sheared, and roses can be pruned just as the buds start to poke out.
  • When new plants are 2 to 3 inches tall, apply Preen Garden Weed Preventer to prevent weeds all season.
  • In your vegetable garden, sow seeds for cool-season crops, including peas, lettuce, spinach, carrots, beets, turnips, parsnips and Swiss chard, directly in the garden as soon as the soil can be worked. Soil should crumble instead of forming a ball when squeezed.
  • Plant seedlings of cool-season crops, such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi and onions.
  • As long as vegetable sprouts are 2-3 inches tall, apply Preen Natural Vegetable Garden Weed Preventer once per month.
  • To give a head start to summer flowering bulbs, such as tuberous begonias, caladiums, cannas and dahlias, pot them up in containers indoors and water. Place in a cool, bright area indoors, but out of direct sun. Water when the soil feels dry. Apply a water-soluble fertilizer according to label directions. Move the bulbs outside to their summer locations after all danger of frost has past.

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