April Gardening Tips from the Caldwell County Cooperative Extension

CALDWELL COUNTY, NC (April 1, 2018)…Here are some gardening tips for the month of April provided by the Caldwell County Cooperative Extension.

Plants in Flower:

Crabapple, Carolina Silverbell, Dogwood, Redbud, Flowering Cherry, Viburnum, Pearlbush, Lilac, Carolina Rhododendron, Sweet Shrub, Piedmont Azalea, Banks Rose, Exbury Azalea, Spirea, Pieris, Evergreen Azaleas, Kerria (Easter Rose), Drooping Leucothoe, Weigela, Wisteria, Periwinkle, Ajuga, Candytuft, Violets, Columbine, Trillium, Flags (Dwarf Iris), Bloodroot, Bleeding Heart, Jack-In-The-Pulpit, Anemone and Siberian Sqill

Fertilizing

• Fertilize shrubs if not done in March.

• Once you can determine whether your fruit trees have any fruit, you can decide how much fertilizer to give them.

Planting

• Many gardeners prefer to transplant azaleas in April so they can group the plants according to their flower color.

• The following vegetables can be planted this month: beets, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, Swiss chard,broccoli, cauliflower, onion, and potatoes.

• Divide violets, liriope, mums and other perennials.

Pruning

• Prune spring-flowering plants like azalea, lilac, forsythia, spirea, and weigela after the flowers fade.

• Prune berry producing shrubs like holly and pyracantha while in flower to prevent complete removal of all of this season’s berries.

• If needed, trim spring flowering trees like Bradford pear, flowering cherry and redbud.

• Cut out any winter damage that may have occurred this year.

• Disbud roses and peonies for larger flowers.

Spraying

• Spray the following landscape shrubs for the following insect pests: azalea-lace bug, boxwood-leaf miner, euonymus-scale, hemlock and juniper-spruce mites and hybrid rhododendron-borer.

• Spray iris beds for iris borers.

• Spray broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower for worms if needed.

• Spray your squash plants near the base of the stem to control squash borer.

• Continue through June 1 and use only the recommended insecticide. Begin weekly tree fruit sprays after flower petals fall.

• Start a fungicide spray program for your bunch grapes this month. Follow with weekly sprays.

• Continue with rose spray program.

• Scout or observe your landscape plants before spraying. Pests may not be present.

Lawn Care

• Maintain mowing height of fescue and bluegrass at 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 inches.

• Do NOT fertilize.

Propagation

• This is a good time to layer new plants by lowering a branch of your favorite shrubs and covering it with soil and a stone.

Specific Chores

• Visit your local garden centers and nurseries to see what plants and products are available.

• Mulch all of your landscape plants as needed. Pine needles, cypress mulch and pine bark are good mulches.

• Prepare labels for all new plants and keep records on how well they perform.

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