April 2016 Edition
the best show of wildflowers
April is our second best planting month for the spring. If you have any new plants to get into the ground this is your chance before the heat typically comes on. Although we enjoy flowers year round, the first part of April is the best show of wildflowers and the peak of flowers in the garden. A wonderful time of the year!
It is not too late to get your summer vegetables planted. Plant seeds for beets, carrots, radishes, and turnips. It is also time to plant seeds for green beans, corn, leaf lettuce, squash, pumpkins and Swiss chard. It is always nice to plant sunflowers of all kinds to brighten up the garden beds. Small transplants of cucumbers and tomatoes are ready to go in as well. Keep seedlings moist as they grow quickly. Thin your plants to produce the best yield and prevent disease.
Pests come along with the new garden growth. Beneficial insects will keep matters under control in a healthy garden, however, be on the look out for spider mites, gall mites, leafhoppers, caterpillars, slugs and snails. Sometimes you have to hand-pick these pests off of your plants if you do not want to spray garden crops.
Deciduous fruit trees set more fruit than you need. If you thin the crop now you will decrease the natural process of dropping the fruit in the summer. You will also increase the size of each fruit that is left on the tree. It is a good idea to do this in two steps. First, thin lightly by removing one or two fruits from the clusters, then repeat this in four to six weeks.
The winter rains bring up the annual grasses and weeds. It is good to keep the grasses around at first for the beneficial insects to get going and to set roots to prevent future erosion. Controlling these grasses and weeds is an ongoing task that can easily get out of hand in a matter of days if you are not diligent. Weed eaters, mowers and tractors can take care of most of the weeds, however, hand-pull the ones around your flowers and vegetables to get the roots as well as the plant out. Mulch will help prevent weeds in the garden areas.
This is the best time of the year to see what everyone else’s garden is doing. Sign up for the various garden tours, visit botanic gardens and flower shows and take a drive out to see the wildflowers. It is easy to pick up a photo hobby when the garden is looking its best! Invite your friends over for tea and a garden visit!
contact Marilyn’s Garden Design.