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APRIL Plant Care Checklist

Plant painted lady gladiola corms (Gladiolus carneus) in spring for a beautiful summer display.  Photo: Creative Commons
Plant painted lady gladiola corms (Gladiolus carneus) in spring for a beautiful summer display. Photo: Creative Commons

Maintenance and prevention

  • Troubleshoot irrigation system for missing or clogged emitters and broken spray heads.
  • Begin irrigation as rainy season ends.
  • Mulch around new plants to suppress weeds and retain moisture.
  • Renew mulch around existing plantings. Keep mulch clear of stems and trunks.
  • Clean winter debris from ponds, fountains, and bird baths.

Planting and propagating

  • Plant summer bulbs, corms, and tubers, such as callas, cannas, dahlias, gladiolus, and tuberous begonias.
  • Take softwood cuttings of trees and shrubs that have flowered.
  • Sow seeds of summer to fall blooming annuals. Keep planting beds moist.
  • Plant a tree or shrub for Earth Day or National Arbor Day.

Cutting and pruning

  • Prune back herbaceous perennials such as salvia to promote plant bushiness.

Pests and weeds

  • Check often for aphids on tender new plant growth. Remove infestations with a hard spray of water or insecticidal soap.
  • Handpick snails and slugs after dark or apply pet-friendly bait.
  • Be diligent about pulling weeds before they set seed.
  • Avoid using pesticides that may harm beneficials that feast on aphids, mites, whiteflies, and other insects.
  • Keep an eye out for early signs of insect infestation—blast any you see with a garden hose.
  • Set yellowjacket traps at the perimeter of the yard (not near eating areas) to discourage yellowjackets from visiting.

Feed and fertilize

  • Feed lawn with a slow-release organic fertilizer.
  • Renew container plants by adding a slow-release organic fertilizer or repotting in fresh soil.
  • Fertilize spring bulbs after bloom using an organic fertilizer. Remove dead flowers but not the leaves until they wither.
  • Fertilize citrus if needed, using an organic fertilizer.
  • Apply chelated iron to azaleas, camellias, and gardenias if leaves are yellowing between the veins.

Edibles

  • Move frost-tender seedlings and plants outdoors if weather permits. Harden off transplants before planting by gradually exposing them to outdoor conditions.
  • Plant arugula, broccoli, celery, cucumber eggplant, ground cherries, kale, leeks, lettuce, bunching onions, peppers, pumpkins, squash, and tomatoes. Use crop extenders (covers) for heat loving crops.
    In cooler areas, plant cabbage, cauliflower, chard, collard greens, spinach, peas.
  • Learn more about crops to plant in April and other activities in the edible garden.