Gardeners need to attend local
plant sales by garden clubs and civic organization. Here is where you find
the neat plants. Sure, don't give up stopping by your local garden center
too, but the special sales are where you find the plants that are in the
hands of collectors like the neat orchids, bromeliads, perennials and
herbs. Take a little cash or a check with you, as many do not take credit
cards. You have to remember some are small growers.
The early spring has caught us all off-guard. But you can bet the pests
are ahead of schedule too. Caterpillars are already feeding in the
vegetable garden and you can bet the chinch bugs are busy in the St.
Augustine lawns too. It is a good idea to walk your landscape weekly and
make sure all pests are under control or at least you become aware of
Another project is to mend deteriorating fences. They don't last forever
and some may need boards or maybe an entire panel. It is also a good time
to repair furniture and lawn ornaments. There is no trouble finding thing
to do during spring. Following are some more of my Gotta Do's:
for April, 2012
Spring is a good time to install and
repair lawns; especially in the shady areas.
Remove weeds, adjust the pH and till
the ground before installing a new lawn.
Check the soil acidity of all home
lawns; adjust the pH if needed.
Lawns with brown blades can be raked
or left to outgrow the damaged portions.
Complete the first feeding of the new
year with a lawn fertilizer.
fertilizers can be used with new lawns to supply some phosphorus for
It's too late to control
crabgrass from seed; dig out and resod these areas.
Chinch bug controls are often
needed at this time for St. Augustine lawns.
Control weeds while they are
small and more likely to be affected by herbicides.
Fill in bare spots left by cold or
pests before weed growth begins.
Check to make sure lawns are being
mowed at the proper height.
Train your lawn to no more than once
or twice a week watering.
Apply up to three-quarters of an inch
of water at each irrigation.
Yellow lawns can often be regreened
with an iron only application.
In the Landscape:
Rake and use leaves as mulch or
compost them for later use in the gardens.
Replant with a majority of cold hardy
shrubs and perennials.
Remove declining cool season
annuals and add a spring warm weather selection.
Make sure the root balls of all plant
are moist at planting time.
Build berms at the edge of root
balls of new trees and shrubs to direct water to the roots.
Give all poinsettias a spring
trimming; repot new ones or add them to the landscape.
Most established trees and shrubs are
drought tolerant; water when they show signs of stress.
Maintain 2- to 3-inch mulch layers
with trees and shrubs; one inch in flower beds.
Water annuals and perennials when the
soil begins to dry or they show signs of wilting.
Use slow release fertilizers that can
feed landscape plants for months.
Feed palms with special fertilizers
made for these plantings every 3 to 4 months.
Complete pruning of overgrown plants.
Prune spring flowering trees and
shrubs after the blossoms fade.
Trim old flower stalks from
amaryllis, amazon lilies and other spring flowering plants.
Divide perennials before the really
hot weather arrives.
Add a water feature to the landscape;
clean established ones.
Transplant and feed water lilies and
Vegetable and Fruit Care:
Heavily prune sick citrus trees to
try and stimulate healthy growth.
Use minor nutrient sprays to help
keep citrus trees green; control pests as needed.
Select large tomato, pepper and
eggplant transplants; sow seeds of most other crops.
Start sweet potatoes to have
transplants for May.
Complete herb plantings before hot
weather arrives; many grow best in containers.
Feed vegetable plantings
lightly every 3 to 4 weeks.
Help maintain a moist soil with a 2?
to 3?inch mulch layer with all but citrus.
Add edible fruit bearing trees,
shrubs and vines to the landscape.
Blueberries need a very acid soil;
have the soil pH checked before planting.
Many bananas are regrowing from the
ground; keep moist and feed lightly monthly.
Handpick or apply natural
sprays to gardens as needed to control pests.
Finish spring feedings of all fruit
House Plants Chores:
Groom winter weary plants to remove
Trim back overgrown stems of foliage
plants to make cuttings.
Repot indoor plants that have
outgrown their containers.
Trim Christmas and holiday cactus if
needed to keep compact; root the cuttings.
Give foliage plants a spring feeding
with a slow release fertilizer.
Move spindly plants to the patio for
warm season rejuvenation.
Move orchids & bromeliads outdoors to
a shady location.
Discard declining tulips, hyacinths
and daffodils but keep the pot.
Give indoor plants the brightest spot
possible but out of the direct sun.