More General Gardening Tips for April

The Lawn

The application of a spring type of lawn fertilizer should perk up the lawn and improve its over-all colour and appearance. If there is moss growing in the lawn, use spring lawn fertilizer that has the moss-killer included, so you can do both jobs in one easy application.

Spring is also a good time to rake and over-seed the lawn. Thatch build up can smother your lawn and provide an environment for diseases. Rake the lawn with a wire rake before cutting the grass. Any runners of buttercup and clover will be raised and cut off reducing the rate of spread. Over seeding will help fill-in the lawn and deter the re-growth of moss and weeds. Use about one pound of quality grass seed for every 300 square feet of lawn area. Apply a light compost or soil over the seed to keep it moist and in place.

Aerating the lawn will allow water to penetrate deeper into the lawn soil and reduce the need to water during the dryer months ahead. Use a garden fork and punch holes over the surface of your lawn.

As mowing becomes necessary, be certain that the blade is sharp to prevent tearing the grass tips. Set the blade on your lawnmower to cut the grass at 2 1/2 inches to avoid scalping. Where bindweed is a problem among shrubs, insert canes. The weed will grow up the canes where it can be sprayed with weed killer without damaging the shrubs

Perennials, Annuals and Bulbs

April is the month for planting summer flowering bulbs like dahlias, gladiolas and lilies. Mix bulb fertilizer, processed manure and peat moss into the planting soil. Tuberous Begonias should not be set outdoors until all danger of frost has passed, so wait until next month.
Plant annual seeds of asters, cosmos, marigolds, zinnias in the garden.

When all frost danger has passed you can move your stored fuchsias and geraniums outdoors. Trim them back, feed and re-pot if necessary. Water them well.

When they have finished blooming, you should deadhead your spring flowering bulbs. Do not cut off the green foliage yet! These green leaves continue to grow for a few weeks, and provide the bulb with food for flowering next year.

Hybrid Tea Roses should be fertilized prior to buds beginning to bloom. Using a systemic fertilizer will help prevent insect infestation later in the summer, as it feeds your rose. Put a birdhouse in the garden to attract insect-eating friends. Plant new rosebushes before growth starts and buds swell

House Plants

Rotate your houseplants so that each side receives its share of light, for even growth and a balanced shape.
As the sun’s rays strengthen, some plants, such as African Violets, may need to be moved away from a south-facing window to avoid leaf scorch.
Spring cleaning your plants will keep them beautiful and help to avoid diseases. Remove any spent flowers, dead leaves or branches or any yellowing leaves. Rinse the dust from the leaves with the kitchen sprayer. Clean leaves allow the plant to breathe!
Pinching back the tips of foliage plants will stimulate new growth and make your plant fuller and bushier.