April: To Do
Oh, and if you really think that I actually do all of these
things, you are terribly confused. Sometimes I even (gasp)
do things that aren't on this list.
I can only guarrentee this list is accurate for the things that
I grow. I do not grow every item on this list. This list
is targetted to Sunset Zone 14,
specifically, and I think it is good for all of USDA Zone 9. In
addition, it is probably pretty accurate for USDA Zones 10-11.
April in Livermore is usually beautiful and warm. Last year, 1998,
it has been wet which is very unusual for us, and we had a frost on
or about April 15th.
General (or it never ends)
- Pests: Aphids are attacking! Hose them off
with water. You can also purchase ladybugs, or try the
chemical route: insecticidal soap, diazinon, malathion, or
orthene. I recommend against using any of the chemical on
plants you intend to eat. Be sure to read all warning
- Water weekly.
Trees, Shrubs, and Vines
- If you missed the bareroot planting season, you can still plant
container grown stock and subtropical trees.
- Prune conifers in active growth.
- Prune spring bloomers, like camillias, after bloom
- Mulch broadleaf evergreens.
- Pick up camillia blossoms. This will prevent petal blight
- Shear hedges.
- Water new plants, at least, weekly. If we have a hot spell, you
will need to water more often.
- Fertilize new plants when they begin to grow. I use a
general fertilizer, whatever was on sale, for all of my garden
except for my roses, where I use a systemic, and my acid loving
plants, where I use a acid feeder.
- Layer or take softwood cuttings from established trees,
shrubs, and vines.
- Fertilize monthly. I prefer to use a systemic fertilizer.
- Deadhead faded flowers. I cut back to a five-part leaf that is
growing in the direction that I want the rose cane to grow.
- Fertilize established groundcovers or top-dress with compost.
- Plant summer and fall bloomers.
- Plant tropical and subtropical species.
- Pinch back mums.
- Provide stakes for tall plants.
- Feed or top-dress with compost new plants when they start to
grow, and feed or top-dress established plants.
- Finish planting summer bulbs.
- Feed when shoots appear.
- Divide and transplant spring bulbs, like daffodils, when leaves
- Feed spring bulbs when they finish blooming.
- Deadhead, but leave foliage.
- Note where you want to plant bulbs next year.
- Plant cosmos, impatiens, petunias, and zinnias.
- Start seeds.
- Pull up winter annuals when they look fatigued.
- Plant summer veggies, tender herbs, and flowers.
- Move tender plants back outdoors.
- Support climbers.
Kitchen Garden: Vegetables and Herbs
- Plant tender veggies like eggplant, lettuce, pepper, and tomato
seedlings, and tender herbs, like basil.
- Harvest early crops.
- Put out stakes and other supports for plants like tomatos.
- Turn compost pile.
- Plant tropical fruit.
- Feed fruit trees.
- Stake brambles.
- Thin citrus, apples, and peaches. I like to keep 4-8 inches
between each fruit. If you don't do this, you risk breaking
branches that are heavily laden.
- Cover berries and nuts with netting.
- Prune. You are looking for damaged or weak growth, perhaps from
winter storms, fire
blight and other diseases, and awkward growth. Diseased
branches should not be composted.
House, greenhouse, or conservatory plants
Other: Structural and Special
To Do Index
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