April Edition of…

Timely Gardening Tips“Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful: they are sunshine, food and medicine to the soul.” ~ Luther Burbank


Annuals, Perennials & Bulb Care

  • If the temperatures drop down in the 30s, protect tender plants from the cold by covering them with a light cloth or sheet.
  • Weed and loosen soil in all borders and beds. Incorporate Mushroom Compost and worm castings, to add organic matter and stimulate microbe activity in the soil.
  • Hardwood Mulch spread under a plant, shrub, or tree will help to control weeds and reduce moisture loss.
  • Apply blood meal to annual beds to promote top growth and deep green foliage and it may repel rabbits.
  •  When planting perennials add Plant-tone along with a good compost to develop sturdy root systems.
  • Apply bone meal to established beds of perennials to promote root growth, and increase quantity and size of blooms.
  • Divide overcrowded perennials. To reduce transplant shock on these transplants, use a root stimulator.
  • Spray RoundUp or Dr. Earth Organic Weed & Grass Herbicide on actively growing weeds or grass in your beds and borders. Make sure to target the weed, as these products are is non-selective.
  • To create a slug barrier around your hostas and other perennials, use Bonide Slug Magic or organic Bonide Diatomaceous Earth regularly.
  • Use ready to use Triple Action with NEEM Oil Insecticide for aphids and/or caterpillars on new growth of perennials and annuals.
  • Use Bayer All-in-One Rose & Flower Care, to control mildew and phlox plant bug on garden phlox.
  • Start preventing slug damage early by applying Sluggo around hostas and leafy shade perennials. 



Edibles

  • Sow hardy vegetables such as peas, carrots, kohlrabi, parsnip, beet, lettuce, kale and turnips directly into garden beds or containers.
  • Try Lady Bug Brand Raised Garden Blend garden soil for containers or new beds. It is a blend of various composts, peat moss, coir fiber and vermiculite.
  • Plant onions, shallots, asparagus, garlic, horseradish, rhubarb, and potatoes. Cold hardy herbs such as rosemary, thyme, parsley, chives, sage, lavender and mint may also be planted in the April.
  • Plant raspberries, blackberries, grapes and blueberries in a permanent location. Use a good compost such to amend the soil and improve drainage.
  • Give vegetable plants a boost by feeding them with an organic fertilizer such as Dr. Earth Organic Tomato, Vegetable and Herb Fertilizer,  John’s Recipe, or Espoma Garden-tone.
  • Use organic Dr. Earth Disease Control Fungicide for disease prevention.
  • Add organic compost to your potted veggies or newly planted vegetable plants to give them an all organic boost of nitrogen, which promotes vigorous growth and dark green color.
  • When insects begin to invade your vegetable garden spray Dr. Earth Yard & Garden Insect Killer for a large variety of sucking and chewing insects.
  • For crawling insects sprinkle all natural Diatomaceous Earth around the garden.


Roses

  • After all danger of last frost is past, remove mulch from established roses and apply Bayers All-in-one Rose & Flower Care to encourage new growth from the base. Use every six weeks for insect control, fungus control and fertilizer.
  • When planting new roses mix a good compost into the soil along with Espoma Rose Tone. Peat moss may be added to improve flowering and lower pH.
  • For an organic fungus control solution, use Copper Fungicide.
  • Keep rose beds clear of dropped leaves and petals and dead-head spent blooms regularly to prevent the spread of black-spot.
  • Fertilize all roses monthly and be sure they get 5 gallons of water per week to thrive.
  • To control the size of Knock Out roses, cut back after the first flush of flowers to control height and shape. Prune out the dead canes and the tiny branches that are thinner than a pencil.


Trees & Shrubs

  • When planting new trees and shrubs, use all natural Myke® Tree and Shrub for rapid development of the root system and to ensure a better recovery and survival after transplant. Myke® helps increases absorption of water and nutrients.
  • Use Bayer Advanced Tree & Shrub Insect Control to prevent damage from Japanese Beetles and Lacebug damage to azaleas and boxwood.
  • Chlorosis is an iron deficiency in which leaves produce insufficient chlorophyll. Chlorotic leaves are pale, yellow, or yellow-white. We recommend using Ferti-lome Chelated Liquid Iron to correct this condition.
  • Spray Horticultural Oil Spray while temperatures are below 80 degrees and above 40 degrees, for euonymus scale, mites and other insects.
  • Apply Espoma Organic Soil Acidifier to large leaf hydrangeas if you want them to be blue.
  • Use Holly-tone to feed evergreens such as pines, spruce, junipers and boxwoods and acid loving trees such as dogwoods. Use Tree-tone for other deciduous trees.
  • DO NOT cut back summer blooming big-leaf hydrangeas or lace-cap hydrangeas as they bloom on last year’s growth—remove dead wood only.
  • Forsythia, Spirea, Mock Orange, Lilac, Magnolia, Rhododendron, Azalea, and other spring blooming shrubs should not be pruned until immediately after flowering to promote new growth for next year’s flowering.
  • Use organic Copper Fungicide to prevent disease on deciduous and evergreen trees and shrub. May use on fruit trees, but do not apply during the bloom period.


Tropical Plants

  • Spring is a great time to repot houseplants with a good potting mix. We love Pro-Mix with Mycorrhizae.
  • Continue to water. Rotate plants in window, cut back and repot as necessary. Water carefully. Water needs may increase as plants come out of dormancy. Fertilize with Nature’s Source, John’s Recipe or Fish Emulsion Fertilizer.
  • When the chance of frost is over, bring your plants outside. Place them in a shady spot and gradually introduce them to sunlight to avoid burning. They will love it!
  • Repot orchids after blooming if needed. Use an organic orchid mix.
  • Apply Miracid, Holly-tone or Citrus-tone to feed gardenias and citrus plants every 3 to 4 weeks.
  • Regularly wash dust off house plant leaves.
  • Kill mealy bugs on house plants with cotton swabs soaked in rubbing alcohol.
  • Use easy Bayer 2n1 Insect Control plus Fertilizer  to treat for common insect infestations. If scale is a problem, apply Horticultural Spray Oil.


Lawn

  • Mow lawns regularly to ensure that the length of the clippings will be short. Never remove more than one-third of the length of the grass at one time. Leaving short clippings on a lawn will improve the structure of the soil and recycle nutrients.
  • Apply Turflon Ester to control difficult weeds such as wild violets, clover, and Bermudagrass.
  • Fertilize lawns with Espoma Lawn Food.
  • Prevent crabgrass by applying Crabgrass Preventer plus Lawn Food.
  • Water newly laid or seeded lawns. Make sure to give them about 1” inch of water per week through September. Rain gauges are great for measuring!


Compost

  • Collect vegetable waste and crushed eggshells to add to you compost pile.
  • Add shredded leaves, spent flower heads, grass clippings and other organic materials to compost pile.
  • Turn compost pile regularly to speed decomposition.
  • Keep compost pile moist. Add water if needed.


Backyard Wildlife

  • Provide food in clean bird feeders to welcome the migrating birds to your garden. 

  • Thoroughly clean hummingbird feeders and keep them filled with hummingbird nectar as the hummingbirds return to St. Louis from their migration to Central America in late spring.
  • Make sure birdbaths are cleaned and filled with fresh water regularly.

  • Encourage bees and other pollinators to your yard by planting native plants and reducing your use in pesticides. These pollinators along with beneficial insects act as a natural pest control. They seek and destroy bad insects.
  • Plant the following to attract these beneficial insects: borage, fennel, dill and parsley along with echinacea, gallardia, cosmos, sunflowers and yarrow. (For more information about attract beneficial insects and pollinators, click here.)