Gardening This Weekend: April 11, 2019
We’ve had enough cool-weather setbacks and rainy weekends that many of us have fallen behind on key gardening activities. Here are the tasks that most need to be done in the next several days.
• Finish planting bush green beans, corn, cucumbers, squash, peppers, tomatoes (small and mid-sized only).
• Warm-season annual color.
• Perennials while nurseries still have their best selections.
• Trees and shrubs, again while nurseries have their widest assortments.
• New sod as needed to cover bare ground. Be sure that excessive shade isn’t the reason for the lack of turf. If lack of sunlight has been the issue, adding fresh sod won’t cure that problem. You may need to shift to a shade-tolerant groundcover.
• Spring-blooming shrubs and vines immediately after they finish blooming to restore their natural forms.
• Mow lawn regularly and at recommended height to eliminate most weeds and get turf off to a good start.
• Houseplants you are bringing back onto the patio to restore good shape. Repot as needed.
• Watch trees for dead or damaged branches that could crack or break in strong spring winds. Have a certified arborist do the pruning if there is any chance of someone being hurt if you do it yourself.
• All landscape plants with all-nitrogen food containing as much as half that nitrogen in slow-release form.
• Turfgrass with that same all-nitrogen lawn food.
• Even flowers, vegetables with the same all-N fertilizer unless a soil test suggests otherwise.
• New flower and vegetable transplants, also patio pots and hanging baskets with water-soluble, high-nitrogen fertilizer each time you water them.
ON THE LOOKOUT
• Snails, slugs and pillbugs devouring foliage, stems of tender new growth. Use Sevin dust or baits or sink pan of beer flush with soil surface to lure the pests to its fermenting smell. They will fall in and drown.
• Aphids clustering on tender new growth of many types of insects. They are pear-shaped and pinhead-sized, coming in a variety of colors. You can probably wash them off with a hard stream of water. Organic and inorganic insecticides also control them effectively.
• Broadleafed weeds in lawns and vacant areas can be controlled with broadleafed weedkillers containing 2,4-D. See related story this issue.