Gardening This Weekend: April 15, 2021

You can almost watch the trees unfurling their leaves right now. It’s amazing how quickly spring is catching up. Here are the things you need to get done to keep it all on pace.

Warm-season annual color.
Perennials while nurseries still have their best selections.
Finish planting bush green beans, corn, cucumbers, squash, peppers, tomatoes (small and mid-sized only).
Trees and shrubs. Nurseries may be running low on some of the most dependable shrubs as folks replace those killed by the cold. If you can’t find what you really want, don’t settle for a lesser type. Ask if they anticipate future shipments. Shop other nurseries. Plant annual color or leave the bed empty for a couple of months until stock is replenished.
New sod as needed to cover bare ground. Be sure that excessive shade isn’t the reason for the lack of turf. Adding sod won’t cure that problem. You may need to shift to shade-tolerant groundcover.

Almost all shrubs can be pruned now to remove frozen growth. Wait specifically to prune crape myrtles. If you have sprouts coming up from the bases of plants, make sure you’re willing to wait 2-3 years for the plants to regrow. On the other hand, if you can’t find your chosen replacements just yet, you could give the old plants a chance. Prune out the dead wood and let the sprouts grow.
Mow lawn regularly and at recommended height to eliminate most weeds and get turf off to a good start.
Spring-blooming shrubs and vines immediately after they finish blooming to restore their natural forms. Many types may not have bloomed normally this spring. Prune to reshape as needed anyway.
Houseplants you are bringing back onto the patio to restore good shape. Repot as needed and place in full shade outdoors.
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.

New flower and vegetable transplants, also patio pots and hanging baskets with water-soluble, high-nitrogen fertilizer each time you water them.
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.

Continued Below

Broadleafed weeds in lawns and vacant areas can be controlled with broadleafed weedkillers containing 2,4-D.
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.
Caterpillars devouring foliage. Apply Sevin or Bacillus thuringiensis biological worm spray.
Aphids clustering on tender new growth of many types of plants. 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.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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