Tag Archives: landscape maintenance

Landscaping Management:101 April

April Showers bring May… Well, we sure hope for showers instead of snow this year! As things continue to warm up, we can all get more and more active in the backyard! Here’s our list of things you can do in April and don’t forget about Landscape Management 101: March if you are behind schedule!

EARLY APRIL

  • Finish pruning trees and evergreens. Avoid pruning maple, elm, birch, oak, and walnut trees at this time. Pruning these trees now will cause excess sap bleeding and increase the likelihood of contracting diseases such as oak wilt.
  • Once the ground has thawed, fertilize grapes, raspberries, and blueberries before growth resumes.
  • Rake the lawn when weather conditions permit. Raking when lawns are too wet will result in pulling out large amounts of roots and live grass parts.
  • Pull out last year’s dead annuals if you have not yet done so.
  • Dead flowers, stems, leaves, etc. can serve as protection for new plants and compost in place. There is no need to clean up too much this early in the season.
  • Prune summer flowering shrubs.
  • Plant fruit trees.
  • Graft apple trees when buds begin to swell.
  • Plant pansies in a pot and place outside. Pansies can handle some frost and cold temperatures.
  • Do not work in garden soil when it is wet.
  • Collect soil samples for testing. Test multiple areas separately.

MID APRIL

  • Uncover and prune roses if weather permits. You can vent rose cones (if you are still using them) during the day, but replace by sundown. Do not feed roses until mid-May.
  • Check out your indoor plants. More sun and higher intensity will lead to quicker growth and more need for fertilizer and water. You can also prune back hard now to stimulate new growth.
  • Seed or sod new lawns as soon as the soil can be worked. 
  • Vegetables that do well in cold temperatures such as broccoli, lettuce, and parsley can be transplanted outdoors after the average last frost date (May 21-31). In the meantime, you can slowly introduce plants to the outdoors by placing flats in shaded protected areas and gradually increasing exposure to sun and wind.
  • Sow seeds indoors for the following: tomatoes, asparagus, beets, carrots, chard, kohlrabi, leaf lettuce, mustard, onion sets, parsnips, peas, potatoes, radishes, spinach, and turnips.
  • Reseed or sod lawn areas injured by the winter.

LATE APRIL

  • Dig and divide fall-blooming perennials before top growth gets too tall.
  • Consider planting flowers which can be dried for winter arrangements.  Strawflower, statice, Chinese lantern, celosia, and globe amaranth are some of the best choices for successful drying.
  • Do not mow the lawn until it has grown at least 2 inches.  The roots are being renewed in the spring and grass needs vigorous initial top-growth.
  • Check birch leaves for birch leaf miner. Staying ahead of pests and treating trees early leads to greater health and success in the long run.
  • Plant onions, carrots, beets, chard, leaf lettuce, parsnips, peas, potatoes, radishes, spinach, and turnips.

If you are on top of all of these things and still chomping at the bit for more, check out our blog post Get Outside! 33 Outdoor Activities You Can Do Right Now!

Have questions? Call us. Need help? Call us. Our team of experts is here for you.

Landscaping Management:101 March

You’re sitting inside waiting for the snow to melt and the ground to thaw so you can finally get started on your garden and landscaping—it’s kind of like watching paint dry, but worse. Someone keeps adding paint (or in our case, snow). What’s the solution? Stop staring at the paint! Our horticultural experts at Vande Hey Company have a few practical things you can do right now. Let’s get up off the couch and get started!

EARLY MARCH

If you were still watching paint dry in early March and haven’t started yet, you can start these things now!

  • Early March is a good time to start making cuttings of fast-growing annuals such as lysimachia, coleus, and sweet potato vine.
  • Even though it can be tempting, be careful this time of year not to remove mulch or evergreen boughs from perennials too early. If we get cold temperatures, your plants could easily be harmed.
  • If you have been storing geraniums in cool dark places, you can pot them up, cut them back, and start watering again.
  • As always, here’s your friendly reminder to feed your house plants every 2-3 weeks. March’s longer days and shorter nights will result in more rapid growth, but if it is a cloudy month, plants will still use less water and fertilizer.

 MID MARCH

  • Start slow-growing annuals indoors if you have good light. Not sure if you have good light—there’s an app for that. Search your phone’s app store for a light meter app!
  • If you have dormant sprays to combat insect pests, be sure to use them before new growth starts. Make sure temperatures will be above freezing for 8-12 hours after spraying to avoid damaging stems and needles.
  • Divide and conquer. Dahlia clumps and cannas can be split and added to pots to get growing.
  • Clean up your garden as the weather warms. Be patient; using a blowdryer is not efficient, so wait for the snow to melt on its own then get after it!
  • Remove mulch from spring flowering bulbs such as daffodils and crocus.
  • Cultivate and fertilize asparagus beds if the ground is not frozen.
  • Get pruning! The end of the dormant season is the best time to prune almost all trees and shrubs. Pines are one of the only exceptions; let young pine needles expand to about half their full size before pruning.
  • Prune raspberries, thinning the canes so there is about six to eight per foot of row, and remove the upper 20% of the cane. This will promote new growth and more fruit for the berry season. Remember those raspberry mojitos we talked about in our 2020 Garden Trends? Mhmmm.

LATE MARCH

  • Remove winter protection from roses as soon as the danger of frost is past.
  • Sprinkle systemic insecticide granules within the dripline of birch trees to prevent birch leaf miner. We recommend doing this with a systemic drench just as the trees start to break bud.
  • Sow seeds indoors for vegetables including broccoli, cabbage cauliflower, celery, eggplant, and head lettuce. Lettuce know if you have questions…
  • Start thinking about lawn care. Check out your lawn as the snow clears to check for damage, especially from voles (mice), and think about what type of lawn care you want to do this year. April is National Lawn Care Month!

Even though these are just a few suggestions, we hope you can satisfy some of your gardening itch before spring fully opens up. These tips are definitely more exciting than watching paint dry!

Have questions? Call us. Need help? Call us. Our team of experts is here for you.