Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Mom's April Garden Tips

April Garden Tips

Timing is very important when planting a garden.   Plants started too early will be overgrown and leggy.   Some vegetable varieties will stand a freeze and cen be set out quite early.   Others can stand some cold weather without injury.   Others are stricly warm-weather plants   They may not freeze if set out too early, but they do not grow and could rot off.   Here are some general rules for planting:

* Hardy vegetables can be planted as soon as the ground can be worked in the springs i.e. onions
*Semi-hardy vegetables can be planted 2-3 weeks before the average date of the last frost (Indiana it is April 17th)
*Tender kinds sould be planted at the frost-free date
*Very tender vegetables should be planted no sooner than 3 weeks after the frost-free date

Planting tips:

Plant potatoes, cabbage, broccoli, lettuce*, radishes, spinach, and green onions early in the month.
Plant asparagus crowns, horseradish, and rhubarb (perennials)
Begin planting flowering perennials, trees, and shrubs

Fertlilizing tips:
Fertilize established perennials, clematis, irises, and peonies, and ground covers; evergreens, trees, and shrubs.   Fertilize your lawn.  

Maintaining tips:
Gradually remove winter protection around roses as new growth appears.   Prune rose canes that are week, crossed or damaged.
Divide and transplant crowded summer and fall blooming perennials.
Clean and aerate lawn.
Apply pre-emergent weed control in mid-April to mid-May,.
Spray pines for diseases.
Spray fruit trees when blossoms fall.
When new leaves appear, spray crab trees with fungicide to prevent rust & scab.
Prune spring flowering shrubs after blooming.
Prune or mow winter damaged ground covers.

If you have not started a journal, it is time to do so.   Record the planting dates, varieties, and other pertinent information.   They can be a drag but will be very helpful, and interesting later when your want to recall facts about your garden.

*a fence of chicken wire is protection from rabbits but you don't put one up, I use moth balls to repel them.

Gardening has been such a big part of the family tradition that I thought I'd better get as much information written down from mom and dad as soon as possible to pass on.

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