Things to do in April
Houseplants can be moved outdoors as temperatures warm up. Those outgrowing their pots can be moved to a larger container and the now empty one can be used for another plant. With increased air movement and brighter light, these plants will need to be watered more frequently. However, plants that have been repotted may need watering less often as the additional soil space will not dry out as rapidly as when they were pot bound. When new growth is noticed, it is time to fertilize with a soluble fertilizer. Use your favorite fertilizer as directed every two months during the growing season to give them good foliage. House plants that have been moved outdoors are less likely to have pest problems as natural predators and the weather work against most indoor pests.
April can be stressful to lawns if spring rains are not frequent. If the lawn looks stressed, water it. Lawns can get by without fertilizer. If the lawn has been damaged or has low vigor a fertilizer could be helpful. Do not apply fertilizer by hand as it may be uneven and the existing grass can be damaged. Always use a fertilizer spreader to assure even coverage and follow manufacturer’s directions. Water immediately after applying fertilizer to wash it off the blades of grass and get it down to the soil.
Seeds of annuals can still be sown now, such as, yarrow, aster, coreopsis, purple coneflower, rudbeckia and salvia. Continue to water those seeds already in the ground if rain is not sufficient. When planting new perennial potted plants, be sure to pay attention to their spacing as they will grow larger each year. In ground perennials can be transplanted to another area now. Be sure to water them thoroughly and place mulch around the plant.
Newly purchased roses can be planted now but do not fertilize. Be sure to plant them where they will receive good air circulation and six hours of direct sun. Other roses can be fertilized with a good long-lasting slow-release granular fertilizer. Follow label directions. Do not prune now, only deadhead as needed. Knock-out roses do not need to be deadheaded as they are self-cleaning.
When planting new shrubs, always select a location where they will get some sun and one that is well drained. Too much sun can make them appear stunted, too much shade can make them leggy. Shrubs don’t like wet feet but soil that stays too dry can cause wilting. Read label directions when planting.