Warmer weather, and hopefully April showers, will really get the garden growing. Take advantage of this month to clean up and refresh the landscape, get compost and mulch worked in, and start planting. Just be on the lookout for late frosts!
Vegetables and fruits
• Start fruit tree spray schedule when growth begins.
• Plant carrots, onions, beets and other salad crops in early April.
• Thin radishes, beets and carrots as needed.
• Harvest asparagus until spear size decreases.
• Prune fruit trees if not already done.
• Plant new fruit trees.
• Plant asparagus and rhubarb.
• Remove mulch from strawberry bed.
• Prune raspberry and blackberry plantings.
• Do not spray insecticides while fruits flower in order to protect the honeybees.
• Plant beans, corn, vine crops in late April.
• Cultivate to control seedling weed growth.
• Turn the compost pile after a long winter rest.
• Transplant broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage in the garden.
• Fertilize vegetable garden before planting and incorporate.
• Remove winter mulch from perennial garden.
• Cut back last year’s growth from perennials.
• Remove seed heads from spring bulbs.
• Do not remove foliage from spring flowering bulbs, as growth is needed for next year’s flowers.
• Fertilize spring flowering bulbs.
• Add organic matter such as compost before planting new flowers.
• Divide perennials.
• Plant new roses.
• Prune rose bushes.
• Fertilize rose bushes for spring growth.
• Plant annuals from seed and transplants.
• Apply crabgrass control by mid month.
• Mow lawn as needed, bluegrass 2 inches, tall fescue 3 inches.
• Fertilize cool season lawns with slow release nitrogen fertilizer.
• Do not fertilize zoysia this early in spring, nutrients go to weeds not dormant grass.
• Spot treat broadleaf weeds such as dandelions, henbit, and chickweed.
• Check mower and make needed repairs before season begins.
• Sharpen mower blade.
• No need to catch grass clippings if mowing frequently.
• Do not water unless extremely dry. Early irrigation sets turf up as high water user in summer.
Trees and shrubs
• Prune spring flowering shrubs such forsythia and lilac after flowering.
• Prune trees as needed, and repair winter storm damage.
• Topping is not pruning; never top a tree.
• Plant new trees and shrubs.
• Remove grass from base of young trees and shrubs to prevent lawn mower and line trimmer damage.
• Apply mulch layer around plants.
• Keep new trees and shrubs watered.
• Fertilize young trees to promote growth.
• Remove winter dust from leaves by gently rinsing with room temperature water .
• Repot as needed, increase pot size by 1 inch.
• Leach excess fertilizers from soil with water.
• Begin summer fertilization of plants.
• Do not move plants outside until night temperatures remain over 60 degrees.
• Propagate houseplants by cuttings or divisions.
• Fertilize amaryllis and keep in bright light to encourage new leaves.
For more information about agriculture and gardening, contact the Cowley County Extension Office at (620) 221-5450 or (620) 441-4565.