GARDENING TIP(S) OF THE MONTH

(new feature started 1/2021)

APRIL

  • Pace yourself until your stamina improves 

  • Admire the bud changes

  • Observe why it is a bad idea to plant early flowering species on the south side and next to buildings, esp if building is stone or dark colored

  • Delay first mowing until late April -- collect and use the clippings; I do use my mower, set high with bag attached, to collect leaves which I then use

  • Prune shrubs that flower on new wood, esp paniculate hydrangeas -- deadwood can be pruned anytime (for more, see Chapter 44 in my book)

  • Cut back browned grasses to 4-6 inches, and do it soon

  • Do the specimen/bed prep not done late last fall -- shred and use the leaves as mulch, much better than dyed shredded wood

  • Weed, before they produce seed -- it you wait much longer it will be too late for the suite of winter weeds (e.g., cress, chickweed and nettle). I am referring to manual extraction, not the idiotic spraying

  • Be ever vigilant for unwanted woodies -- easier to remove when small

  • Consider the wildlife. Living can be difficult. Particularly important now -- last year's fruit and seed is scarce and this year's load is months away

  • If seed is not started inside soon, may want to consider direct sowing in the ground -- best option for some plants (see Chapter 32, p 148)

  • As the average date of last spring frost is April 17, DO NOT consider planting frost sensitive starts (this includes grass seed) until it is safe -- last spring freeze in 2020 was May 9th! but irrelevant for 2021 (see ALMANAC on the HOME PAGE)

  • Enjoy the magic of spring

  • The 17-year periodical cicadas will start appearing later this month (see RANT OF THE MONTH)

  • What plans have you for a better garden and to be a better gardener?

  • For those of you with pigsty properties -- please get off your lazy asses