Avant Gardening

6 Simple & Fun Tasks You Can Complete In April

April Garden Checklist

 A gush of bird-song, a patter of dew, A cloud, and a rainbow’s warning,

Suddenly sunshine and perfect blue – An April day, in the morning.

-Harriet Prescott Spofford


April brings gardens bursting into bloom and it can make us gardeners quite excited and antsy to get outside! What should be on your “to-do-list” for April?

1. Welcome Woody Plant Blooms

Does your spring landscape look a little empty? Think about adding bright yellow forsythia, native serviceberry, or the unique flowering redbud. These budded branches can also be cut (pre-bloom), brought inside and forced into bloom if the snow just keeps coming – as it sometimes does!Clients 2006 088

2. Plant Cool-Season Annuals

As soon as soil is workable (not too wet!) consider pansy, lobelia, calendula, snapdragons – and don’t forget about vegetables! Most lettuce and other greens, radishes, seedlings of broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage can handle the cooler soil temperatures. Get seed potatoes in the ground as soon as possible too!20160411_134318_edit

3. Stop Weeds Before They Start!

Sprinkle a pre-emergent weed killer on your planting beds early this month (there are both organic and synthetic options available) Completing this simple task now will save you tons of time, endlessly weeding your garden later on – when you should be enjoying the outdoors! Use caution th

4. Divide & Transplant Perennials

Mid-April is a great time to divide most perennials – if they are spring bloomers delay dividing until the flowers have faded. Wait until there is approximately 2-4” of new growth on the plants to ensure they will successfully re-establish.

5. Entice Wildlife – Especially Our Butterflies & Hummingbirds!

Some butterflies make their first appearance in April, think about setting out shallow dishes of water with flat landing rocks to give them a drink. Also, migrating hummingbirds reach our area this time of year, time to put out your feeders for them!IMG_20150710_103756958 IMG_20150710_123306812_HDRBirds, butterflies, bees and other pollinators (really all different kinds of wildlife!) are attracted to moving water. Another great way to bring these beneficial creatures into your landscape is with a water feature! Worried about all the maintenance? Try a pondless bubbling rock feature like this one that was featured on Olbrich Botanical Garden’s Home & Garden Tour last season!

For more information on the Home & Garden Tour, please visit: http://olbrich.org/events/homegardentour.cfm

6. Sit Back & Enjoy the Beauty

Hopefully you had the forethought to stick a few clumps of bulbs in the ground last fall – otherwise take a walk through you neighborhood and make a mental list of ideas and color combinations for next year! Reliable daffodils, vibrant tulips, and dainty grape hyacinth steal the spotlight in April.