April 2019 Garden to do Lists

April 2019 Garden to Do Lists

Planting

April 2019 Garden to do Lists
  • Plant or move your permanent plants, trees and shrubs.
  • In the vegetable garden, start your warm weather crops.  Peas, okra, peppers, squash, tomatoes are all in this category.  Plant a diverse group of plants.  Be sure to include some open pollinated varieties.  Wait until after the average date of the last killing freeze for your area.
  • Herbs should be planted now.  Basil, lemongrass, lemon verbena, mint, oregano, sage, etc. should all be planted.
  • You can continue to plant cool season plants provided they are of a short time to harvest variety. 

Fertilize

  • Turf
    • If you did not fertilize your turf with a high-quality organic fertilizer last month, do it now.  Apply as directed by the label.
  • Ornamentals
    • Use a good foliar spray on your growing plants.  We suggest Garrett Juice or compost tea.
  • If you planted new plants last month, give them all a good root drench of a quality organic liquid fertilizer such as Garret Juice or compost tea.

Prune

  • Finish pruning your woody plants and trees.  Avoid doing flush cut prunes.  We never like to use paint to seal a prune. 
  • Prune your flowering shrubs and vines only after they have bloomed. 
  • Fruit trees should be pruned before the buds break.  If the buds on your fruit trees have already broken, don’t prune unless the health of the tree is in question.
  • Prune away all the suckers and root growth from the base of shrubs and other plants.

Water

  • Water your annuals and any other dry areas. Apply water slowly to allow good deep infiltration.   Rapid watering damages the soil and usually does not provide water in the right place.  The object is to have an equal distribution of water throughout the root zone and to allow slow drying to encourage oxygen infiltration into the soil.
  • Water your container plants as needed.  Add a good organic liquid fertilizer to the water.  We suggest Garrett juice or apple cider vinegar.
  • Turf should be watered as required.  Use your soil probe to judge conditions.

Pests and Diseases

  • Insect activity will increase dramatically during this time.  Be vigilant in the landscape.  Loopers and caterpillars are beginning to appear.  Spray BT (Bacillus thuringiensis).
  • Release Trichogramma wasps.
  • Add beneficial nematodes into the soil to control thrips and other pests.
  • Spray garlic pepper tea and dust around plants with a mixture of hot pepper, natural diatomaceous earth and cedar flakes to control pill bugs, slugs and snails.
  • Aphids may begin to appear but are easily controlled with a blast of water on the leaves of your plants.  
  • Watch for the appearance of black spot, powdery mildew, etc.  Spray Garret juice mixed with a cup of skim milk per gallon.  A spray of cornmeal juice is also effective.  If bacterial diseases are appearing, use a 50/50 mixture of water and hydrogen peroxide 3%.
  • Spray fruit trees with Garrett Juice plus garlic tea when buds are pink and again after the flowers have fallen from the trees.   Spraying every two weeks with the same mixture will discourage other fruit infesting pests.

Odd Jobs

  • Turn your compost pile.  As temperatures rise, keep the pile moist.
  • Mine your compost pile for finished compost and use it to top dress your grow beds.
  • Mulch any bare soil in the landscape.
  • Feed and water the birds.

DO NOT!

  • Till your soil
  • Scalp your yard
  • Spray any synthetic man-made pesticide, herbicides or fertilizer.

*These April 2019 Garden to do Lists are recommendations and are based on Zone 7, West Texas.  If you live outside Zone 7 adjust your timing based on the last expected freeze dates. USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Maps