April Gardening Tips


Planning:

  • Choose planting areas based on exposure to sun, shade, wind and distance from water source
  • Study garden for gaps that can be filled by spring flowering bulbs, and order in August for best selection
  • Choose flowering trees and shrubs for color and time of bloom to add to the garden in fall

Chores and Maintenance:

  • Continue to remove winter mulches and debris
  • Continue to dig beds in preparation for planting
  • Complete adding compost to planting bed soil
  • Place peony supports
  • Cultivate planting beds and carefully remove weeds
  • Remove mounded earth from roses
  • Prepare bare-root and potted roses for planting; soak overnight in fish emulsion
  • Continue to apply horticultural oil sprays to control insect pests on trees if temperature is over 40
  • Test lawn soil and apply lime if warranted

Planting:

  • Continue to plant deciduous and evergreen trees and shrubs, weather and soil conditions permitting
  • Sow seeds of hardy annuals in place in the garden
  • Sow seeds of peas, carrots and radishes
  • Start seed indoors for summer crops
  • Plant out seedlings of cauliflower, cabbage and broccoli if soil is workable
  • Plant out seedlings of cool-season annuals like pansies and snapdragons
  • Continue to plant and transplant perennials
  • Complete rose planting
  • Plant strawberries
  • Re-seed bare lawn areas

Pruning/Fertilizing:

  • Complete removal of diseased, weak, or crossing branches
  • Complete rose pruning but wait until after flowering on climbers and ramblers
  • Prune late flowering shrubs such as buddleia and hydrangea
  • Prune early spring-flowering shrubs immediately after flowers die
  • Wait to prune evergreens, hedges and other shrubs until early summer
  • Fertilize fruit trees and roses
  • Fertilize perennials when you see 2-3" of new growth
  • Fertilize bulbs as they finish blooming
  • Complete lawn fertilization if not done in the fall

Indoors:

  • Continue to transplant houseplants which need repotting
  • Continue to inspect for pests and control as needed
  • Complete shaping leggy houseplants

* These gardening tips are applicable for the southeastern New York region - USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 6a and 6b which include New York City, northern New Jersey, Rockland county, Westchester county, southern Connecticut and parts of Long Island. Plant hardiness zones refer to geographic areas where the growing season of plants is determined by the time of killing frosts in the spring and fall. If you live in a more southerly plant hardiness zone, you can start gardening earlier in the season or in more northerly zones, you can start later. Even within zones, climatic factors such as altitude, proximity to water, wind exposure, winter sun exposure and snow cover contribute to the existence of different "microclimates" and can influence plant adaptability.

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