How do your gardens grow? Prep is the key.

Planting Annuals (Flowers and Vegetables) in the Ground in April – The ONLY annuals that can be planted in April are cold season vegetables (broccoli, lettuces, spinach, cabbage, etc.) and flowers (pansies and violas).  Warmer season annuals should not be planted in the soil until all danger of frost has passed.  We know everyone’s eager in early spring and big box and grocery stores were already selling annuals in late March, but it is too early.  Plant in mid-May, fertilize regularly with either granular or water-soluble fertilizers, and your plants will reward you with great growth, flowers and/or fruit.  Plant now and you’ll likely lose them to cold or they will be so badly shocked it could take months to recover.  The average last frost date for this zone is May 20th. The Lawn Depot’s Garden Center typically starts bringing annuals in around the third week of April, depending on the weather.  We’ve always taken the approach that we’ll NEVER offer any plants for sale that cannot be planted by the customer right then.  We know that grocery stores and big-box stores are already selling warmer season annuals and vegetables, even though they are weeks from being able to be safely planted in beds or planters.  We prefer not to work that way.

Planting Perennials, Shrubs, Trees in April – Perennials, shrubs and trees are already showing new growth, buds or even flowers!  The perennials that over-wintered in our hoop houses are waking up too.  By the time you receive this, many of them will have already been moved outside.  Whether in the nursery or the hoop houses, you’ll know which plants are ready for sale if they have a price tag.  Any plants in pots without price tags aren’t ready yet.  We won’t sell anything until the root system is good and ready.  We do have some nice shrubs that we over-wintered from last year that can be planted now.  This season’s shrub and tree shipments will arrive the first week of May. 

Fertilizing Perennials, Blooming Bulbs, Ground Covers, Shrubs and Trees in April – All perennials, shrubs and smaller trees should be fed twice each year with slow-release, long lasting fertilizers (Espoma Organic’s Holly-Tone, Plant-Tone, Bone Meal, Bulb-Tone, etc.).  Broadcast generously under boughs and around foliage of the plants and gently rake and water in.  For larger shrubs and trees, we prefer formed fertilizer spikes, buried 12-15” deep in the soil at the dripline of the tree/shrub.  To fertilize trees, drive a long stake or crowbar into the ground to create holes that will accommodate the fertilizer spikes and drop them into holes.  Use 3 spikes for every 2 inches of caliper.  Leave the holes open for rain to enter and activate the fertilizer.

Mulching in April – It’s prime time for preparing all existing beds for their fresh spring layer of mulch. The key with mulching in the spring is to properly prepare all beds BEFORE spreading the new mulch.  Old mulch must be either scarified thoroughly to break the leftover crust or removed entirely.  Weeds and debris that may have blown in over the winter need to be removed and pre-emergent Garden Weed Preventer applied.  Then spread your preferred mulch at a cumulative depth of 3” and enjoy your lovely landscaping.  Our garden center offers both bulk and bagged mulch products for pick up or delivery within our local area.

Insect, Disease, and Pest Control on Susceptible Trees, Shrubs, Roses, and Perennials – Plants aren’t alone as they wake up from their winter slumber.  So too, are a myriad of tiny, sucking and chewing insects, and diseases that attack many shrubs, trees, roses, and perennials.  We have a number of control measures available including some for edible crops and organic gardeners.   Stop in at the Lawn Depot and discuss your situation and walk out with the right products to best control all your garden pests.

BioAdvanced Tree & Shrub Protect & Feed will control most varieties of chewing and sucking insects (including caterpillars) on trees and shrubs for the entire growing season with a single, systemic application.  Applied as a drench to the soil at the base of trees and shrubs, it is absorbed by the roots and translocated throughout the plant providing full coverage from the trunk to the branches to the leaves.   Whether insects chew or suck on leaves or burrow into bark, BioAdvanced’s systemic protection gets them!  It’s easy and it’s effective.  Use it just ONCE every year for the most complete protection available.

Be sure to take advantage of our BioAdvanced Tree & Shrub Dual Action 32oz. Concentrate Reg. $30.99 – Sale $25.99 from April 7th through April 30th, plus a rebate you can either complete online or mail in that could save you up to $10 for every $35.00 spent.  Limit up to 3 rebates per household.

Wildlife in April – As new growth and blossoms begin to emerge, so does backyard wildlife.  Deer, squirrels, rabbits, voles and many more look at the rebirth of vegetation as an invitation to dine.  We have to maintain our vigilance with regular treatments of repellent products, or by erecting barriers that prevent them from gaining access to our landscapes.  Lawn Depot sells a wide variety of liquid and granular repellents, as well as several types of cages and/or barriers.  Repellents should be re-applied every 2-3 weeks (regardless of what is stated on the container) for maximum effectiveness.

Bird watching is the nation’s second most popular pastime, right behind gardening.  Some of you (like me) feed the birds year-round, as much for them as for our viewing pleasure.   Migration will be happening soon and birds that flew south for the winter will be returning.  Hummingbirds are in this group.  To attract these beautiful creatures to your yard, you need to start setting out feeders by Mid-April.  Hummingbirds are territorial and will stay near their food source all season.  Our garden center offers a terrific selection of birdseed, feeders and accessories, including squirrel deterrent feeders. 

We’re looking forward to seeing all of you often this spring.  This is the time of the year when we all want to be outside, whether at work or play.  Include us in your plans to work in your yards to make them as lovely as you can.  See you soon!

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