Bailey Arboretum Horticultural Notes: April 2015

“I’ll remember April and be glad”. Jonny Hartman lyrics but appropriate for 2015 after a long arduous winter.  Time to do all the garden chores meant for the snow covered March garden.

 Arbor Day April 24: Attend a local celebration and plant a special tree.

 Winter damage: Brown leaves on hollies and other broad leafed evergreens were caused by burning as the sun  hit the snow and ice. Shrubs are stressed but will survive, give them time.

 Pruning: Still time to prune, shape up the gangly shrubs, perennial vegetables and fruit. Hard prune carpet and  knockout roses, prune all roses by a third or half, tie up ramblers.

 Uncover: Gradually remove mulch from perennials beds. Choose an overcast day to unwrap tender plants. Cut  down old stems and foliage from perennials, cut back winter foliage on hellebores.

 Bubs: The bulbs are pushing out on schedule, aconites, snow drops, crocus are blooming. Daffodils, the flower  of April will be everywhere. (Remember to put cut daffodils in water for a while before you add them to other  arrangements, they secrete a poison injurious to other flowers)

 Vegetables: Prepare vegetable beds, plant peas, potatoes, pinch back seedlings started inside. Bite the bullet and  invest in raised beds, you will be thankful.

 Containers: Finally thawed, renew with at least 2 inches of fresh potting soil. Plant early annuals, tall sprigs of  shrubs. Place the pots where they can be seen from inside your home. Seeing flowers bloom from every window  is very therapeutic now.

 Perennials: Put out stakes for emerging plants, too large, flowering poorly, lost shape? Dig up, divide and  transplant. Transplant self-seeded plants: (I.e. digitalis, lunaria) to where you want them.

 Soils: The SSA has themed April as “Soils Clean and Capture Water” month. Keep our soil healthy,  contamination free. Get your soil tested for more than PH. Earth day 4/20.

 Something Different: Pussy willows were very welcomed this March. If you wish to get a special one purchase a  Salix Caprea, French Pussy Willow, larger flowers with a reddish or pink cast to them.

 Cutting Garden: Plan for a continuous “crop” of flowers. Choose harmonious colors, varied heights, textures,  and fragrances.

 Weeds: Keep up with early weeds, avoid using pre-emergent weed control near tulips.