Bailey Arboretum Horticultural Notes: April 2016

“April’s rare capricious loveliness” Julia Dorr


This is a month of perpetual astonishment as every day sees surges of growth, color and lushness. As our volatile weather continues, watch for a see- saw of weather changes as the month rolls on.

Neatness: As spring evolves the garden is at its neatest, round clumps of growth, perfect flowers and leaves, tidy borders and lawns. Keep the look by attacking weeds as they emerge. Watch for the rooted weeds- like quack grass or couch grass, catch the weeds before they flower and seed.

Borders:  Create gutters between turf and beds now to prevent intermingling of grass and flowers.

Planters: Add fresh compost to tops of planters, plant early spring colors, ranunculus and forced bubs. Add grit or gravel onto pots of spring Alpines.

Ties and Stakes: Reposition supports. Tie in climbing roses for horizontal effect. Check ties on clematis and honeysuckle.

Fruit Trees: Protect fruit tree flowers from unexpected frost.

Perennials and Self- seeders: As plants emerge move them to desired locations. Divide overgrown clumps, or poorly flowering oldies, transplant self seeders or biannuals to desired sites.

Turf: Reseed bare patches, if moss appears add lime, time to apply re-emergent crabgrass control (corn gluten is the organic method)

Fertilizer: Wait to fertilize on established plants. Trivia; in the early 1900’s “fertilizer” was called “Man Made Manure”.

Vegetables: Time to plant peas, radishes, lettuce broccoli, and other cool weather crops. Plant parsley, potatoes, asparagus, berries and grapes.

House Plants: Time to increase watering and repot for outdoor display.

Celebrations: April 22 is Earth Day, April 29 is Arbor Day.