April Gardening Activities
It's April and spring is finally here. There's a lot of activities in the garden from clean up, weeding to planting. Check out our video where Tricia shows you what she is doing in her garden.
Clean up any debris around the garden like leaves, branches, dropped fruit or forgotten vegetables. These can be a great hiding place for pests and diseases. You can add this to your compost pile, but leave out anything that you might think may be diseased. If you haven't already done it make sure and clean out your greenhouse or hoop house to get ready for starting our warm weather seeds. Tricia likes to braid her daffodil leaves in April after the flowers are spent. All of the food is stored in the leaves for the next growing season so you don't want to cut them back. Braiding them also makes them look pretty. Be sure clean up beneath your camellia bushes to prevent petal and flower blight, which is caused by a fungus.
Get Your Compost Cookin'
When t-shirt weather gets here you can be sure that your compost pile is starting to heat up. This is a time to give it a great boost with the organic Compost Maker. If you don't already have a compost pile, check out our Composting 101 video.
Start Your Summer Seeds
April is probably the last opportunity that you'll have to start some of your hot season vegetables like eggplant tomatoes and peppers. These grow pretty slow, so the earlier you get them started the better. March is best, but you can still start them in April, especially if you live in a cold zone. Be sure and watch our Seed Starting video for more information. If you are unsure about what to start indoors and what to direct seed, check out our Seed Planting Calculator. Based on your last frost date, it will help guide you on when and what to plant indoors or when to direct sow. April's a month to make sure that you take really good care of your seedling starts. It's a great opportunity to do the last little bit of thinning before transplanting. As soon as your seed starts have their first real leaves you can feed with a diluted fertilizer, like a mix of liquid kelp and fish (use at quarter to half strength). Make sure you have a good supply of Agribon or frost blankets on hand for those late frost that usually come in April.
Give Your Chickens Some Greens
Chickens love to eat greens and you can seed a small pasture for them or grow their greens up in flats. Start of a batch (or more) of the Omega-3 Chicken Forage Blend, your chickens will love it and their eggs will be full of omega-3s.
Don't Stop Planting Your Cool Season Veggies
Continue to direct seed your cold weather crops such as turnips, beets, radishes and carrots, as well as the brassicas or cole crops. Lettuce and greens can also be planted directly, or if your soil is still too cold, you can start them indoors. Make sure you have a good supply of Agribon or frost blankets on hand for those late frost that usually come in April.
Berries and Vines
Be sure and take care of your grapes, berries and vines. This is the time of year where they're really going to start pushing out some growth. Be sure and check out all of our videos on caring for and pruning all your berries and vines. In the landscape it's important to keep on top of trellising any of your vines and climbers to make sure that they don't go crazy.
Plant Some Spring Potatoes
April is a super time to plant your tubers. If you haven't planted potatoes before be sure and check out our video, How to Plant Potatoes.
Enemy Number 1 - Weeds
If you have one enemy in April it's the weeds and now is a good time to weed around all of your fruit trees. If you use weed mats the weeds sometimes grow right through it. So you can flip the mat over, we're going to fertilize your trees, then put the mat back down. For more tips and tricks on organic weed control please check out our video, Organic Weed Control.
Plant Some Spring Wildflowers
Spring is a good time to plant wildflowers, especially in cold regions. Check out our video Planting Wildflowers and enjoy the beautiful blooms this summer.
Protect Against Disease and Pests in the Orchard
California has had a lot of rain this spring and when it rains on blossoms that's a real issue for a lot of trees, it's the perfect opportunity for fungi and other diseases to enter into your fruit trees. April is a great month for you to do your research on products such as Liquicop or Serenade. These products can control fungi and other diseases. Don't want worms in your apples this summer, April is a good time to hang out the codling moth lures and traps. This will monitor for codling moth activity. There are more products to choose from in the fight against wormy apples and we have a great video on Codling Moth Control. Most importantly don't forget to enjoy your garden in April and all the wonders of spring.
Tune in next month for what to do in May, and grow organic for life!