April Gardening Checklist!
Make Your Home Look Great!
Whether you are looking to sell your home, or just want to get it looking great, these gardening tips are sure to bring your yard the eye catching look you are longing for after a long winter.
Don't let your garden dry out before the sun is full circle. Get into the habit of watering regularly early in the season to ensure happy, healthy plants.
Even novice gardeners can brighten up a terrace, patio , deck or windowsill with containers tumbling with flowers.
* Use hanging baskets, pots of all sizes and planter boxes - even have your children help paint old pails or coffee cans for clusters of color.
* Spark up potted shrubs and trees by surrounding them with hints of perennial color.
Try to set aside one weekend of each spring month to building projects, and beautify your garden with simple or elaborate additions.
* Make a simple entry trellis to frame your walkway with a grand tower of climbing roses.
* Garden paths, from basic steppingstones to brick or timber steps to colorful flagstones, can meander cottage-style or lead directly to a mediation pond.
* Add benches to frame your deck or patio, or build a bench to encircle a large tree for added shade in the summer.
You know you want the greenest lawn on the block! Well, start now or forever hold your peace with a less-than -lush lawn.
* Between now and May, after grass is well-established, rake the lawn lightly before fertilizing.
* Choose a spring fertilizer that contains moss killer if moss is a problem.
* You can now over seed your lawn (using about one pound per 300 square feet) to help fill in empty patches and conquer the return of weeds and moss.
* If your lawn has begun growing in earnest, you can also aerate it now, making it more absorbent and limiting summer water needs.
* Crank up your mowing schedule and put those grass clippings to work. Adjust your mower to cut only one-third the length of its blades, then leave the clippings on the lawn. They'll feed the growing grass much-needed nitrogen as they break down.
* Make sure newly sown grass is getting plenty of moisture.
Planting trees and flowers
In certain areas, the time has passed for transplanting large shrubs and trees, but in many climates you can still plant deciduous and evergreen trees, shrubs, perennials, hardy annuals and rock-garden perennials such as yarrow, rock jasmine and small deaths.
* Mid-spring is also a good time for planting dahlias, most lilies and gladiolas for summer blooms, hold off a while longer on sensitive branches lilies and tuberous begonias.
* Geraniums and guchsias should be repotted for a fresh start if they have spent the winter in hiding.
* If you haven't planted or set out berries yet - blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and strawberries - now's the time. Just be sure they have lots of water.
Shearing, pruning and grooming
From now until late spring, the time is right for shearing and pruning evergreens of all kinds.
* Cut only in the green foliage areas to ensure that branches will regrow, and keep that lovely draped evergreen shape by keeping the top smaller so the bottom branches will get the sunlight it requires.
* Stop pruning roses and buddleias, and prune fuchsias later in the month.
Mulch and compost
Most important is the soil in which your garden grows. Mulch and compost add valuable nutrients, as well as protection from heat and drying out.
* Even in areas you haven't planted in yet, but especially around shrubs and perennials, add a small layer of mulch to help water absorption in the summer.
* Mature trees, climbers and roses should be mulched now.
* Start turning compost regularly, and mix the new and old compost together with a high - nitrogen fertilizer.
LINDA SECRIST - LINDA SECRIST & ASSOCIATES - EVERYTHING THEY TOUCH TURNS TO SOLD!