When the April wind wakes the call for the soil, I hold the plow as my only hold upon the earth, and, as I follow through the fresh and fragrant furrow, I am planted with every foot-step, growing, budding, blooming into a spirit of spring.
— Dallas Lore Sharp, 1870-1929
For the lawn:
- Last chance: Make sure your lawn mower is tuned up and ready to roll.
- Fertilize your lawn. Apply 1 pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet of lawn.
- Aerate and dethatch to ensure proper flow of air and nutrients to grass roots.
- Overseed any bare patches.
- Mow every 4-5 days as needed. Keep grass no higher than 3 inches.
- Dig out dandelions before they spread across the lawn.
In the garden (busy month!):
- Prune your deciduous trees and shrubs. Thin out spring-blooming shrubs after blossoms fade.
- Spray apple and pear trees for scab when buds appear, to avoid disease.
- Once dangers of hard frost have passed, prune roses. Remove all damaged wood, spindly canes, crossing branches, and blind shoots without flower buds.
1. Berry plants — Spray insecticidal soup on strawberries if you spot aphids.
2. Spring-blooming bulbs and ornamental plants that were not fertilized in March.
3. Spring-blooming shrubs after they finish flowering.
- Plant beets, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, chard, lettuce, peas, and potatoes.
- If soil temperature is above 60 degrees, you may plant beans and sweet corn.
- If you have transplants in the yard, protect them from any late spring frosts with a cover.
- Keep an eye out for slugs. Clean up weeds and hiding places quickly. Avoid insecticides that kill beneficials. Use slug control products with iron phosphate — but keep away from pets.
- Reduce insects and disease in your garden by providing your plants with proper ventilation and removing all weeds.
- Use floating row covers to keep insects such as beet leaf miners, cabbage maggot adult flies, and other insects away.
- Start annuals, such as marigolds, zinnias, and cosmos, indoors.
- Let foliage of spring-flowering bulbs brown. Once died down, divide if desired.
- Consider planting drought-tolerant flowers, such as coneflowers, iris, and sedums.