Q. Ive been cleaning and weeding my garden. What are some other essential tasks to be performed in gardens in April? - Linda Dunn, Cambria
A. April is prime planting month around the county. Its not too late to plant cool season vegetables such as lettuce, carrots, snow peas, radishes and spinach and begin planting summer vegetables such as beans, corn, and summer squash. In warmer areas you can plant pumpkins and melons, seeds that need warmth to germinate.
Think color and plant perennials like: agapanthus, Japanese anemone, daylilies, chrysanthemums, coreopsis, dusty miller, Gaillardia, gazania, gerbera daisy, verbena and yarrow. Choose a pretty clematis while they are in bloom and a vibrant clivia for a shady corner.
In shady areas, plant annuals such as bedding begonias, caladium, coleus, and impatiens. For fun in the sun annuals, put out marigolds, petunias, phlox, verbena and zinnias.
Sub-tropicals such as Bougainvillea, gardenia, hibiscus, citrus, and avocadoes can be planted in light-frost areas. Potted roses are blooming now. Choose and plant a favorite.
Planting is fun but other chores should be done now to keep your garden looking sharp. Deadhead bulbs that have completed their bloom cycle and feed with a complete fertilizer. Leave foliage until brown. Divide cymbidiums. Feed bearded irises with high phosphorus and potassium food to encourage blooms. Citrus may be looking a little yellow. Feed them with a high nitrogen food to green them up. If citrus and ornamentals have yellowing leaves with green veins, feed with chelated iron.
Your garden is ready to turn up the volume this month. Be sure the growing plants have the nourishment they need. Read labels and talk with experienced gardeners on the best fertilizer to use. A well-fed garden is a happy one!
Got a Gardening Question?
Contact the University of California Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners: at 781-5939 from 1 to 5 p.m. on Monday and Thursday; at 473-7190 from 10 a.m. to noon in Arroyo Grande; and at 434-4105 from 9 a.m. to noon on Wednesday in Templeton. Visit the UCCE Master Gardeners Web site at groups.ucanr.org/slomg/ or e-mail email@example.com.