It just takes a sunny day of calm, warm weather to convince us that spring has finally arrived. Yes, but the wind! No matter, spring has arrived and here are some April chores that will make your garden sparkle.
Plant food: Local nurseries are loading up shelves with spring vegetable starts. Asian greens, kale, chard, lettuce, spinach, broccoli, cabbage, you name it. Time to plant. Also, look for seed potatoes, onion starts and cold tolerant herbs.
Sow seeds: As the sun warms, the soil consider sowing seeds. Carrots, beets and peas are the top cool season seeds to sow now. After sowing, warm up the soil a bit by placing row cover directly on the soil. his will warm things up and also keep the soil from drying out during big windy days.
Wait: It is still too cool for basil, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, beans and summer squash. If you cannot wait to plant, grow these crops in a greenhouse, a cold frame or a grow tunnel.
Warm it up: Frosty mornings and cold windy afternoons happen more often than not this month. Protect newly planted vegetable starts with row cover. Just a couple of degrees of warmth makes all the difference.
Feed: Get out the fertilizer and begin feeding roses, fruit trees, berries, lawns, perennials…all things growing. An all-purpose 4-4-4 fertilizer works well for most plants. Use acid type fertilizers on rhododendron, potatoes and blueberries.
Terry Kramer is the site manager for the Humboldt Botanical Garden and a trained horticulturist and journalist. She has been writing a garden column for the Times-Standard