April/May 2009 Newsletter

Dear Gardening Friends,

Spring is finally here! We have been blessed with some rain, so everything should soon be greening up nicely. All of the roadsides are decorated with a beautiful array of colors from the seasonal wildflowers. Petunias and lilies are in bloom. Fresh shipments of herbs, annuals, and perennials are here and we have been busy planting and fertilizing. Well its time to get busy in our yards, so here’s what needs to be done.

Gardening Tips

April is a good time to prune azaleas, after they have finished blooming. Do not wait til summer to prune because you will cut off most of next years flowers. In late April spray for insect control and disease prevention. Fertilize azaleas again if needed. Bulbs should be fertilized with bone meal after flowering.

Allowing the foliage on spring bloomers to die on the plant will feed the bulb. When cutting back gladiolas leave at least four leaves on the lower part of the stem. Lilies like you to leave about ¼ of the stem to help the bulb mature. Camellias need the soil acidity tested and they need to be pruned. To grow healthy plants you only need 3 things: phosphorous for root, fruit and blooms, nitrogen for leaf and stem and potash for protection, and vigor.

In April many herbs can be put out such as Italian parsley, coriander, chamomile, basil, lemon balm, mint, thyme, rosemary, and sage. Mulching your beds with 2-4” of mulch will deter weeds and help keep the beds from drying out so quickly. Prune bridal wreath, weigela, flowering quince, and other flowering trees and shrubs after blooming. Spray roses for black spot.

May is time to prune spring bloomers such as azaleas, camellias, bridal wreath,
flowering quince, wisteria and redbuds. Delaying pruning may take off new buds for the next blooming season. When caring for newly planted trees, keep the soil moist without over watering. Watch for black spot on roses. Use a fungicide for managing this disease.

Having a beautiful lawn requires three things: mowing every 5 to 7 days, fertilizing in moderation and soaking your yard about once a week to once a month, depending on how hot it is. Overwatering makes for a shallow root system. Sandy soils will require water more often.

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