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Great April Gardening Tips

One of the nicest months in the southwest. (if the wind is not blowing) You may plant just about anything such as tomato plants, fruit trees shade trees, evergreen shrubs, flowering shrubs, bulbs etc. It is also the month that garden centers usually are fully stocked, at least in the southwest.

Now is the time to fertilize your bermuda or warm season grasses at this time if you have not done so in late March. You may also fertilize your fescue, rye, or bluegrass (cool season) lawns if it has been more than 6 weeks since you’ve last fertilized. 16-8-8 with iron, zinc, and sulphur works well if you do not have a problem with weeds. This can be used on both warm season and cool season grasses at this time of year.

If you have oleander, now is the time to cut back any winter damaged leaves or stems it may have suffered from the cold. Shear oleander if you want them to look full and bushy or you may selectively prune branches to give it a more open and air look. You may also prune them into multi-trunked trees, which look quite picturesque when mature.

Lantana plants may be just coming out of their dormant period at this time. It is best to pull away any mulch that may be around the base of the crown, to allow the sun to heat up the soil and allow it to “wake up” from it’s winter sleep. Don’t let these plants fool you, they may look dead, but 9 times out of 10 they are just dormant. They need quite a bit of heat to start growing. Be patient!

Roses may still be in stock at this time and take well to being planted at this time. For existing roses, fertilizing is key. I recommend a water soluble fertilizer with an analysis of 20-20-20 other week, for healthy foliage and multiple blooms.

In addition to this use a soil acidifier such as Ironite or Grow More organic chelated iron. These products help keep foliage dark green and give flowers more vibrant colors.

There is now a new product by Bayer which contains a fertilizer, disease preventer (powdery mildew, rust, black spot), and insecticide all in one. It is in liquid form and can be used every six weeks during the growing season. If you apply this early enough you may not ever have to spray your roses

Check out our rose tips here

For existing roses, fertilizing is the key. I recommend a water soluble fertilizer such as Peters 20-20-20 every other week, for healthy foliage and multiple blooms. In addition to this use a soil acidifier such as Ironite Tm or Grow More Tm organic chelated iron. These products help keep foliage dark green and give flowers more vibrant colors.

Feed all trees, and shrubs at this time. There are many product to choose from. It is best to look for a product that is easiest for you to use. Most plants will respond to just about any kind of fertilizer as long as it is applied correctly.

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