April: Spring Fertilizing.

Monthly Reminders by on Monday, April 7, 2014

fertilizeThis time of year is the best for fertilizing for spring. Fertilize established trees, shrubs, turf, and other plants.

Compost is an excellent top dress for lawn, flower beds, and gardens. It replaces any organic matter lost to the plants or watering.

Don’t let weeds go to seed. Treat or pull them. Pulling weeds is still the most effective method for getting rid of them.

When mowing, leave the clippings on the lawn so that they break down and add organic matter to the soil.

The Hill Country can get freezes as late as Easter, and we know how many “inclement weather” days we’ve had in Austin this winter. Be prepared to cover delicate or recently planted plants in case we have a late cold snap.

Consider planting summer cover crops in uncultivated areas in your yard. Cover crops are sometimes referred to “green manures” and will greatly improve your soil.

When planting turf grasses or grass seed, consider a native grass mix for a full sun spot in your yard.

Fall and winter are usually the best times to plant trees and shrubs, but they can be planted with care in the spring. When planting a new tree or shrub, be careful not to use more than 20% compost, if any, in the hole that you dig. Too much compost may cause settling as it breaks down. For natives and well-adapted species, the backfill should ideally be the native soil that you dug from the hole and maybe some amendments depending on the quality of your existing soil and what you are planting. Some natives do not need any amendments.

Prune spring-flowering shrubs, trees, climbing roses, and other “once bloomers” after they bloom.

Divide and transplant late summer- and fall-flowering bulbs.

Mulch trees, shrubs, vegetable gardens, and flower beds with 2-4 inches of mulch.

Conserve landscape water with these rules:

(Travis County Master Gardeners’ Association – 4th Edition Garden Guide)

Oscar Moraesand the crew

Tip Sources: Natural Gardener April Tips & Travis County Master Gardeners’ Association – 4th Edition Garden Guide

Other key things to do: treat for ants, chinch bugs, de-thatch lawns and fertilize.

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