Our RightPlantz April Garden Guide:

Check the soil in your flower pots. If dry and crumbly, remove 1/3 of it and mix in fresh potting spoil.

Lift and divide perennial plants now, to improve their health and create new plants for your garden.

Divide hostas before they leaf out.

Move evergreen shrubs and trees now, provided the soil isn’t frozen or waterlogged.

Feed trees and shrubs with a balanced, slow-release fertilizer. Roses in particular will greatly benefit from feeding as they begin to grow

Re-secure ties on climbing roses and vines.

Check any tree ties to make sure they’re not cutting into the trunk. Loosen any that are tight, to allow the trunk some room to expand.

Prune forsythia as soon as they have finished flowering, cutting back to strong, young shoots.

Continue to remove faded flowers from winter pansies to stop them from setting seed. This will encourage flushes of new flowers throughout the spring.

Deadhead daffodils and tulips as the flowers finish, but leave foliage intact, allowing it to die back naturally.

Apply a layer of mulch around your perennials, trees and shrubs before the hot weather arrives.

Prepare vegetable seed beds by removing all weeds.

Don’t start warm weather plants too early. Peppers and basil, and to a lesser extent tomatoes—hate cold weather. Wait until at least the end of the month, if not May, and a forecast for consistently warm weather before planting these. Cold hardy vegetable seeds can be planted now. Less cold hardy vegetable seeds may be started indoors and moved outside once it is warmer and chances of frost have passed.

Build raised beds to take the bending out of growing vegetables.

Harvest asparagus spears when they’re no more than 7” tall.

Sow grass seed now on well-prepared soil and keep the soil moist while it germinates.

After the have finished blooming, prune back forsythia, quince, witchhazel, winterhazel and wintersweet.

Prune your late-blooming hydrangeas now, if they need it (to reduce the size). That means H. paniculata types, like ‘Tardiva’ and H. arborescens types like ‘Annabelle.’  Do not touch your moptop or lacecap hydrangeas, though, or you’ll prune away this year’s blooms.

Check compost bins to see if you have any compost that’s ready to use.

Keep on top of weeding now that the weather is warming up.

Top up bird baths and bird feeders to encourage birds into your garden.

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