GARDENING: Spring To-Do List

It's a gorgeous day in mid-April, and that means one thing! It is time to dust off the gardening gloves and get in the garden. I am not talking planting yet. If you live in cooler climates like the Midwest, it still is a little risky to begin planting new plants in the ground. There are some heartier spring annuals such as pansies that can be planted in containers. Containers are mobile so if you need to pull the containers indoors one night because of a frost it is pretty easy. But when it comes to your beds and lawn, things are emerging from their sleep and they need some TLC. A little work now will help your yard be gorgeous in the summer. Plus, it will cure your gardening itch by keeping you busy with other things in the garden and prevent you from planting anything too early!

Here is my list for this April:


Sprinkle "Preen" is all beds (a fertilizer and weed preventer)
Rose TLC includes:

• Prune roses-the 3 D's, dead, diseased and dying canes. Use wood glue to seal your cuts. Prune only if you have begun to see green canes and small shoots.
• Add rose food and bug control around the drip line, about 1/2 cup's worth
• Spray roses with Sulfur spray to prevent mold and mildew

Remove winter mulch

Aerate soil around flowers with a hand-till, and mend the soil with compost and peat if need be as you go

Transplant and divide emerging perennials

Mix 1/2 cup of each blood meal and bone meal around drip lines around irises, delphinium, bulbs and peonies

Apply lime to irises and delphiniums

Prune summer flowering shrubs

Apply fresh mulch around emerging plants

Add tonics (see below)

Prune Clematis plants that grow from new shoots versus old wood

Record any plants that you forgot about and record what has not come up


Apply lawn fertilizer, Lime, Epsom Salt, grub control, weed control
Aerate the turf with an aerator ( or use old golf
cleats on your feet as you walk around the lawn

Dethatch the lawn using a rake. Rake the lawn, pulling up old straw thatch out of the base of the turf. Put
in your compost pile


Clean deck and patio

Clean lawn furniture and put out

Start shopping list based on plans and goals

Put out shade garden mirrors

Put out bird houses

Rinse out plants containers and dry so they are ready for next month

Clean grill and check propane levels


Hopefully you have started some seeds weeks ago if you were going to grow them. Now is a good time to feed them diluted fertilizer and spray a tonic (see below)


These are some tonic's that Jerry Baker created. If you ever come across his books in the store, buy them!
He was talking "green gardening" years ago based on his grandmother's home remedies for all things in the yard.

Such as ( Here are a few I use in the spring.

Seed Starter Tonic
1 tsp. liquid dish soap
1 tsp. ammonia
1 tsp. whiskey
1 qt. water

Mix in a mister and mist your seedlings

Spring Soil Energizer
1 can beer
1 cup dish soap
1 cup antiseptic mouthwash
1 cup regular cola
1 tsp. instant tea granules

Mix in a 20 gallon hose sprayer and spray the whole yard. Let sit for two weeks before putting any new plants in the ground.

Fern Food:
2 cups milk
2 Tbsp. Epsom Salt
1 tsp. instant tea granules

Mix in a 20 gallon hose sprayer and spray the whole yard. Let sit for two weeks before putting any new plants in the ground.



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