Compiled by Linda Lee,
WSU Master Gardener
January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September | October | November | December
~ April ~
- Get going pronto if you want to plant bare root fruits, roses and ornamental trees. Keep the roots moist until you place them in the ground. Our springs are usually moist enough for them but in the case of dry weeks, be sure to water them. Just make sure the soil isn’t saturated between rains.
- Plant blackberries, raspberries and strawberries.
- If you haven’t mowed and tilled in the veggie beds cover crop, do it now. Don’t let it go to seed.
- Look for bedding plants but keep in mind that we can have a hard frost clear into June when putting them out. Frost tolerant plants like lobelia and Dusty Miller can be set out now and seedlings of snapdragons and petunias may be hardy enough to handle anything but a deep freeze. Basically, it’s a good rule of thumb to wait until Mother’s Day to set out most annuals unless they are in a protected area.
- Dahlia tubers if dug in the fall should now be replaced into the soil. If the ground is wet or there is a lot of rain, this can wait until things dry out. Be sure to place them in a well drained area that gets at least eight hours of sun.
- Deciduous and evergreen trees can be planted throughout the Northwest this month.
- Cabbage, carrots, lettuce, parsnips, peas, potatoes, radishes, spinach and Swiss chard can be planted now.
- Amend the soil once the ground has thawed and is dry. Dig organic matter into beds. Leaf mold, compost and well-rotted manure are all good amendments.
- As you accumulate garden debris, speed up the decomposition by mixing new material with old compost and high nitrogen fertilizer. Turn the compost pile regularly and keep it damp but not soggy.
- Groom rhododendrons and evergreen azaleas. As flower trusses fade, snap them off. Most will come off with a tweak of the thumb and fore finger. Just below the flower heads, new growth buds emerge. Be careful not to break them off. The best time to prune rhodies is right after bloom. This is also a good time to feed them with a fertilizer high in acid. Some rhodies begin setting flowers as early as July; pruning in the fall will destroy the flowers for the following spring.
- Mow lawns. For the next two or three months, you may have to mow grass weekly.
- It is impossible to overstate the importance of staying on top of the slug battle.
- Weed, Weed, Weed. Get them while they’re young and easy to pull. The ground is still damp and the weeds come out much easier. Waiting will only allow them to mature and scatter more seed. Shot Weed will be rampant in most gardens now. Get it before it flowers and goes to seed. This will make you summer gardening chores much easier.