• Plant potatoes if not done earlier.
  • Till the garden when soil is like brown sugar, not mud ball wet or powdery dry.
  • Add soil amendments such as commercial or organic fertilizers, gypsum, compost, sand, etc. Don’t apply fresh manures in spring.
  • General garden fertilizer recommendations: 10 lbs. of 15-30-15 per 1,000 square feet, or 30 lbs. of 5-10-5 per 1,000 square feet. This application will last about one month and then you will then need to follow up with side dressing or a foliage applied water soluble fertilizer.
  • If you have problems with your garden soil, have a soil test done.
  • If insects were a problem, incorporate DIAZINON insecticide to eliminate overwintering insects.
  • Start vegetable transplants: April 1 - tomato, pepper and eggplant, if not done previously. Mid-April - cucumber, muskmelon, squash and watermelon. April 24 - hardened or conditioned cool-season transplants, and seeds of very hardy vegetables. If you don’t know these, request “Planting Dates” from the Extension Office.
  • Cover newly seeded root crop rows with gunny sacks to speed up germination.
  • Sweet onions. Good for the north zone - sweet Spanish and sweet sandwich.
  • If you buy transplants from a garden center, take two weeks in the cold frame to condition them to the outdoors before planting, unless they are outdoors at the store.
  • Rotate vegetables to different areas of the garden to keep pests down.
  • If severe cold weather returns be prepared to protect plants from killing frosts.
  • Plant asparagus and rhubarb plants.
  • Harvest asparagus spears when they get 9” tall, which keeps beds 50% more


  • Plant new raspberries, prune old ones.
  • Plant fruit trees and strawberries.
  • Prune out fire blight in apples and pears.
  • Spray apples and pears with streptomycin when blooms first open, repeat every 4-5 days till ¾ of petals drop.
  • Apply dormant oil to fruit trees if not done last month, but prior to bud swelling.


  • In early April, apply dormant oil spray to evergreens when freezing temperatures are not expected for 24 - 48 hours.
  • Apply dormant oil to deciduous trees if not done last month.
  • Remove tree wraps.
  • Before lush growth appears, you can see where new trees or shrubs may be desirable.
  • As soon as ground thaws, plant or transplant trees and shrubs.
  • ARBOR DAY, the last Friday of April. Start a great tradition...plant a tree.
  • If trees need fertilizer, apply as soon as possible, so it reaches the root system by the time the leaves break buds.
  • Finish up heavy tree and shrub pruning by the end of April. Pruning is simpler before trees and shrubs leaf out.


  • Mid April apply pre-emergent weed control for annual grass weeds such as crabgrass.
  • You can fertilize the lawn the first part of April if you want to. General lawn fertilizer recommendations: 6-7 lbs. of 24-4-4 per 1,000 square feet of lawn. Extension Horticulture Specialist Bob Gough, recommends fertilizing around these holidays: Memorial Day, Labor Day and Columbus Day.
  • If power raking is needed, do before grass greens up a lot, to prevent excessive damage. Consider aerating if too green.
  • Reseed bare patches, or seed a new lawn.
  • Make certain your mower is serviced and ready to go, with sharp blades that cut cleanly rather than tearing tender new growth.


  • In late April plant tender summer bulbs outdoors, such as Dahlia, Gladiolus, Canna, Tuberous Begonia, Tender Anemone and Ranunculus.
  • To kill overwintering thrips on glad bulbs, soak in 1 Tab. Lysol to 2 qts water ½ hour before planting.
  • Pansies make an excellent ground cover for bulb beds.
  • Remove mulch or other winter protection. If you’ve mounded soil over rose crowns, remove before new buds grow too much. They are easily knocked off.
  • Cut back dead canes on T-roses.
  • Start annual flower transplants: April 1 - sow impatiens seed, but don’t cover with soil, as the seeds need light to germinate. Cover with plastic till germinated. April 1 - petunia, pansy, salvia, snapdragon and moss rose. April 15 - ageratum, larkspur, annual phlox, alyssum, marigold, stocks and zinnia.
  • Ideal time to plant, divide, or transplant perennial flowers.


  • After your Easter Lily is finished blooming, plant it in the flower garden. Often these plants will bloom again in August.
  • During April, let the soil of your poinsettia become drier than normal. Your plant will lose some of its leaves, but not enough that the stems wither.