Since our local growing season is relatively short -- especially for the alpine regions, but also for the high desert valleys -- April is a very important month for gardeners. So get busy!
When planning for seasonal color, the Arabis Snowcap is a perfect plant for early spring. This medium growing, spreading perennial has fragrant clusters of pure white flowers that appear in March and April. It loves the desert sun and blooms for four to six weeks. It's easy to grow and perfect for well-drained rock gardens, garden walls, containers and borders. Plant it now, enjoy the blooms, and watch it reappear again next year just to make you happy.
This year you might like to try growing annual poppies, like the Shirley Poppy and the California Poppy. Poppies are easy to grow from seed and this is a good time to plant them. Since the seeds are so small, an easy way to spread them more evenly and to protect them from being tossed about by strong April winds, is to mix the seeds with some fine potting soil or composted humus in a small container, then scatter the mixture in prepared flower boxes, borders, and other empty spots in your garden.
If you grow Chrysanthemums, April is a good time to divide your larger plants and replant the divisions. The same holds true with other spreading perennials that benefit from division (including cacti).
Since the local insect-eating song birds are getting frisky this time of year, early April is a good time to place a birdhouse in your yard. (We have some nice birdhouses presently in stock, but supplies are limited.)
Don't forget that Arbor Day is the last Friday in April. As you make plans to celebrate, be sure to choose the spot carefully; you'll want a spot that fits the growing habits of the tree to be planted. You'll want to dig a large hole for the root ball. As part of the Arbor Day celebration, before you plant the tree, you can fill the hole with water and take a mud bath with your friends. Be sure to choose a tree that will work well in your landscaping design. We invite you to come visit our nursery. If you need help choosing a proper tree, we can show you an amazing selection of both deciduous and evergreen trees, from miniature ornamentals to mighty Sequoias.
Here's a checklist of projects and plans from our April Gardening Tips page:
Of course, since the April sun provides some mid-day warmth, there are outdoor projects we can tackle as well:
- Turn and prepare the garden soil
- Clear the last remaining leaves
- Plan and build or repair your arbors
- Fertilize perennials, shrubs and trees
- Prune your trees and shrubs if needed
- Stake your tall perennials and vines
- Set up a birdhouse or two or three