April Gardening Tips
Early April in the high desert is often a mix of beautiful, bright sunny days backed by cool, cloud covered, wind swept days, and if we're lucky, we see a rapid succession of springtime storms rolling over the Sierra. The weather gives the cold hardy perennials time to wake up slowly, which is good. Early growth will give established plants a head start preparing for the relatively harsher days of summer.
If it's been a good winter, the mountains will have received plenty of snow, skiers will still be hitting the slopes, while the warming temperatures begin thawing the snow pack. Rivers and streams will swell. Pleasant midday sunshine will offer perfect gardening weather, especially in the valleys. It's time to get out of doors. Time to turn and prepare the soil. Time to plant some early bloomers.
We receive new plant shipments almost daily in April.
Landscaping Plans for April
April continues with your landscaping plans. If you haven't already, come in and talk to us. April is perfect outdoor working weather. We can design with you and your property in mind. We have more than 28 years experience in Xeric landscaping, and look forward to working on a design that will transform your vision into a beautiful, easy to maintain, and ecologically integrated setting.
While There's Still A Chill
While the last of the wood pile warms the hearth, you can work on your springtime to-do list:
- Plan for springtime flowers
- Plan your water garden
- Plan your herb garden
- Design your vegetable garden
- Plan your balcony garden
- Design or redesign your landscape
- Choose your starter seeds
- Divide and repot indoor plants
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
We get early shipments of potting soil, fertilizers, and other products for April gardening. Come in and let us help you.
Starting Seeds In April
If you didn't plant seeds in March, April is still a good time to plant cold hardy seeds that take some time to sprout. This way you'll get a head start when the warmer days do finally arrive. Also, we carry some excellent, localized wildflower seed mixes that can be planted in March and April. Now is a good time to start seeds of cool weather vegetables like beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, green onions, kale, lettuce, potato tubers, shallots, spinach. April weather allows planting seeds of cool weather hearty herbs like chives, parsley, rosemary, sage and thyme.
We have a large selection of seeds especially selected for our area. Come in and let us help you get an early start.
The Peavine Factor
In March and April, even though it can still be quite cold outside -- especially at night -- the green spirits begin to quicken and we find the urge to break ground and begin planting. But since this time of year is always unpredictable when it comes to frosts, we sometimes wonder if we should wait. Our elevation and proximity to the high Sierra can bring frosts late into spring. In fact, you've probably been told that you shouldn't plant until the snow has left Peavine Peak!
But this is not exactly true. As a rule of thumb we've found this applies especially to the most delicate of plants, such as tomatoes and peppers, and to many of the hothouse plants you find at the big box stores that haven't been grown to fit the climates of our region.
But if anyone tells you you shouldn't start gardening until the snow is off Peavine, it's just not true. When the snow has melted from Peavine it means that we can be confident that all threat of frost has past for the present growing season.
Not everything can be planted now, of course, but there are plenty of plants that can be planted in April. So, don't let the snow on Peavine stop you. If you're itching to plant, come in to our shop and let us show you what we have available in April. We get new shipments almost daily.
Peavine Peak with snow