Gardening to-do list for April/May
Apr./May 2012 California Bountiful magazine
There's a whole lot of planting going on here in California! Gardening expert Pat Rubin offers a few guidelines for the season, which will, of course, vary by location.
- The first flush of bloom for roses is this month. Now is a good time to shop for them. Feed roses and make sure they are watered. Watch for mildew.
- Once all chance of frost is past, start seedlings in the garden. Easy ones to start outside in the garden include cucumbers, summer squash, winter squash and beans.
- Look around for containers filled with water, as these can be breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Dump the water.
- Prune early blooming shrubs—lilacs, forsythia, azalea, quince, weigela—after they bloom.
- Plant citrus now.
- Transplant tomatoes, eggplant and peppers into the garden as weather warms. Keep row cover handy in case of cold weather.
- Direct seed beets, chard and radishes in the garden.
- Plant dahlia tubers.
- Check sprinklers to make sure they are covering the ground evenly.
- Start feeding houseplants on a monthly basis now through October.
- Flower seeds to plant include cornflower, four o'clocks, marigolds, sunflowers and zinnias.
- Deadhead perennials. Groom and stake them as needed.
- Break off old flowers on rhododendrons just above the growth buds.
- Direct seed melons, cucumber, summer squash, corn and beans.
- Mulch around plants to conserve moisture. Be sure to leave a small circle of bare soil around each plant.
- Fertilize vegetables monthly.
- Pinch back petunias and fuchsias to encourage bushier growth and more flowers.
- Keep your lawnmower set at the highest blade setting. This helps the lawn conserve water.