One of the nicest months in the Southwest. April Gardening Tips, (if the wind is not blowing) You may plant just about anything such as tomato plants, fruit trees, shade trees, evergreen shrubs, flowering shrubs, bulbs etc. It is also the month that garden centers usually are fully stocked and Color Your World Garden Centers are no exception.
Fertilize your Bermuda or warm season grasses at this time if you have not done so in late March. You may also fertilize your fescue, rye, or bluegrass (cool season) lawns if it has been more than 6 weeks since you’ve last fertilized. 16-8-8 with iron, zinc, and sulfur works well if you do not have a problem with weeds. This can be used on both warm season and cool season grasses at this time of year.
If you have Oleanders, now is the time to cut back any winter damaged leaves or stems it may have suffered from the cold. Shear oleander if you want them to look full and bushy or you may selectively prune branches to give it a more open and natural look. You may also prune them into multi-trunked trees, which look quite picturesque when mature.
Lantana and red bird of paradise (caesalpinia pulcherrima) may appear to be dead, but more than likely they are still dormant. They both need warm soil temperatures to “wake up” from their winter rest.
If you have mulch around these plants it is best to remove it as to let the sun heat up the soil more quickly. After you begin to see new growth you may begin to feed these plants.
The red bird of paradise may need a bit more heat to wake up from its dormancy. Give these plants at least until the end of April before you give up on them. If you find they just are not going to come back it is more likely because of the winter or not enough moisture during its’ dormant period, or a combination of the two.
If you still would like to try these plants again find a location that is very “hot” especially during the winter months, such as next to a west or south wall, or semi-enclosed courtyard.
Don’t forget to remove any and all dry stems and leaf tissue if you haven’t done so already. This should be done in February or sooner.
Roses may still be in stock at this time and take well to being planted at this time. For existing roses, fertilizing is key. I recommend a water soluble fertilizer such as Grow More’s 20-20-20 every other week, for healthy foliage and multiple blooms.
In addition to this use a soil acidifier such as Ironite © or Grow More © organic chelated iron. These products help keep foliage dark green and give flowers more vibrant colors.
There is now a new product by Bayer which contains a fertilizer, disease preventer (powdery mildew, rust, black spot), and insecticide all in one. It is in liquid form and can be used every six weeks during the growing season. If you apply this early enough you may not ever have to spray your roses!
Feed all trees, and shrubs at this time. There are many products to choose from. It is best to look for a product that is easiest for you to use. Most plants will respond to just about any kind of fertilizer as long as it is applied correctly. Stop by and we can help take any confusion out of this situation, or you can e-mail or call. 575 521 0496
Or ask for these products at your local Nursery.
April Gardening Tips; by Gary Guzman copyrights reserved.