I know spring is a big gardening time. What should I be focusing on in April?
The first full month of spring is a great time to get started in the garden. Here are a few things to work on.
1. Improve your lawn
If your lawn has any bare spots or problem areas (and whose lawn doesn’t), this is the time to make things better. Start by raking the area to remove dead grass and weeds. Then seed with the grass seed of your choice. Cover the newly seeded areas with a thin layer of compost, tamp it gently, and water daily until the seed germinates.
This is also the best time to fertilize your lawn. According to the Oregon State University Extension Service, apply one pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet of lawn. To reduce runoff into waterways, don’t fertilize just prior to rain and don’t overirrigate.
2. Prune your spring-flowering bulbs
Daffodils, tulips, hyacinths and crocuses are gorgeous when in bloom. But as the blooms fade, it’s important to clip off their flower stalks. This encourages the plants to store energy in their bulbs — energy they will need for next year’s flowers. Once the foliage on your spring-flowering bulbs turns brown and dies, it’s time to remove it.
3. Plant roses
If you’re thinking about adding roses to your garden space, bare-root and container-grown roses can be planted in April. Be sure and select an area that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight each day.
4. Divide your perennials
For some types of perennials, the longer they’re around, the more they tend to clump together and crowd each other out, reducing their output. So before the growing season gets fully going, dividing these perennials will give them room to grow — and add to their yearly blooms.
5. Plant a vegetable garden
In order to have fresh, homegrown produce this summer, you need to plant your ingredients in April. For the Medford area, that means broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, chard, chives, endive, leeks, lettuce, peas, radishes, rhubarb, rutabagas, spinach and turnips.
6. Add fun and personal touches throughout your yard
Garden spaces are as unique as the people who design, plant and maintain them. April is a great time to clean your existing yard art, garden stones, wind chimes and other garden pieces. It’s also a perfect time to add to your collection — maybe add a few colorful birdhouses or a water feature. This is your chance to make the most of your special space and personalize it to go that extra mile.