Gardening tips for April
This Month's Forecast: Dry and Buggy
April in Florida tends to be a rather dry and windy month. On average, the daily high temperature rises to about 82º while the daily low does not usually fall below 68º. Wildfires often flare up during April and will do so until the rainy season begins in May. Strong, steady winds and lack of rain-fall make most of Florida highly susceptible to wildfires.
If your vegetable and annual plants have survived March, keep an eye on them! Aphids, leafhoppers, grasshoppers and all other sorts of nasties are on the munch and looking for some tasty tid-bits to fill their bellies.Continue to watch for water distress in your garden. Mulching them is still highly recommended and mulch well to prevent weeds and provide irrigation if there has been a lack of rainfall.
April in the FloridaGarden is also the time for Gardenias to begin budding and possibly blooming. You may have noticed that some of your trees have been dropping leaves. This is quite normal for Oak, Mahogany, Black Olive, Poinciana and a few other species of trees. Many are now or will be covered soon with bright green foliage and some with an explosion of blooms.
Enjoy April as it is the last month of Florida's cool-season. May's rains begin to usher in Florida's famously hot and humid summer.
If you start a traditional "NorthernGarden" in April the following plants are recommended for planting this month:
Vegetables: Calabaza, Cantaloupe, Cassava, Chayote, Cherry Tomato, Collard Greens, Cow Peas, Cucumbers, Dasheen, Jerusalem Artichoke, Jicama, Lima Beans, Malabar Spinach, Malanga, Mustard, New Zealand Spinach, Okra, Papayas, Peanuts, Pumpkins, Snap Beans, Squash, Sweet Potatoes, Turnips, Watermelons and Yams.
Herbs: Anise, Basil, Borage, Chives, Dill, Sweet Marjoram, Mint, Oregano, Rosemary, Sage, Savory and Thyme.
Flowers: Ageratum, Aster, Begonia, Balsam (Impatiens), Blue Daze, Celosia, Coleus, Cosmos, Cockscomb, Gaillardias, Globe Amaranth, Marigolds, Morning Glory, Pentas, Periwinkles, Petunias, Portulacas, Salvia, Strawflowers, Torenia, Vincas and Zinnias.
Bulbs: Achimenes, Agapanthus, Amaryllis, Asiatic Lilies, Begonias, Blood Lily, Caladiums, Canna, Crinum, Dahlia, Gladioli, Gloriosa Lily and Zephyranthes.
Some tips for April:
Divide perennials and bulbs: Divide clumps of bulbs or herbaceous perennials to expand garden beds or pass-along to friends.
Lawn Problems: Many lawn problems mimic insect damage. Confirm the damage is being caused by insects before applying a pesticide.
Caladiums: Replant bulbs that were dug last fall and stored for the winter.
Shrubs: Planting season is here and there are a wide variety of shrubs that can be added to the landscape now.
Mulch: Mulch conserves moisture during dry weather and minimizes weeds in landscape beds.
Annuals: New varieties of coleus do well in sun or shade and provide vivid colors and patterns for months.
Bulbs: Louisiana iristhrives in most soil types and makes a beautiful cut flower.
Seeds: This is the last month to plant annual flower seeds that need to germinate before hot weather returns.
Vegetables: Continue planting warm season crops. Mulch well to prevent weeds and provide irrigation if there has been a lack of rainfall.
What to Do Every Month:
• Adjust irrigation based on rainfall.
• Deadhead flowers to encourage new blooms.
• Monitor the garden for insects and disease.
• Plant trees, shrubs, and perennials and water until established.
• Mow lawnsat recommended heights:
• St. Augustine & Bahia: 3-4”
• Centipede: 1.5-2.0”
• Dwarf St. Augustine: 2.5”
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