Hello Gardening Friends! April has arrived and it's so nice to see buds on the trees, daffodils blooming, robins building nests, and welcome milder temperatures. It's now time to prep our gardens for the 2021 planting season.
Please scroll down for this month's helpful gardening "to do's"and more tidbits. Plus, discover what's new and blooming at your Zone 5 / 6 resource FlowerChick.com for more gardening advice, tips, and inspiration for your gardens ...
Table of Contents - April Newsletter
Garden Helpers of the Month
Latest Flower Chick Posts
April Garden "To Do's"
Flower Spotlight & Trivia
A garden must combine the poetic and the mysterious with a feeling of serenity and joy.
Are you sick of untangling hoses? Is that one of your most dreaded garden tasks?
Well, this gem will put an end to the drudgery! This heavy-duty Steel Hose will last a lifetime. Made of high-quality 304 stainless steel, this garden hose is virtually indestructible, yet it’s lightweight and easy to carry.
It offers superior flexibility without kinking, breaking or corroding. Plus this hose won't get too hot in your hands. Comes in several convenient lengths ...
These Cordless Shears trim grass and hedges effortlessly! No more tangled or cut extension cords. The 7.2 volt Lithium-ion battery allows these cordless shears to run up to 30 minutes on a 3-hour charge.
Easily trim small gardens, hedges, and hard-to-reach places. Comfort-grip handle and instant start. Includes 4" grass shear blade, 6" hedge blade, and battery charger.
After you have researched and selected the best tree to plant in your yard, it’s time to get it in the ground! Digging the right-size planting hole is the key to getting your new tree off to a good start, but there are a few other factors in play, too, such as timing.
Fall and Spring are the best times to do your digging. That’s because hot summer temperatures can stress new plants, especially if they don’t get much rain. Click below for the full post.
Beat it Dandelions! You have to remove the entire plant, including the roots, in order to keep them from returning. The easiest time to remove weeds is when the first several layers of the soil are moist.
It's much more difficult for roots to hang onto moist soil, making it easier to pull the whole plant out in one go.
Technique counts! Make sure you grip the weed from the top of the roots, rather than from the leaves. Pulling from the leaves is a sure way to break the plant off at the roots. Hold onto the roots and pull up, twisting the plant slightly as you remove it. Voila!
April Garden "To Do" List:
Plant Cool Season Annual Flowers - such as pansies, violas, lobelia, snapdragons and more, about six to eight weeks before your region's last average frost dates. They thrive in cool weather and tolerate frost well. They're especially good in containers.
Weeds Be Gone - April is the perfect time to use a pre-emergent weed killer. You can apply these products to beds to keep weeds down throughout the growing season. I like to sprinkle Preen granules before adding mulch.
Dig New Beds - as long as the soil isn't too wet; you can ruin the texture of the soil by creating muddy clumps. If your soil isn't very good (too much clay or sand), create raised beds that you can fill with commercial topsoil.
Plant Trees, Shrubs and Roses - you can plant both bare-root and container-grown types now.
Hold Off On Mulching - with wood chips and other weed-suppressing mulches until May or beginning of June. Let the soil warm up first.
Don't Prune Spring Bloomers - avoid significant pruning on any spring- or early-summer-blooming trees or shrubs. You'll trim off developing flower buds. However, you can cut out damaged or diseased wood now.
Tidy Up Spring Bulbs - by clipping off the spent flowers. Let the leaves stay in place until they begin to brown. This is important for collecting energy for next year’s bloom.
Divide & Transplant - most summer- and fall-blooming perennials. They'll have plenty of time to get established by bloom time. Wait to divide spring-bloomers until fall.
Clean Up Perennial Grasses - when it gets warm and the lawn is dry enough to walk on, cut back the dead top growth of perennials and perennial grasses. Leave about 3 or 4 inches of stems out of the new growth.
Prune Your Roses - once they send out tiny red buds that will turn into stems. Once the stems are about 1/2 inch long, the rose is pretty well out of dormancy and you can tell what wood is alive and what has been killed by winter cold. Cut back to about 6 inches tall when the forsythia blooms.
Feed Your Roses - give them their first feeding of the season at pruning time. I like to use a combination granular-type fertilizer / insecticide.
Get Your Lawn Gear Ready - for the season. If you haven't already done so, get your mower and trimmer humming & strumming with oil changes, air filters, and blade sharpening.
Did you know ... 10 Fun Facts About Daffodils
These classic springtime bulbs, which must be planted in the fall for spring blooms, are one of the first signs that spring finally has arrived!
Their cheery yellow flowers are super reliable ... and as an added plus - rodents and deer will leave them alone.
Daffodil is the official common name for any plant that falls under the genus Narcissus, including jonquils, paperwhites, and others. But most people use the term "daffodil" to refer to the familiar trumpet-shaped springtime blooms.
Daffodils announce beginning of the spring and waking of nature. They are one of the rare species of plants that are able to successfully grow through the snow.
According to legend, if you see the first daffodil, your next 12 months will be filled with wealth.
Daffodils are also known as Narcissus. This mythical word derives from classical Greek mythology where a beautiful youth became so entranced with his own reflection that he pined away for himself. As a punishment for his vanity, the gods turned him into this flower.
Bestowing someone with a bouquet of daffodils is thought to bring happiness into the home.
Keepers of poultry believe that daffodils prevent hens from laying eggs, and they avoid planting daffodils on their farms.
Daffodils are the official 10th wedding anniversary flower.
Don't ever present someone with a single daffodil. Legend has it that offering a single bloom to someone foretells of their misfortune to come. Yikes!
Due to toxic sap in the stem, daffodils should not be kept in a vase with other plants (it is harmful to them).
Daffodils have been used in history for medicinal purposes. Some folks think daffodils may hold the key to the fight against dementia. A Welsh sheep farmer is growing daffodils that contain unusually high levels of galantamine, a compound which is known to slow the progress of Alzheimer's disease.
Recommended Gardening Book:
Perennial Vegetable Gardening with Eric Toensmeier (Book & DVD Bundle)
Imagine growing vegetables that require just about the same amount of care as perennial flowers and shrubs, need no annual tilling or planting, yet thrive and produce abundant and nutritious crops throughout the season. Yes, it's possible!
Get the best information on growing these easy and interesting crops from this award-winning book Perennial Vegetables, and tour the author's own lush forest garden in the new DVD, Perennial Vegetable Gardening with Eric Toensmeier
Need a little gardening inspiration? Looking for some good cheer and vicarious travel? Get inspired by the Midwest’s beautiful botanical gardens, arboretums, and other stunning natural attractions! Join us as we visit these wonderful Zone 5 & Zone 6 garden sites.
Friendship Botanic Gardens is a local treasure … an oasis of formal gardens mixed with nature trails tucked in an old-growth forest surrounding Trail Creek in Michigan City, Indiana.
It’s located on 105 acres off of Route 12 very near Lake Michigan … just a few minutes east of the Indiana Dunes National Park.
The garden was called International Friendship Gardens, with the theme “Peace & Friendship To All Nations”. A lovely place.
How Did Arbor Day Start?
The day was the brainchild of Julius Sterling Morton (Morton Arboretum founder Joy Morton's father), a Nebraskan journalist who later became the U.S. Agriculture Secretary under President Grover Cleveland. Morton was an enthusiastic promoter of tree planting and long championed the idea of a day dedicated to planting trees.
Arbor Day is always observed on the last Friday in April. This year, it’s Friday, April 30, 2021. Arbor Day is a national holiday created to recognize the importance of trees,inspire people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees.
Dear Gardening Friends, Thanks for reading the April newsletter ... finally spring has sprung! Time to get outside and prepare for planting.
Good things are on the horizon ... this summer Flower Chick visits Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin botanical gardens and other interesting horticultural sites. I can't wait to share these floral adventures with you in our Visiting Midwestern Gardens Series! Let me help you on your gardening journey.