Tips for April in SoCal

April in the garden and landscape

In the Landscape: Tips for April in SoCal

All the good prep done in March continues now in April. More trees and shrubs, nursery plants, veggies, seeds and general clean-up, along with stakes and supports make for this month’s plan.

The Big 3 – Shrubs, Trees and Groundcovers

April is still planting time for these lovelies. Container-grown or not, get them in the ground! It’s also perfect time to continue planting groundcovers and perennial flowers & herbs. Take note: Finish planting this month for desert locations.

Fresh from the Nursery

Keep on planting warm-season annuals. This includes vegetables and flowers such as peppers, tomatoes, petunias, marigolds among others. As with shrubs and trees, planting should end sooner in hotter desert areas. Typically, this is February.

Seeds in the Sun

April is the month for continuing to sow seeds of heat-loving plants. There are plenty to choose from; here are just a few:

  • Green beans
  • Corn
  • Melons
  • Cucumbers
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Okra

Another Month of Maintenance

  • It really doesn’t ever end. Here are the key tasks for the April To-Do List:
  • When planting new veggie beds, lay down DeWitt® Weed Barrier Landscape Fabric before adding soil.
  • Control weeds in non-selective areas with Roundup® ProMax® and add Turf Mark® to the Roundup so you can see where you applied it.
  • If necessary, dethatch warm-season lawns once they start growing.
  • Mow, mow, mow the lawn. Regular mowing, roughly once every week or two, is necessary to control weeds and promote thick, healthy grass. Use a fertilize with pre-emergent and post-emergent herbicides to control weeds. Best® 16-6-8 with Dimension for pre-emergent control and if weeds do appear use Best® 16-6-8 with Trimec.
  • Mowing height is important, too. Cool-season grasses (rye, bluegrass, fescue) should be mowed at approximately three inches once temperatures reach the 90s. Warm-season grasses (St. Augustine, Bermuda, zoysia) should be mowed to two inches.
  • Fertilize everything! Well, actually, only a few things such as roses, fuchsia, irises, avocado & citrus trees and the lawn. Your veggie plants may need a dose of organic fertilizer by now too. Bayer® All-in-One Rose and Flower Care will control insects, fertilize, and defend against fungus. Use a fertilizer to feed your avocado and citrus such as Lilly Miller® Avocado and Citrus.
  • Stay vigilant against spider mites in dry conditions. Give affected plants a daily hosing; make sure to hose off the undersides of the leaves, too. This also cuts down on aphids. For bad infestation stop by your local Hydro-Scape® for some Bayer® Insect, Disease and Mite Control for flowering plants, trees and shrubs and Bayer® Fruit, Citrus & Vegetable Insect Control for fruits and veggies. For the organic grower, use Safer® Insect Killing Soap.
  • Don’t forget watering! New plants especially need regular watering. These include tomatoes, globe artichokes, roses, container plants and lawns. Drip irrigation systems are perfect for containers, while established plantings should be watered when the soil is dry, approximately six inches from the surface.
  • Stake taller plants when they’re about a foot high.
  • Keep ants and snails at bay. Use Organic Sluggo® in and around garden beds to control snails and slugs. Use Sevin® Insect Killer Granules or Bayer® Complete to control ants and other insects in Lawns.
  • Shade tomato plants when daytime temps hit 100 degrees in the low desert area.
  • Potatoes should be harvested when their blossoms start to bloom.
  • In general, vegetables are best when harvested while young and tender. Don’t let them rot and fall on the ground. This can bring pests and disease.
  • Deadhead all withering flower blossoms. The plants will flower longer and the garden will look better!

These are the tips for April in Southern California. Great gardening to all!