From Mélie’s Garden
As the old saying goes, “April showers bring May flowers”, but what it really leaves out is that it is those April gardening chores that actually bring the flowers in May and the rest of the gardening year. The list is actually quite long so it is certainly good to get started!
- Clean up your flower beds and remove any winter mulch like Christmas tree branches.
- Put down organic fertilizer in the beds, but don’t mulch until the ground gets warmer in May.
- Prune roses when the forsythia blooms – remove all dead wood and prune back to green wood removing any canes that cross each other.
- Fertilize the plants with 1 cup of organic fertilizer and 1 Tablespoon of Epsom Salt per plant and continue feeding once per month until July, but drop the Epsom salt in June.
- Fertilize acid-loving plants – Hydrangeas, Holly, Rhododendron, and Andromeda with Hollytone. Aluminum Sulfate can be also put down around Hydrangeas to have them produce bluer blooms.
- Prune Boxwoods in April, but wait to prune flowering shrubs like Forsythia, Viburnum, Azalea, and Lilac until two weeks after they bloom.
- Transplant or divide perennials once they are 2 to 4 inches tall. Spring is the easiest time to divide Hosta and Daylilies just as the leaves are showing.
- Put support rings around Peonies and spray emerging shoots with Bonide to prevent botrytis and spray them again in mid-May. Plant cool-weather crops like Lettuce, Spinach, Swiss chard, Turnips, Peas, and Sweet Peas. The soil needs to be at least 60 degrees before planting other crops.
- Start Tomato seeds indoors on Tax Day April 15th and gradually harden them off before planting in your vegetable garden in early June.
And once again remember you are gardening on an Island surrounded by cold water, so the spring here is a bit colder than it is on the mainland. You will need to protect new plants from the cool winds off the ocean until mid-June.
In closing, I would like to draw your attention to two lovely articles in the latest Union Chapel newsletter about two parishioners who are gardeners, Diane Dexter and Janelle Senator. The articles about them are truly inspirational as is the new Union Chapel bulb garden that we will all enjoy. READ THEM HERE