Is it just me, or does this spring seem especially vibrant and welcome? Are you also comparing this April with last year? I spent a lot of time in my home garden last spring, and I hope to repeat that this year despite increased pressure to be away from home. There is plenty to do in the April garden, when everything seems comes to life at once, and growth is speeding up with warmer weather.
PLANTING: It’s time to plant heat-loving vegetables and fruits. Hooray! Tomato time! Transplant seedlings of tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, okra, and sweet potatoes. Plant seeds or transplant seedlings of summer and winter squash (wait until May for pumpkins), cucumber, and melon. Towards the end of the month, plant seeds of beans and corn. Early in the month, you can still plant radishes, greens, and onions, but be prepared to harvest them while small; they will go to flower quickly in the lengthening days and warm temperatures.
Transplant almost any ornamental tree, shrub, perennial, and ground cover this month. Plant annuals like zinnia, marigold, and petunias in containers or where you can water them regularly without over watering the rest of the garden.
MAINTAINING: Prune flowering shrubs when they finish blooming: azaleas, camellias, forsythia, lilacs, ceanothus, native sage and flowering quince are some examples. Prune citrus and avocado if necessary. You can continue to prune deciduous trees if you haven’t yet; it may slow the growth a little but won’t hurt them. Ruthlessly thin stone fruits while the fruit is still tiny, to about six-to-eight inches apart. Mow lawns to three inches tall. Mowing lawns too short encourages weeds and diseases.