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Master Gardener: April gardening tasks

Annuals. Harden off summer bedding plants.

Shrubs. After spring blooming plants are finished, prune as needed. These include forsythia, camellias, azaleas, early-blooming spireas and dogwoods.

Indoors. Houseplants may be placed outside towards month’s end. Slowly acclimate them to the sun otherwise they may sunburn. Prune over wintered tropical blooming plants like Mandevilla to rid of weak and spindly stems.

Lawns. Apply fertilizer after your lawn is completely green. Clip back established ground cover to encourage a flush of new growth. Prepare your soil now if you plant to start a new lawn from seed. Rake soil surface level and add a general fertilizer. Aerate and feed lawns with a high nitrogen fertilizer from April to September for greener and thicker grass. Use a spreader to ensure even coverage. Water lawns regularly particularly during periods of sparse rain or drought.

Perennials and Bulbs. Leave foliage on spring bulbs at least 6 weeks after bloom or until they die back. Select perennial plants that are full, sturdy and have best foliage color at the garden center.

Roses. Prune spring bloomers as needed after they complete their blooming.

Trees. Watch diligently for pests on your fruit trees. Follow a regular spraying program.

Vegetables and Herbs. Cool season crops, like lettuce and English peas, can be planted until the middle of the month. Be sure to rotate vegetable crops every year for three years to help control pests.

What’s blooming now … Ajuga, golden alyssum, anemone, azaleas, red-leafed barberry, beauty bush, bleeding heart, candytuft, clematis, columbine, daffodils, English daisies, daylilies, dianthus, dogwood, fringe tree, heather, bearded iris, yellow Jessamine, kerria, lilacs, lungwort, maple, mock orange, oxalis, pansies, peonies, phlox, primroses, ranunculus, roses, spireas, thrift, trillium, tulips, viburnums, vinca, violas, wild violets, weigela and sweet William.

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