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April Garden Hints

Make sure you have plenty of mulch around your plants to trap and hold the Spring rains. Mulch reduces run-off and evaporation from the soil surface.

Make sure your mower blades are sharp. Dull blades just beat the grass blades off instead of cutting. Torn grass blades loose more water, increasing the water needs of your turf. Sharpening the blade is easy to do. This will provide your with a cleaner, healthier cut for your lawn.

Protect tender new growth with Deer Scram. Deer love hostas, daylilies, azaleas, and many other standard landscape plants. Deer Scam will help keep Bambi from munching away all your hard work.

Now is a great time to plant fruit-bearing plants. Enjoy fresh-picked blueberries, raspberries, grapes, peaches, strawberries, and apples right from your own yard!

Check sprinkler systems for leaks. Make sure the sprinklers are watering the lawn and beds, not the pavement.

Begin feeding your roses this month. Check out our Rose Care guide for all the details.

Divide your waterlilies and other aquatic plants now. If the leaves have gotten smaller over the years and they don't bloom like they used to, this will help to rejuvenate them.

Fertilize your shrubs and trees now. Deep feed your trees with a Ross Root Feeder. Avoid overfertilizing. This can increase the water needs of your plants with all the excess new growth.

Prune back your early flowering shrubs like forsythias as soon as they finish blooming. This will allow you to trim as needed without adversely affecting the blooms for next season.

If grubs and moles are a problem in your lawn, treat near the end of April with a good lawn insect control such as Mach 2 or Merit. This will control the grubs, which will send the now-hungry moles to your neighbors in search of dinner.

Tent caterpillars are active now! Treat with Bt, Sevin, or Orthene as soon as you see the nests. The younger the caterpillar, the easier he'll be to control.

Keep an eye on the weather. If rain is forecast, skip watering. You can also skip a watering or two after a good, soaking rain.

Don't get caught by the itch to start planting annuals too early! Remember, trees, shrubs, and perennials can go in any time. Tender annuals like impatiens, petunias, marigolds, tomatoes, and so forth can't make it outside before the end of April at the earliest.

Enjoy Historic Garden Week and all the flowers that make Charlottesville THE place to be in spring-time!