Tuesday, April 13, 2010

April for the Busy Gardener In the OC

What must the busy OC gardener do in April to keep the garden looking great all summer and year long? The answer to this and a preview of what to do in May, from the Master Gardeners Calendar for the OC, is below along with some of my notes. I've also added a category of Shows/Events to highlight local garden events/shows.   Thanks to the UCCE Master Gardeners for developing this nifty calendar! Be sure to check out their care page for more information on specific plants.

April ("Pest Watch" IPM Month) - IPM stands for Integrated Pest Management, an eco-friendly mix of organic & chemicals - the first rule here is look for aphids and other pests every morning on the leaves and under them, squish them with your fingers or spray them off with the garden hose. Looking for pests in April and killing them prevents them settling in & longer-term pest management becomes easier. This is especially important for these plants: tomato, veggies, roses & citrus (SoCal has seen some new citrus & tomato pests in the last few years. Exemption: Best to water tomatoes at the base of the plant - they really don't like their foliage wet.)

Seasonal Color & Roses: Continue to plant (plant warm season color - i.e. flowers like marigolds, petunias, but wait until Nov. to sow native or wildflowers); Pest control w/IPM; Feed/Deadhead as you need

Perennials & Shrubs:  Feed/deadhead as needed; Plant tropicals, succulents, Mediterraneans

Fruits & Veggies: Continue to plant (tomatoes, basil, peppers & you can also start squash, beans, cucumber which are heat lovers); Plant citrus (e.g. lemon, naval oranges, etc.) Thin fruit on trees

Turf (WS=Warm Season; CS=Cool Season): Feed both WS & CS; Watch for pests.

Shows/Events: April 17 & 18, Green Scene at the Fullerton Arboretum; April 13, LA Times, Spring Garden Tours and Events in Southern California (provides a list of shows/events from April 13 - June 5, 2010 - thanks to Suzanne for letting me know about this resource!)

May is "Feed Me" Month and also the time to start seeds such as pumpkin!

Enjoy your gardens and gardening! The above pictures show some of the flowers that are blooming in the Garden of Grace right now: Calandrinia Grandiflora and Dutch Iris.

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