As in life, in which hard times often beget rewards, April showers typically do bring May flowers. There’s no telling exactly what weather we’ll see this month, but the flowers will eventually come. Help them along by adhering to these daily tips and chores.
1) Scientists have developed new grass that grows only one inch per year. That means no more mowing! (April Fools!)
2) No need to water your established lawn until next month (this is true).
3) Pinch tips off leggy seedlings growing indoors to coax them into stockiness.
4) It’s time to prune rose of Sharon.
5) Plant strawberries in the garden, in a spot where tomatoes, peppers and potatoes have not been planted for at least three years.
6) Prune roses — and plant new bareroots.
7) Divide fall-bloomers like Joe Pye weed and asters.
8) It doesn’t matter how well you raked last fall — there’s more cleanup to be done now.
9) If it’s cloudy, it’s a good day to uncover the fig tree (if not, wait until it is). Water well.
10) Plant blackberries and raspberries.
11) In honor of Passover, start parsley seeds indoors today; horseradish cuttings can go right into the garden.
12) Plant grapes.
13) Treat rose bushes to a half-cup of Epsom salts, scratched into the soil beneath them. Plants will grow full and produce more blooms.
14) If bog plants are crowded, divide them now.
15) Today’s the last average frost day on Long Island; you can safely plant perennials now.
16) It’s Easter — a day for new beginnings. If the weather allows, sit outside for a bit and ponder improvements to the garden.
17) Remove yellow anthers from gift lilies and they’ll last longer (and won’t make a mess)!
18) Taxes are due today, but it’s not all bad. Spend your refund on perennials and plant them.
19) Harden off cole plant seedlings such as broccoli, cauliflower and kale before planting outdoors next week.
20) Plant seeds for annuals directly into the garden.
21) Allow foliage to remain on bulb plants until it’s withered and brown.
22) It’s Earth Day — start a compost pile to put kitchen food waste to good use. Your tomatoes (and flowers and trees) will thank you.
23) When forsythia blooms on your side of the street, it’s time to start applying pre-emergent crabgrass control. You can do so until lilacs fade.
24) Work compost into garden soil. It will improve drainage and add nutrients for healthier plants all season long.
25) Go on the hunt for tent caterpillars in trees. If you find webs between branches, treat them naturally with Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt).
26) When gift lilies fade, plant them in the garden. They won’t bloom until next year, but they’ll remain green and even grow a bit.
27) Fertilize perennials with a slow-release product.
28) It’s Arbor Day, which is deemed the best day of the year to plant trees in New York. (Tomorrow and next week are fine, too.)
29) Start mowing the lawn when grass is 3 inches tall.
30) Pour off standing water and don’t allow rain to collect in play sets, pot saucers, tires, trash can lids, etc. Mosquitoes can breed very quickly in very little water.