This weekend April will begin, so here are some garden tasks you can think about getting out and doing. Check your last frost date before some of these April tasks.
Check your last frost date – and if it is past then go ahead and prune frost damage off bougainvillea, lantana, autumn sage, and other summer flowering frost tender perennials.
Avoid pruning spring-flowering shrubs until bloom period is through. Wait so you will not lose flowers, and you may be reducing seeds spread into places you don’t want. The feathery cassia especially spreads everywhere if you don’t prune off the seed pods.
Deadhead. This means remove spent flowers to prolong bloom. I especially deadhead annuals like calendula.
Check your last frost date – and if it is past – then go ahead and start a vegetable garden with all the vegetables that are really fruits, like tomatoes, peppers, squash, and melons.
Plant trees, shrubs, and perennials. If you are in the Low Desert (Yuma, Phoenix) try to do this before mid April so plants can start getting established before the heat starts.
Low and Middle desert – plant new citrus trees.
Save seed of any winter vegetables you wish to grow next year. Here’s a seed saving video on my YouTube channel.
Deep water your deciduous fruit trees every two weeks, to ensure good fruit set.
Soil Amendments (Fertilizer)
Native plants may be used to living in the desert – but they would love a shot of fertilizer – unless they are in the legume (bean) family.
Every April, I apply half strength fertilizer to many of my spring flowering shrubs, and yes, succulents too. Brittlebush, paperflower, and ocotillo all like the extra nutrients. And the creosote bush – it goes crazy with flowers! The pollinators are delighted.
Apply chelated iron or soil acidifier to any iron-deficient plants. (Citrus, roses and bottlebrush most commonly.)
Fertilize established Bermudagrass lawns. Wait at least 2 weeks since last application.
Fertilize rose bushes every two weeks through bloom period.
Let’s be careful out there!
Our reptilian neighbors are waking up and starting to slither around. Chances are they good that they are “hangry” (hungry/angry = angry because they are hungry). They may strike first and ask questions later. Since they eat packrats that would otherwise destroy my car, I like to have them around – but I do have to be alert. Here’s my YouTube of a little discovery I made.
More Month by Month!
Want to know more? I wrote literally thousands of words about what to do in the garden each month in this book
“A great reference book is key to successful gardening in the region where you live. Arizona, Nevada & New Mexico Month-by-Month Gardening takes the guesswork out of gardening for anyone residing in the Southwest. With this book, you’ll know what to do each month to enjoy a thriving garden all year, from January to December. Chronologically organized, this guide is full of critical gardening when-to and how-to advice, along with illustrated step-by-step instructions.
The book’s author is Jacqueline Soule, a Tucson-based gardening expert. She knows this arid region inside and out, and she’s written several articles and books packed with her gardening advice. Arizona, Nevada & New Mexico Month-by-Month Gardening showcases Soule’s expertise in one easy-to-read guide.”
Available on my book selling site – ,and if you buy the book there the Horticulture Therapy non-profit Tierra del Sol Institute will get a few pennies – at no extra cost to you.
Note – the cover image for this post is yerba mansa, it will soon be blooming in my garden.
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