Your garden is waking up – and it’s hungry! Warm weather has brought spring growth on in a hurry, which means plants need a little boost. It’s time to fertilize and mulch.
▪ Feed fruit trees, if possible, before flowers open with a fertilizer specifically labeled for fruit trees. Because so many fruit trees jumped the calendar with warm winter weather, those flowers may already be open (or spent). Go ahead and fertilize these trees anyway; they still need the nourishment.
▪ Feed other mature trees and shrubs as spring growth appears.
▪ Feed strawberries and asparagus.
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▪ Feed spring-blooming plants and established perennials.
▪ Check for aphids on new growth. Knock them off with a strong spray of water or a squirt of insecticidal soap.
▪ Look out for snails and slugs. Hand-pick them off plants an hour after nightfall.
▪ In the vegetable garden, plant seed for beets, carrots, celeriac, celery, collards, endive, fennel, jicama, kale, leaf lettuce, mustard, peas, potatoes, radish, spinach, Swiss chard and turnips.
▪ In the greenhouse or indoors, start seed for summer and winter squash, peppers, eggplant and tomatoes. They’ll be ready to transplant in late April or May.
▪ For spring and summer flowers, plant seed for aster, cornflower, cosmos, larkspur, nasturtium, nicotiana, periwinkle, portulaca, rudbeckia, salvia, snapdragon, verbena and zinnia.