• Apply crabgrass preventer when redbud trees are in full bloom. The preventer needs to be watered in before it will start to work. Remember that a good, thick lawn is the best weed preventer and may be all that is needed on a healthy, vigorous lawn. (Note: Use Barricade for one application.)
• Mow lawn as needed, bluegrass 2″, tall fescue 3″
• Fertilize cool season lawns with slow release nitrogen fertilizer
• Do not fertilize zoysia this early in spring, nutrients go to weeds not dormant grass
• Spot treat broadleaf weeds such as dandelions, henbit, and chickweed
• Check mower and make needed repairs before season begins
• Sharpen mower blade
• No need to catch grass clippings if mowing frequently
• Do not water unless extremely dry, early irrigation sets turf up as high water user in summer
• Cut back all rose canes to 8-12″ except for climbing roses. Fertilize when there is 2″ of new growth. Use a fertilizer that is formulated for roses and fertilize at least once a month. See more information on fertilizing roses under MAY. This is a good time to spray Lime Sulphur on the canes and the ground surrounding the roses. Some people like to remove the old mulch and add new clean mulch, but spraying Lime Sulphur will kill any overwintering fungus. If you noticed black-spot or mildew on your roses last season then this is a good preventative measure for the coming season.
• Spring cleaning time. Clean-up perennials that were not done last fall (Daisies, Plumbago, Coreopsis, Phlox, etc.) by removing the dead foliage. Top dress and work compost into the ground around the perennials.
• Now is a good time to divide perennials as they pop out of the ground. To keep perennials healthy and blooming to their full potential they should be divided every 3 to 5 years (exceptions include baptisia, bleeding hearts, rudbeckias). Now is a good time to divide ornamental grasses that have gotten too broad for their areas. It is normal for the center to die out so every three years you should dig up the clump and keep a gallon size clump to place back in the spot. Destroy or give away the remainder!
• Re-mulch cypress mulched areas that are thin. Keep 2-inches of mulch in the beds to prevent weeds.
• Hydrangeas should be cleaned up now and trimmed to shape as the new growth pokes up.
• Remove protective tree wrap from young trees. This is usually applied in October, just before it gets cold and rabbits need something to chew on. But now it is time to remove it. It is usually removed now so it does not become a place for insects to hide. Making the bark visible means you can watch for any insect damage.
Vegetables and Fruits
• Planning a garden? Choose a very sunny site with good drainage. Now is the time to till the soil and prepare to plant. The straw or hay mulch should have been burned in the fall, but if you didn’t have time it can be raked up now and burned. You should have tilled the soil in the fall as well and added soil amendments. If you didn’t add soil amendments in the fall you can add compost and till. Plant early crops like: onions, radishes, peas, broccoli, cabbage, lettuce, spinach, turnips & potatoes. Mulch the bare ground so you don’t have to hoe weekly! Straw or hay spread 2″ thick over the garden will help hold moisture and prevent weeds from taking over.
• Time to plant strawberry plants, asparagus crowns, rhubarb roots, raspberry, blackberry, blueberry, gooseberry, grapes and fruit trees!
• Start fruit tree spray schedule when growth begins
• Plant carrots, onions, beets and other salad crops in early April
• Thin radishes, beets and carrots as needed
• Harvest asparagus until spear size decreases.
• Prune fruit trees if not already done
• Plant new fruit trees
• Remove mulch from strawberry bed
• Prune raspberry and blackberry plantings
• Do not spray insecticides while fruits flower in order to protect the honeybees
• Plant beans, corn, vine crops in late April
• Cultivate to control seedling weed growth
• Turn the compost pile after a long winter rest
• Transplant broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage in the garden
• Fertilize vegetable garden before planting and incorporate
• Fertilize your Daffodils & Tulips with bone meal as the leaves appear. This is a great time for them to uptake the phosphorus which will stimulate a great spring show!
• Remove winter mulch from perennial garden
• Cut back last year’s growth from perennials
• Remove seed heads from spring bulbs
• Do not remove foliage from spring flowering bulbs as growth is needed for next year’s flowers
• Fertilize spring flowering bulbs
• Add organic matter such as compost before planting new flowers
• Divide perennials
• Plant new roses
• Prune rose bushes
• Fertilize rose bushes for spring growth
• Plant annuals from seed and transplants
Trees and Shrubs
• Remove grass from base of young trees and shrubs to prevent lawn mower and line trimmer damage
• Apply mulch layer around plants
• Keep new trees and shrubs watered
• Plant new trees and shrubs
• Fertilize young trees to promote growth
• Prune Hollies to shape; take up leaves and apply acid fertilizer.
• Time to prune the Evergreen Junipers, Arborvitae, Boxwood, Holly, & Yews and lightly again in June to keep them shaped.
• Prune spring flowering shrubs such forsythia and lilac after flowering
• Prune trees as needed, and repair winter storm damage
• Topping is not pruning, never top a tree
• Remove winter dust from leaves by gently rinsing with room temperature water
• Repot as needed, increase pot size by 1″
• Leach excess fertilizers from soil with water
• Begin summer fertilization of plants
• Do not move plants outside until night temperatures remain over 60 degrees
• Propagate house plants by cuttings or divisions
• Fertilize amaryllis and keep in bright light to encourage new leaves
This information is brought to you from Nadine Champlin, Designer, Grimms Gardens; and Johnson County K-State Research and Extension. http://www.johnson.ksu.edu/p.aspx?tabid=139