April Tips

Lawn Care 
Here are some helpful tips to having a healthy and beautiful lawn.

• If there are any bare spots that need to be seeded, now is the time to do so.
Tip to Remember! Weed killers or weed preventers cannot be applied to newly planted grass seed. The seed has to germinate and be cut at least twice before they can be applied.
• It is easiest to kill and prevent weeds in the early spring when they are still tender.
• Be sure to apply crabgrass preventer after the first or second cutting every year, because seeds could have been blown in from neighboring lawns.
Tip to Remember! Once crabgrass preventer is applied to the lawn, there should be no raking for 8 to 10 weeks. Raking will disrupt the chemical barrier of the preventer and it will not be effective.
• If the weather is still cold, there is still a product that will kill weeds, so that it is possible to get a head start on lawn weed control.
• If there is a problem with moss, apply a moss killer to the lawn. Once the moss is dead grass seed can be planted.
Tip to Remember! Moss grows in damp areas where the soil is usually acidic, compact, and shady. To prevent the moss from growing back it is best to eliminate as many of the conditions that is likes. Lime the area and loosen the soil by applying gypsum and compost, and if possible eliminate some of the shade.
• Thatch control is best performed in the spring or fall, with fall being the best time of year for lawn work.
Tip to Remember! When thatch (grass clippings) approaches or exceeds the “threshold” of ½” thick, it becomes necessary to employ physical thatch removal to ensure proper growth of your lawn.
• Aeration of your lawn should be performed in the spring and/or fall.
Tip to Remember! Aeration helps prevent thatch buildup, improves the penetration of fertilizer and lime, and allows the soil to “breath”.

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Organic Lawn Care 
Here are some helpful tips to having a healthy and beautiful lawn, organically.

• Once the grass has been cut once or twice apply Corn Glutten. This will prevent any weed seeds from germinating.
Tip to Remember! Once Corn Glutten is applied there should be no raking for 8 to 10 weeks. Same as with the chemical preventers, raking will disrupt the barrier of the Corn Glutten and it will not be effective.
• An organic grub control to use is Granular Milky Spore. It needs to be applied three times a year for two consecutive years. This will give the lawn protection for about 10 years, if not longer.

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Ornamental Flowers, Trees and Shrubs 
Here are some helpful hints on how to keep your plants beautiful.

• If you have not pruned or reshaped any shrubs or trees that were damaged this winter, then do so as soon as possible. The sooner this is done, the faster the plant will recover. There is no use allowing the plant to grow on a branch that is going to be removed.
• Now is the time to remove and/or kill any weeds around shrubs or trees. It is best to kill and prevent weeds in the landscape plantings then to try and pull them.
• Now is also a good time to transplant ornamental shrubs and trees. Early planting allows more time for the roots to establish, which in turn results in healthier plants.
Tip to Remember! When planting, be sure to fertilize the plant, mix in some compost into the planting hole, and water thoroughly after you are finished.
• It is a great time to edge and reshape any flower beds, since the ground is soft.
• Roses should be treated with a systemic fungicide and insecticide, and fertilized with a granular fertilizer.

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Vegetable Garden 
Here are some helpful hints to preventing Tomato Late Blight.

• Buy your plants from local growers, and stay away from plants that are shipped up from the south.
• Start spraying the second week of June with a fungicide for the control of late blight.
• Spray every 10-14 days. If it rains spray more often and if there is no rain the period can be extended.
• Water plants at the root only! Wetting the foliage can cause excessive humidity around the plant and could help in the spread of the disease if present.

Here are some helpful tips for the rest of your crops.

• Garlic and shallots should be side dressed with nitrate of soda or urea in early April. Use sparingly because excessive amounts can burn the bulbs. Repeat every 14 days.
• Continue planting onions throughout the month.
Tip to Remember! Keep garlic and shallots well watered to reduce stress and to produce large bulbs. Both plants have a confined root system so they can dry out easily.
Tip to Remember! For large onions plant an inch deep, and for green onions plant 4-6 inches deep.
• Early potatoes can be planted as soon as the dandelions start blooming.
• Broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and kohlrabi can be planted this month. Seeds of spinach, lettuce, swiss chard, and beets can also be planted now.
• For gardeners who like to plant early and who want an early crop but worry about not having frost protection, then FreezePruf™ may be the answer.
Tip to Remember! FreezePruf™ can be used on ornamental, fruit and vegetable plants. It's a biodegradable, eco-safe and easy to use product that has protection that lasts up to 6 weeks. FreezePruf™ improves your plants cold tolerance up to 9.4 °F

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Here are some helpful hints on taking care of your orchard.

• Finish pruning grape and fruit trees as soon as possible. Fruit trees can still be pruned after blossoming if need be.
• Fertilize fruit trees, grapevines, and berries with 10-10-10
• Put an acidifier such as aluminum sulphate or sulfur around blue berries.

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For more helpful tips and answers to questions you may have, refer to FAQ.