Priscilla’s Garden To-Do list for April:

  • Shear back ornamental grasses and cut down ferns to start these plants over for spring
  • Prune butterfly bush, smoke tree, caryopteris and the like back to a low framework and remove weak or dead branches completely
  • Shear lavender, hyssop, dianthus, sage, candytuft, heather and other low subshrubs
  • Repair lawn damage from plowing or voles
  • Finalize your lawn care program
  • Sign up for the tick and mosquito spray program – ticks will be out under leaves when the snow melts
  • Dormant prune overgrown deciduous shrubs such as lilac, ninebark, viburnum while their branching structure is visible; lightly prune rhododendrons and azaleas if needed for structure, but preserve flower buds
  • Prune fruit trees
  • Cut back raspberry canes
  • Hollies can be pruned if they were not cut for berries in December
  • Prune honeysuckle and wisteria vines to a framework so new flowering growth can begin
  • Set up a rain barrel to capture spring rains and use it later during hot, dry periods
  • Remove any remaining carcasses of annuals or vegetables from last season
  • Sow seeds of peas, carrots, swiss chard, beets and spinach in the vegetable garden
  • Plant onion sets and herbs
  • Rake out beds and cut down browned stalks of perennials
  • When buds appear, prune roses and hydrangeas at the end of the month
  • Refresh containers for spring
  • Fertilize bulbs just after bloom with a slow release bulb fertilizer