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Garden Checklist April 9

Garden Checklist April 9

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There is much beauty in the late spring gardens of the central San Joaquin Valley.

Tasks: 

  • Sometimes gardeners need to accept a small amount of pest damage to plants.
  • Instead of trying to kill insects, learn which ones are beneficial and protect them by avoiding use of synthetic insecticides.
  • Water and mow lawn. Set mower blades higher to shade out weeds and keep roots cool.

Pruning:

  • Pinch new growth on flowers and shrubs to encourage a compact shape.
  • Prune azaleas, lilac, camellias, deciduous magnolia, dogwood, Indian hawthorn, spirea forsythia and flowering quince as they finish blooming.

Fertilizing: 

  • Fertilize, fall planted shrubs and ground cover, remembering that a little used more often is better than a lot at one time.
  • Do not over fertilize. Excessive fertilization leads to contamination of waterways and excessive plant growth that requires more water.

Planting: 

  • Plant annuals and perennials for spots of seasonal color.
  • Perennials: yarrow (Achillea), dianthus, plant from seed.
  • Bulbs, corms, tubers:  gladiolus.
  • Fruits and vegetables: beans, snap beans, potatoes, corn.
  • Tree, shrubs, vines: Toyon (Heteromeles).
  • Annuals: floss flower (Ageratum), Artemisia, strawflower (Helichrysum).

Enjoy now:

  • Annuals and perennials: yarrow (Achillea), alstroemeria, snapdragon (Antirrhinum), dianthus, fringe flower (Loropetalum).
  • Bulbs, corms, tubers: brodiaea, amaryllis (Hippeastrum).
  • Trees, shrubs, vines: violet trumpet vine (Clytostoma),  Indian hawthorn (Rhaphiolepis).
  • Fruits and vegetables: artichokes, beans.

Things to ponder: 

  • Do a special container planting of red, white and blue flowers to celebrate Independence Day on July 4.
  • Thin vegetable seedlings started outside last month.

Source: Adapted from “A Gardener’s Companion for the Central San Joaquin Valley,” 3rd edition, currently available from Fresno County Master Gardeners for $30. Gardening Questions answered at (559) 241-7534. Prepared by Judy Parker, Fresno County Master Gardener.

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