What to do in April
* The average last frost date in Portland, OR is April 26. Try to hold back from planting warm season veggies until then….
- Watch the weather. Check air temperatures and soil temperatures.
- Prepare beds for the garden 1 – 3 weeks before planting.
- Weed while the ground is soft, wet, and warm and the weeds are young.
- Mulch to prevent weeds. Rake back mulch and warm the soil before planting seeds.
- Compost and collect organic matter for the compost pile.
- Compost and amend your soil.
- Patrol for slugs.
- Protect your plants from deer and other wildlife.
- Ensure good air flow around your plants to prevent fungal disease.
- Inoculate soil with mycorrhizae.
- Build trellises for vining plants.
- Dry herbs for tea.
In The Vegetable Garden
- Direct sow cold-tolerant vegetables outdoors, such as arugula, beets, broccoli, brussel sprouts, kohlrabi, parsnips, carrots, lettuces, parsley, leeks, radishes, spinach, turnips, quinoa, and shallots outdoors.
- If you have starts, transplant arugula, broccoli, brussel sprouts, kohlrabi, lettuces, and spinach in the garden. Transplant cabbages by the end of the month.
- Soak your pea seeds in preparation for planting. Just before planting, cover in legume inoculant.
- Start tomatillos, ground cherries, cucumbers, pumpkins, and squashes (summer and winter) indoors.
- Pre-sprout your potatoes for planting outdoors after they harden off.
- Plant perennial vegetables.
- Fertilize overwintering crops with nitrogen to perk them up.
- Harvest spring ephemerals such as rhubarb, ramps, and spring garlic.
- Harvest Leafy Greens and other remaining crops from the winter garden.
Fruit Trees and Berry Bushes
- Finish planting bare root trees and shrubs.
- Prune woody plants. Prune azaleas, rhododendrons, forsythia, and other flowering shrubs when they are done blooming. Prune summer flowering shrubs before they put on new growth.
- Control foliar diseases using compost tea on roses, apples, pears, cherry, etc.
- Watch for currant worms. Ideally, feed the worms to your chickens.
- Graft fruit trees.
- Fertilize and prune your berry bushes.
- Divide and transplant strawberries and raspberries.
- Check your trees and shrubs for insect or disease problems.
- Spray fruit trees for fungal diseases such as scab and mildew.
- Inoculate mushrooms in woodchip mulch, straw, or logs.
- Label the locations of your bulbs for dividing in the fall.
- Divide, transplant, and fertilize perennials.
- Transplant any potted plants into larger containers.
- Direct sow hardy flowers, such as Borage, Calendula, Feverfew, Love in a Mist, Mallow, Nasturtiums, and Flax. In late April, sow half-hardy flowers such as Blazing Star, Canna, Chinese Aster, Cosmos, Flowering Tobacco, Lavaterra, Pincushion Flower, and Sunflowers.
- Plant summer blooming bulbs or tubers including Gladiolas, Crocosmia, Dahlias, Calla Lilies, etc.
- Take cuttings of early flowering perennial shrubs and bring indoors for forcing into bloom.
*** As always, please let me know if there is anything that you do in April in your garden that I have omitted from this task list. ***