April 27, 2016
As is typical of April, the weather has been back and forth between warm and cold. Before we know it, the warm days of May will be here and we can all really enjoy spring.
People have been asking if they can plant anything in their vegetable gardens. Late April is the time to put in the following plants. You can put in plants of broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, Swiss chard, spinach, head and leaf lettuce and celery. There are many vegetable plants that you can start from seed. You can now plant, beets, carrots, peas, leaf lettuce and head lettuce, kale, radish, Swiss chard, and turnip. Now is the time to plant your onions either from plants or onion seeds. Now is also the time to plant your potatoes. You do not want to plant any of the plants that need warm soil and warm nighttime temperatures. This would include tomatoes, peppers, squash, cucumbers, eggplant, and many of your annual herbs particularly basil. These plants can be adversely affected by cold and will be killed by a frost. Our last average spring frost is May 10th but we have had a frost as late as the 28 to the 30th. I know that the tomato and pepper plants are available in some stores, but that does not mean that you should be putting in those plants now.
On Monday, I saw the first of the winter moth caterpillars. They were tiny, but they were eating the leaves on a tree. At this point in time, it is too late to apply a systemic insecticide into the soil. You can protect the plants by spraying an insecticide containing BT. This should be your first choice if you are spraying any of your flowering trees. Many of your insecticides, including some of the organic ones, will kill bees that are exposed to the insecticide while they are visiting the blooms on your flowering trees and plants. You will need to do multiple applications of the insecticide to kill the winter moth caterpillars.
If you have perennials in your yard, now would be a good time to apply some fertilizer. This will help to get the plants growing and it will help the perennials to repair some of the root damage caused by the winter.
If you have lilacs in your yard, it would be a good idea to put some lime around the lilac. Lilacs do not grow well in an acid soil and an acidic soil will cause them to set fewer, if any flowers.
Your lawn will benefit from an application of lime. When the soil is too acidic, the weeds will grow faster than the grass, When the PH is in a slightly acidic level, the grass can out grow the weeds.
If you have not put down your crabgrass preventer, you are running out of time. Crabgrass seeds will be sprouting soon and the crabgrass control will work best if it is down before the seeds sprout or just as the seed is sprouting.
Well, that’s all for this week. I’ll talk to you again next week.