Before the high heat, there’s April — and much to do outdoors

Before the high heat, there’s April — and much to do outdoors

WITH TOLERANT temperatures and drier weather, April is one of the better months to be outside and working in a Central Florida lawn and garden. And that’s a good thing, because usually there’s so much to do! Here are some of the key things to keep in mind as you tend to your landscaping:

Because April is mostly dry, adequately water your lawn and plants. With a good layer of mulch in your garden, you can retain moisture and reduce watering needs. Mulch also will control weeds and protect roots from the coming high heat.

This is a great time to renovate a lawn, power rake Bahia grass, and verticut St. Augustine grass.

We had a mild winter, so cold-damaged branches aren’t really a problem, but pruning for shaping might be necessary. Prune flowering shrubs after blooming. Bring color to your flower garden with summer annuals and plant your late spring and early summer vegetables. Use plenty of compost, peat, and manure in the soil.

Fertilize lawns and shrubs that haven’t received a spring feeding. Feed azaleas with a special acid fertilizer after they bloom and feed palms with a fertilizer containing manganese. Spray fruit trees now with a nutritional mix to protect the fruit and control melanose, a fungal disease.

Check for whiteflies, spider mites, and powdery mildew on plants and treat promptly. Acephate will control the damaging thrips on roses, gladiolas, gardenias, and other flowers. Thuricide will control caterpillars but not harm beneficial insects.

CREDIT

column by WILLIAM “BILL” DOTY

BIO: William R. “Bill” Doty, is the owner of Doty Farm and Garden Supply Inc. Founded in 1954, Doty’s has been there for every one of its loyal customers’ budding needs. A graduate of Winter Haven High School and Florida State University, Bill learned invaluable lessons in listening, asking questions, and reading anything related to the family business. He shares his knowledge with his customers daily and with the readers of Central Florida Ag News each month.