Download Our Garden Handbook

Monthly Tips

""I wanted to let you know how pleased I was with the fix-it job Juan did on my pond. Not only fixing the problem, but while he was waiting for the glue to dry he went around the entire pond and replaced all the rocks that I had pulled aside from the top of the liner when I was looking for the leak. This was a job I was not looking forward to doing since I would much rather play with the the flowers in my garden rather than the rocks! But I did want my pond to look great again. I was SO amazed and delighted when I found him doing that. I told him how wonderful that was and he simply said "I was just waiting for the glue to dry..".That was over and beyond the description of the job. That was outstanding customer service! Thought you should know what a great employee you have. Sincerely, Molly" (May 2016)"

- Molly A
Sign Me Up!

Make your thumb even greener. Follow some Classic Tips.

Is it hard to know when to divide the daylilies? Prune the paeony or trim the taxus? Sign up for our email Garden Tips and you'll get a monthly reminder about what's happening in your garden and what you need to do about it. (Don't want to do anything about it? Ouch. Better see our Landscape Care section!)

To receive the "Monthly Gardening Tip" just fill out the form above. Note: We are unable to send the "Monthly Gardening Tip" via an email attachment to some ISP's. If you asked for, but aren't getting it, either find a surly and jaded teenager to reconfigure your computer or simply send a self-addressed stamped envelope to receive "snail mail."

Tips for April

Perennials, Annuals and Vegetables:Clean out spent window boxes and brighten them with colorful annuals and early blooming perennials. Check containers for plants that did not survive the winter. Topdress with compost. Or better yet, unpot the entire plant, check for rootballs for overcrowding or girdling. If rootbound, pot up to a larger container or plant out in the garden. If not rootbound, clear the drainage hole of any obstructions, refresh the potting mix and add a little fertilizer such as Dr. Earth Bud and Bloom and then place the revitalized plant back into the container.

Take wintered-over fuchsias and geraniums out of hiding. Cut them back (down to the rim of the container, if in a hanging basket) Lift them out of the container and repot with fresh soil, no need to change containers as long as the plant isn't root-bound. Feed with an organic, slow-release fertilizer. It will be broken down and ready for the plant when it begins this year's growth.

Resist the urge to cut down or tie up the foliage of tulips and daffodils after they are finished blooming! The bulbs extract and store the nutrients from the leaves for next year's growth and bloom, so by cutting back too soon you risk next year's flowers and by tying them up you decrease their ability to photosynthesize and create the food they need to store. Also did you know that most Tulips only last a few years anyway? Unsightly for a time, perhaps, but once the leaves are at least halfway died back they can be trimmed. Explore succession planting and find a perennial partner that will mask the fading bulb foliage.

Epimediums are delicate looking but tough drought-tolerant perennials very useful for underplanting shrubs. Evergreen forms such as Epimedium x versicolor ‘Frohnleiten’ have dainty yellow four-petaled flowers that dangle from narrow upright stems and leaves that toughen to a leathery texture over winter. A great groundcover epimedium, this old variety has proven its garden worthiness as a weed suppressor and holds its deep yellow flowers well above the leaves. Epimedium x versicolor ‘Sulphureum’ is another worthy evergreen groundcover with pale yellow flowers and red-toned new foliage. The mature foliage of epimediums should be cut back by late February for premium aesthetics. Warning, this plant genus has been known to be addictive to plant collectors.

Slugs... need we say more? We recommend using “Sluggo” to stop the damage from these garden pests (not harmful to pets or birds). It is time to feed those perennials that have started to show themselves in earnest and begin their spring growth spurt. Dr. Earth All-Purpose (4-4-4) or Rose and Flower (5-7-2) fertilizer will work well for most plantings. Be careful not to burn or break emerging foliage. Drop by the nursery if you have any questions about feeding specific plants.

While the weather is still somewhat dry, prepare vegetable beds for later planting with some compost. Go ahead and plant salad greens this month, though, along with spinach, chard and other leafy vegetables (watch out for slugs). April is the month to start your seeds for warm season vegetables like: tomatoes, peppers and squash! Make sure to start them indoors and typical target date for planting in the garden is late May to early June.

Lawn Care: Bring out the lawn mower. You may have noticed that the lawn has taken a leap in height with these warmer days. It’s better to start early in the season with the mower set high than to tackle wet thick grass. Leave the clippings on the ground to break down and provide some free nitrogen for the soil.
Fertilize, de-thatch, and aerate! This month is perfect for fertilizing the lawn, we recommend Dr. Earth Super Natural Lawn Fertilizer. Test the pH of the soil (we carry the test kits at the Nursery!) and add lime if it's too acidic.

Trees, Shrubs and Fruit: Time to feed Rhododendrons and other hungry shrubs, too! Side-dress the rhododendrons with Dr. Earth Rhododendron & Azalea food for a season of healthy growth. Watch out for black spot and powdery mildew — catch it before it sets in and treat your plants to a neem oil product, like Green Light Rose Defense. If you do see black spot or powdery mildew on your rose leaves, remove the diseased leaves and discard them in the trash bin to decrease the possibility of it spreading to other roses and plants in your garden.

Plant a tree (or large shrub) for our state Arbor Day (April 12th)! Our selection this month is terrific, with a wide range of varieties and sizes to choose from. Styrax japonicus 'Snowcone' is a pyramid form tree that fits great in smaller spaces and has a mature height of 25 feet and spread of 20 feet. This stunning tree present darker green foliage which contrasts nicely with the delicate white bell shaped flowers that bloom in the late Spring. This great plant pick will be sure to please your bees & butterflies and will do best in a full sun spot. This tree also sports bright yellow in the Fall. National Arbor day is April 26th 20% off 1 regular priced tree.

Fertilize those early-spring bloomers like Forsythias and Pieris that are past their peak for this year with Dr. Earth All Purpose or Acid Lovers blends, allowing them to gather nutrients to store up for next year's show. When their blooms are finished, it is the perfect time to prune them as well, before they set buds for next year's flowers.
Most Bamboo enter their crazy spring growth spurt when soil temperatures reach 55-60F. So divide and thin now for the healthiest and most attractive plantings.

General Tips Even though we have had plenty of precipitation coming into this spring, it is still important to get into the water-wise gardening habit! Wise water use is a good idea at any time, and efficient use of water is important not only for the preservation of resources and the health of your plants, but for the health of your summer water bills, as well! Think about switching your sprinkler system to one of soaker hoses or drip irrigation — we are well-stocked and ready to help you get started!
Here's a list for ways to more efficiently use water in your garden:
• Mulch.
• Water deeply and less frequently, instead of often and shallowly.
• Water early in the day.
• Wherever you can, use soaker hoses or drip irrigation system.
• If you use sprinklers, don't set them so high that they give off a mist, which will just uselessly evaporate away.

Happy gardening from Classic Nursery and Landscape Company!