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April Organic Maintenance


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APRIL

Plant*:
  • Trees, shrubs, ground covers, vines, and perennials.
  • Warm season turf grass from plugs, solid sod, sprigs, or seed.
  • Roses and other perennials.
  • Fruit and pecan trees.
  • Warm-season flowers including: (for sun) ageratum, columbine, copper leaf, cosmos, daisies, esperanza, firecracker fern, four nerve daisy, hummingbird bush, iris, nasturtium, penstemon, periwinkles, cosmos, portulaca, begonias, marigolds, zinnias, lantana; (for shade) caladiums, coleus, impatiens, bego- nias, nicotiana, hibiscus, pentas, firebush and purple fountaingrass.
  • Summer herbs continue to plant in beds, pots and hanging baskets.
  • Warm-season vegetables, including melons, okra, southern peas, corn, squash, sweet potatoes, beans, cucumbers, eggplant and tomatoes.

Fertilize:
  • Summer-flowering shrubs and roses if not already done.
  • Spray all plant foliage with aerated compost tea or Garrett Juice. Add garlic tea if minor insect or disease problems exist. Add fish hydrolysate for more power.
  • Apply Garrett Juice to the soil as a root stimulator monthly to newly planted trees and shrubs.
  • Treat chlorotic plants with greensand or the entire Sick Tree Treatment.
  • New plantings with mycorrhizal fungi products.

Prune:
  • Spring-blooming vines and shrubs such as azaleas, spire, flowering quince and forsythia immediately after bloom.
  • Mums, fall asters, Mexican bush sage, and other fall blooming perennials.
  • Pick-prune hedges (or light shearing if you must) to be wider at the bottom of the plant for better light and thicker growth.
  • Spent blooms from roses unless you are growing them for the hips.
  • Thin peach fruit to five inches apart, plums to four inches apart, apples and pears to one per cluster.

Water:
  • All planting areas deeply, but infrequently, during dry periods.
  • Potted plants as needed. Add Garrett Juice or aerated compost tea for fertilizer value. For additional benefit, add mycorrhizal fungi products for faster results.

Pest Control:
  • INSECTS: Release green lacewings for control of thrips in roses, gladiolas, other flowers. Apply beneficial nematodes to the soil.
  • Snails, slugs, pillbugs: spray garlic-pepper tea or dust around plants with cedar flakes, hot pepper and natural diatomaceous earth in dry weather. Mulch plants with pine needles or lava gravel. Spray plant oil products if necessary.
  • Release trichogramma wasps for pecan casebearers and other caterpillar pests.
  • Ticks, fleas and chiggers: natural diatomaceous earths when weather is dry and apply beneficial nematodes anytime. Spray plant oil products if necessary.
  • Treat peaches and plums and other fruit with the Organic Fruit and Pecan Tree Program.
  • Aphids: Spray a water blast followed by release of ladybugs. Add one to two ounces of molasses for better results.
  • Fire ants with beneficial nematodes. Treat mounds with Spinosad or drench with a mound drench mixture of orange oil, molasses, and compost tea.
  • DISEASES: Black spot on roses: Garrett Juice plus garlic tea. See Rose Program also molasses/orange oil drench. BioWash is an effective commercial product. Spray susceptible plants on a regular basis.
  • Remove the plant stress that brought the pests on in the first place or they will be back.
  • Treat ball moss if it bothers you with ¼ cup of baking soda or potassium bicarbonate per gallon of water. Ball moss actually doesn’t hurt trees.
  • Treat mistletoe infestations with the entire Sick Tree Treatment.

Odd Jobs:
  • Mow weekly and leave clippings on the lawn.
  • Turn compost pile.
  • Continue to add new vegetative matter and manure to existing and additional compost piles.
  • Mulch all bare soil.
  • Feed and water the birds!

*Planting recommendations based on North Texas climate, which is zone 8. Check with your local nurseries and extension service for specific varieties and timing.

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