How about that mild winter we just experienced. It is confusing to plants, too. My native red honeysuckle that has been found blooming in a mild January is just now putting out flowers. The witch hazel, also a cool weather bloomer, is finally showing signs of life. One old timer’s saying, “If you get April’s weather in March, watch out. You might get March’s weather in April.”
Deadhead spent blooms of flowering bulbs to keep plants from using energy to produce seed. Do not cut greenery back until it yellows, however, as that’s needed by the bulbs to absorb sunshine so it can recharge for the next spring’s blooms. Dig up and divide bulb clumps if needed.
Perennials that have become overcrowded and are showing signs of growth should be dug up and divided now. Replant healthy plants and share extras with friends. Forsythia, quince and lorapetalum have completed their bloom. Spirea, lilac and weigela blooms are now in their prime.
Wonder at the diminutive violets scattered care freely about the landscape. Considered by some a nuisance, they can be corraled, their range limited. They are, afterall, the primary food source for the Diana butterfly. Several species of swallowtails have been busy in my yard, sampling the Carolina Jessamine, azaleas and whatever else catches their fancy.
Stands of fern should be cleaned up now before the young fiddleheads appear. That goes for straggly groundcover bamboo and other low-growers in need of clearing out last year’s growth. I weed-eat mine down.
Avoid walking on your garden’s wet soil as you risk compacting it. Start your weeding regimen. Cover crops should be tilled or dug under as soon as soil is dry enough to be worked.
Spray peaches, plums and pecans with an all-purpose orchard or fruit spray twice monthly after petal fall to control insects and disease. My blueberries’ blooms have transformed into small fruits, an indication of the potential harvest to come.
We celebrate Earth Day in April. Keep Arkansas Beautiful is also promoting local community clean-ups as well this month. Do something to protect and nuture Mother Earth.