Rocky Mountain Gardener's April Checklist

Planting is the title of this game in the April garden. Plants in all kinds could be installed whenever the soil is workable and warm. At the meantime attend the final of the spring cleanup chores and get your yard in shape for the coming season. Appreciate the symphony of greens that’s being played right now by all of the emerging new foliage.

Jocelyn H. Chilvers

Plant bare root plants. Roses, clematis and young fruit trees are commonly available for sale in our area this month, as well as asparagus, rhubarb, berries and grapes.

Bare-root planting is a cheap alternative that accompanies a little window of time to execute, so take advantage of this opportunity. Select plants that have not leafed out yet using a well-developed, healthy root system (not dried out or rotted). Plant them as soon as possible — if not — after purchasing and keep them moist until the root system is created.

Jocelyn H. Chilvers

Transplant or divide crowded perennials when new growth emerges. Summer and fall bloomers such as asters, hummingbird flower (Zauschneria spp), Maximillian sunflower (Helianthus maximiliana), gayfeather (Liatris spp), tall garden phlox (Phlox paniculata), coneflower (Echinacea spp) and ornamental grasses might need attention.

A plant using a dead heart or a lack of blossoms last year might indicate that it has to be divided. Here’s how.
Use a sharp spade to dig the plant using just as much of its root system as you can (6 to 12 inches beyond the drip line). Remove some of the soil from the root ball and pull on or chop it into big sections that include both stalks and roots. Replant the divisions — or discuss them with a friend — and water completely.

Beertje Vonk Artist

Plant cold-tolerant annuals in containers as a brilliant welcome to spring up. Good flower choices include pansies, violas, English daisies, snapdragons and sweet alyssum. Prep any previously used containers by cleaning them completely using a solution of one part bleach to nine parts hot water. Fill your pots with a growing medium made especially for container gardens, a that’s lightweight and well draining yet moisture retentive.


Cut back woody perennials and subshrubs to over a couple inches of the ground. These include: Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia), Powis Castle sage (Artemesia), bluemist spirea (Caryopteris spp), butterfly bush (Buddleia davidii), leadplant (Amorpha canescens), rabbitbrush (Chrysothamnus nauseosus) and St. John’s wort (Hypericum spp).

Amy Renea

Sow cool-season vegetable crops right into the ground when the soil temperature is at least 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Plant potatoes, peas, Swiss chard, kale, turnips, lettuce, lettuce, radishes, onions and lettuces. Keep frost blankets and cloches convenient to protect seedlings in the inevitable April snowstorms.

Your guide to developing spring edibles

Get your lawn off to a fantastic start.
Core aerate your yard before fertilizing it midmonth. Leave the plugs on the lawn to decompose and add nutrients to the soil.Overseed thin lawn areas having high-quality grass seed when the soil temperature reaches 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Rake the area to be seeded to expose the soil, then scatter the seeds in a compact, single coating. Cover the seeded areas using a scant 1/4 inch of compost and water thoroughly. Keep the area evenly moist until the seeds germinate. Note: Don’t use preemergent weed controls, such as corn gluten, in regions that have been recently seeded.Tune your lawn mower and sharpen the blades. Sharp blades not just make your task easier (especially if you’re using a push or reel mower), but a crisply cut blade of grass is not as susceptible to disease harm than one that is torn and ragged by a blunt mower.

Jocelyn H. Chilvers

Install plant affirms — such as circular cages, loop bets and grow-through grids — to support tall, floriferous perennials as soon as they come into blossom. Placing supports today will permit the plant to grow into and throughout the structure having a more natural appearance. Peonies, catmint (Nepeta spp), baby’s breath, delphiniums and tall types of yarrow (Achillea spp) are all great candidates for assistance.

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