Lawn & Garden
Learn—month by month—the necessary gardening activities for lawns and shrubs, annuals and perennials, fruit and nut trees, and bulbs, roots, and tubers. Included is a timeline for activities such as soil testing, planting, pruning, fertilizing, pruning, mulching, indoor plantings—from cauliflower to okra, from camellias to dahlias to heirloom roses.
Fruits and Nuts
- Season for strawberry planting continues.
- Start spray program for all fruits.
- Plant raspberries and blackberries and continue budding apples and peaches.
- Prune spring flowering shrubs after flowering.
- Fertilize azaleas and camellias.
- Spray all shrubs with a fungicide as new growth begins to mature.
- Planting new lawns continues.
- When daytime temperatures are consistently above 70 degrees F, apply fire ant bait. Read the label carefully for best control.
- Start a mowing routine as spring growth begins.
- Monitor the thatch layer in bermudagrass and zoysiagrass lawns. Dethatch if thicker than 1⁄2 inch. Wait until active growth.
- Monitor for fungal disease in wet, cool weather.
- Fertilize warm-season lawns after fully green.
- Watch for insects and diseases.
- Keep old flower heads removed.
- Plant container-grown plants from nurseries or garden centers.
Annuals and Perennials
- Plant early started annuals or bedding plants from nurseries or garden centers.
- Divide mums or root cuttings. Dig and divide dahlias.
- Plant gladiolus, fancy-leaved caladiums, milk and wine lilies, and ginger and gloriosa lilies.
- Apply super phosphate to bearded iris and scout for iris borer moth caterpillars.
- Avoid cutting foliage of narcissus or other bulbs until it has turned brown naturally.
- Spray camellias, hollies, etc., for scale insects.
- Carefully water new plantings of shrubs and trees.
- Pinch out tips of new shoots to promote more compact shrubs.
- South: Plant heat-loving crops, such as okra. Continue planting other frost-tender crops.
- South and Central: Continue planting frost tender vegetables (beans, southern peas, corn, squash, melons, and cucumbers).
- North: Wait until late April to plant beans, cucumbers, melons, southern peas, and squash. Plant sweet corn each week for a staggered summer harvest.
- Whole state: Plant transplants of tomato, pepper, and eggplant.
- South: Plant certified sweet potato slips.
- North and Central: Plant sweet potato slips in late April.
Call the Master Gardener Helpline at (877) 252-4769. A Master Gardener Extension volunteer is waiting to answer your call.
See other months from Alabama Gardener’s Calendar at www.aces.edu.
Kerry Smith, Extension Associate, Horticulture, Frances Sledge, Horticulture Intern Auburn University. Originally prepared by Dave Williams, former Extension Horticulturist, and Ron Shumack, former Extension Horticulturist.
New May 2020, Alabama Gardener’s Calendar – April, ANR-2616