Activity in the Front Range and yard starts heating up in April, but don’t rush the planting season. Unless you’re planting cold-hardy pansies and violas or sowing cool-season vegetables, it’s better to wait until the last danger of frost has passed. Along the Front Range, if you want to be 80% confident frosts are past, plant after May 12th. If you want to be 90% sure, wait until May 18th to plant.
However, there are still plenty of things to do this month to get our gardens and yards ready. Here are some of the basics:
- Remove any tree wrap.
- Apply weed killer to your lawn. Patch bare spots before weeds grow by late April.
- Clean up flowerbeds before any new growth starts.
- Relocate any summer or fall blooming plants while they are still dormant.
- Aerate your lawn in April, just prior to activating your irrigation system.
- Spring watering is always helpful to a good start. Any day when temperatures are a least 40 degrees, give your lawn, trees and flowers a deep watering.
- Don’t fertilize trees and shrubs until after the leaves have fully expanded.
- Prepare garden or planting bed areas.
- It’s also time to shear any ornamental grasses you left untouched last fall for winter interest. Shear down to 4-6 inches.
- After they finish blooming, fertilize all your early-blooming bulbs. A topical feeding is fine, or use a fertilizer formulated specifically for bulbs.
- As long as the ground isn’t frozen, go ahead and weed.
- Divide perennials that bloom in mid- to late summer and fall.
- Ask your local garden center to help you determine the best ornamental grasses to plant for your conditions. These grasses will provide structural beauty throughout next winter, when nothing is in bloom.
- And remember: as tulips and daffodils finish blooming, don’t remove the leaves until they die off naturally and completely.
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