What to do in the garden now

• If you cultivate boxwoods, start getting into the habit of scouting them on a regular basis for signs of Boxwood blight.  Look for plants that are thinning out with a large amount of dead leaves at their base, leaves with brown spots, and black lesions on the stems.

boxwoodblight4

• Spray horticultural oil on trees and shrubs that had soft scale last year to kill any over-winter insects.

• Boxwoods can be sprayed with horticultural oil for leaf miners and psyllids.  They are tough inspects to control and better results may be obtained using chemical systems.

• Overseed/re-seed/spot-seed your lawn and apply mulching hay or Penn-mulch to aid germination.

• Test the pH in your garden to see if soil pH needs to be altered. Each plant has a different pH preference range. Limestone or garden sulphur may be needed.

• Amend your soil with compost, cow manure, peat moss, sand, vermiculite or perlite based on your garden’s needs.

• Apply a dress coat of bark mulch to existing beds, being careful not to pack it against the trunk and/or branches of shrubs and trees.

• Recycle wood ashes from your fireplace. Scratch a small amount of ashes into the soil around Lilacs, Lavenders, and Peonies, as these plants thrive in sweet alkaline soils.

• Begin fertilizing roses now. Upon leaf-break, you can start your preventive maintenance spraying, especially for disease problems like black spot and powdery mildew.

Beautiful rose garden

• Spray hemlocks (saturate both sides of branches) with dormant oil spray to control wooly adelgid and hemlock scale.

• Spray deer-attracting plants with Bobbex, a deer repellent and 100% organic fertilizer. On fast-growing plants, like tulips, remember to spray new growth every seven days.

• Divide fibrous-rooted (i.e. several small roots but no dominant root) perennials if they have fully matured. Phlox, coreopsis, scabiosa and other fibrous-rooted perennials respond best to being divided in April.

• Prune summer-blooming shrubs, removing any dead wood and any branches that are not desirable. Spring blooming shrubs will also respond best to pruning now, but you will be sacrificing some blooms! They can be pruned after they flower, but shrubs do not have as many accumulated reserves as they do right after winter. If rosebushes and perennials were not pruned in the fall, now is the time to prune those as well.

• Transplant shrubs and perennials so the plants have a full season in their new sites before having to endure winter.

• Clean out the dead leaves and branches from your ground cover beds to help prevent disease and insect problems.

Amazing garden

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