April is relatively dry in comparison to other months with warm, sunny days that are not yet stifling hot.
The focus of this month is beautiful blooms and flowers, veggies and insects!
Check your irrigation system
Make sure that “all systems are go” as the sunny days get longer. Clean sprinkler heads and adjust the range to make sure you are watering only your lawn and garden and not your driveway and street.
If you water with well water, you might want to get your water tested
(free service at Rockledge Gardens), since salt content can change from
time to time depending on rainfall.
Finally, be sure to set your system to run only twice per week, and don’t forget to turn the system off when we get good rainfall. Our water is a precious commodity.
Start summer veggie garden seedlings now
It is still a good time to start seeds for your summer veggie garden or get a head start by planting transplants.
Focus on warm-weather crops that can handle our brutal summer heat, including watermelon, cantaloupe, and peppers.
Scout and inspect your landscape for pests
Spring flowers are beginning to bloom this month, which also encourages the arrival of insects in the landscape.
Please note that the majority of insects are beneficial, such as ladybugs, praying mantids, or assassin bugs and they will assist you in keeping pests under control.
If you notice pests, remove them by hand before they have a chance to grow, reproduce and really become a problem.
Consider planting groundcovers as an alternative to grass
There are many options available; many groundcovers require less care, chemicals, and water than turfgrasses do.
Mulch flower and shrub beds
Conserve water and help deter weed growth by applying a 2-3 inch thick layer of mulch in your planters and around trees.
Prune azaleas when blooms have expired
After pruning, fertilize with Holly Tone.
Watch for thrips on your roses and gardenias
Thrips affect rose and gardenia buds in particular (and seem partial to light colors), causing discoloration and bud drops.
Thrips can be controlled with a natural pyrethrin spray. Using blue insect trap cards can also be effective.
It’s a great time to plant tropical fruit trees and citrus
We have a great selection to choose from. Visit our food forest for inspiration.
Butterflies are very active in the warmer season.
Consider planting a butterfly garden this month. Visit our newly revamped butterfly garden for some inspiration.
Butterflies aren’t particular, and will pretty much feed on any flowering plant you have to offer. Caterpillars, on the other hand, are super picky and only prefer certain plants called “host plants”.
Support our native species by selecting Florida native plants. Remember—no pesticides!
Annuals and perennials to plant now
- bush daisy
- Dahlberg daisy
- gerbera daisy
- wax begonias
Vegetables and herbs to plant now
- lemon balm
- Mexican tarragon
- sweet potatoes
Earth Day is April 22! Why not plant a tree or plan a garden party to honor Mother Earth?
Stop by Rockledge Gardens on April 23rd and 24th to celebrate with us and the many local businesses that work so hard to support our local ecosystem and save the Indian River lagoon.