April 2013 Gardening Calendar
This is an occasional column available to all users. Watch for Calvin Finch's weekly column, South Texas Gardener, every week in the Wilson County News. Subscribe today! https://wilsoncountynews.com/subscribe-today.php?
April is when many area lawns begin the serious growth period. The lawn can be fertilized with slow-release lawn fertilizer such as 19-5-9 after real grass has been mowed two times. For some lawns, that may not be until May 1.
If you fertilize too early, weeds benefit more than lawn grass and some of the nitrogen is lost.
As a general rule, mow St. Augustine grass at 3 inches or higher, zoysia grass at 2 inches and Bermuda grass at 1.5 inches or lower. If you mow Buffalo grass at less than 5 inches tall, the weeds fill in the open space between grass plants. The choice is often mow high or use pre-emergent weed herbicide every spring and fall.
Crabgrass and sand burs may have begun to germinate already but you will prevent a portion of the plants that would germinate in May, June and July if a herbicide such as Crabgrass Preventer, Amaze or XL is applied early in the month.
Maintain your spray programs on fruit trees and roses. If stink bugs show up on peaches or blackberries, Sevin and Malathion are two of the few insecticides that can control them. Follow label instructions to accomplish safe, efficient control. The label instructions are also the law for use of the specific pesticide!
April is tomato month. Seek out one or more of the recommended varieties. Look for Tycoon, Tygress, BHN 968, 602, Phoenix, Celebrity, 444 or Solar Fire.
Prepare the soil by incorporating 2 inches of compost and slow-release lawn fertilizer over the planting area. One cup of the fertilizer for each 50 square feet works well.
Use a steel reinforcing wire or aluminum wire tomato cage to keep the fruit off the ground.
Tomatoes are not xeriscape plants. They need water every two to three days. Drip irrigation works best.
Help prevent spider mites by spraying with neem oil and seaweed extract every week. Increase to twice weekly sprays if the pests appear. Spray under the foliage.
Snapdragons may bloom well for another month, but April is also a good time to plant zinnias. For instant blooms, seek out the Dreamland transplants at area nurseries. Zinnias are at their best if you use them for cut flowers or deadhead (remove) blooms that have declined.
Lettuce and most other greens will turn bitter as the month progresses. Use them as long as they taste good. It is also a good time to use up your carrots, beets, turnips and rutabagas.
Potatoes can be harvested when the plants begin to bloom but can also stay in the ground until the plants brown.
Make sure the onions are thinned to 6 inches between the plants. Apply one last fertilization this month. Onions should be ready to harvest in late May.
To keep the squash vine borers at bay, apply a dose of Sevin or Spinosad at the growing point every week.
If you have bird baths and especially moving water, watch for migrating painted buntings, warblers and orioles. They can be spectacular. The ruby throat and black chinned hummingbirds should be visiting your hummingbird feeders. The ruby throated will breed east of Interstate 35 and the black chinned will breed in the west of the area.
To insure reseeding for next spring, let the bluebonnets and other wildflowers set their seed and brown before they are cut down.
Calvin Finch Ph.D. is a Horticulturist and Director with the Texas A&M Water Conservation and Technology Center.
Your Opinions and Comments
Be the first to comment on this story!
You must be logged in to post a comment.
Agriculture Today Archives
Area Parks Foundation Trail Ride March 6-7 (February 25, 2015)
Canadian food agency confirms BSE in Alberta (February 25, 2015)
Despite rains, many reservoirs lower this year than last (February 25, 2015)
Hay & Forage Report (February 25, 2015)
Karnes City rancher speaks out about Clean Water Act changes (February 25, 2015)
Lawn ‘to-do’s’ through April (February 25, 2015)
Livestock Market Reports (February 25, 2015)
Renewable energy funding (February 25, 2015)
Storage options for hay discussed at Blackland Income Growth Conference (February 25, 2015)
TDA Market Report (February 25, 2015)
Books for first-time gardeners (February 18, 2015)
County farmers connect with community (February 18, 2015)
Deadline draws near for producers to select for new Farm Bill programs (February 18, 2015)
Hay & Forage Report (February 18, 2015)
International Brahman Activities are March 2-6 (February 18, 2015)
Livestock Market Reports (February 18, 2015)
TDA Market Report (February 18, 2015)
Rainfall report: 2/14-2/15 (February 16, 2015)
CHTR team roping (February 11, 2015)
Expert: Winter wheat, other small grains, canola are in fine shape (February 11, 2015)
Hay & Forage Report (February 11, 2015)
Livestock Market Reports (February 11, 2015)
Potato planting, butterflies (February 11, 2015)
Rebuilding cattle herds gains momentum across state, nation (February 11, 2015)
Saving Family Lands seminar is March 25 (February 11, 2015)
Study disputes COOL’s economic impact on imports (February 11, 2015)
TDA Market Report (February 11, 2015)
Three area farms receive centennial honors (February 11, 2015)
Wild horse, burro adoption (February 11, 2015)
Cattle TB confirmed in dairies (February 4, 2015)
Hay & Forage Report (February 4, 2015)
How to eliminate sandburs (February 4, 2015)
Livestock Market Reports (February 4, 2015)
Mineral rights workshop Feb. 12 (February 4, 2015)
Rains improve pasture, wheat outlook, but bring soggy fields (February 4, 2015)
TDA Market Report (February 4, 2015)
Time to submit applications (February 4, 2015)
WET, COOL start in 2015 for cattlemen (February 4, 2015)
Yosko places in sorghum yield contest (February 4, 2015)
February 2015 Gardening Calendar (February 1, 2015)