April Gardening Chores
It's spring and time to get outside and tidy up your lawn and gardens. Here are some valuable tips for your weekend gardening chores.
- Tent caterpillars: Right now, I am beginning to see the webs of tent caterpillars forming in some of my trees. Now is the best time to control these critters while they are small. These young caterpillars can be controlled safely (without harming beneficial insects) by spraying Bonide BT Thuricide.
- Scale insects on Holly: This is a good time to spray your Hollies with Bonide All Seasons Oil or Bonide Neem to control scale on the branches.
- Grub Control in lawns: White grubs are one of the most common lawn pests in the US and one of the most damaging to your lawn. They are the larval form of beetles, including the Japanese Beetle, another well-known pest! The best time to control these grubs is in the spring and fall when they are actively feeding close to the surface.
- Bonide Annual Grub Beater and Bayer Advanced Season Long Grub Control can be applied anytime from spring through late summer.
- Keep your lawn healthy. A good lawn care program of aerating, dethatching, fertilizing, and proper watering will keep your lawn healthy and better able to tolerate some grub munching.
- Always read and follow the label directions when applying any pesticide.
- Botrytis: Botrytis is a fungal disease that causes blackened spots on buds, leaves, and stems of many perennials including peonies. If you noticed this disease on your peonies last year, spray with a fungicide like Bonide Mancozeb, Bonide Liquid Copper, or Bonide Fung-onil.
- Black spot on roses: If you had black spot on your rose foliage last year, begin spraying with a fungicide such as Bayer Advanced All-In-One Rose & Flower Care, Bonide Mancozeb, Bonide Liquid Copper, Bonide Fung-onil, or Bonide Infuse.
- Always read and follow the label directions when applying any pesticides!
Fruit Trees - Insect and Disease Control
It's time to begin a regular spray schedule for your fruit trees. Use an all-in-one fruit tree spray such as Bonide Fruit Tree & Plant Guard, Bonide Fruit Tree Spray, or Bonide Orchard Spray which combine an insecticide and a fungicide. Follow the schedule recommended on the label for your specific type of fruit trees. Never spray an insecticide when the trees are in bloom!
Lawn Weed Control
Are broadleaf weeds taking over your beautiful lawn? Get in there and fight back! There are several good products on the market today that will control a wide range of broadleaf lawn weeds.
- Bonide Weed Beater Ultra has superior cool weather performance down to 45°F which extends the application window to early spring and to late fall, when weeds are most susceptible.
- Bayer Advanced Weed Killer for Lawns and Season Long Weed Control for Lawns are also effective.
- More about controlling lawn weeds ...
- Bonide Duraturf Crabgrass & Weed Preventer provides pre-emergence control and early post-emergence control of crabgrass. For pre-emergence control, apply before the forsythia petals have dropped in the spring.
- Bayer Advanced All-in-One Lawn Weed & Crabgrass Killer - apply when the crabgrass is actively growing.
Be sure to use these products according to the label directions! Some of these post-emergence weed killers cannot be sprayed around trees and shrubs because the chemical leaches into the soil and can damage tree and shrub roots.
It's now safe to cut back your Buddleia (Butterfly Bushes) and Caryopteris.
- Cut them back to 8"-12" from the ground. It doesn't take them long to fill out with fresh new growth and cutting them back like this will give you bigger and more abundant flowers through the season.
- Because of our very cold temperatures this winter, severe damage has occurred on some Buddleia. These may need to be cut back harder (2" to 6" from the ground) and will regrow from the rootstock.
- Watch Mark's video tip on cutting back Buddleia.
Prune your spring flowering shrubs right after they finish blooming if you need to control their size.