Frost possible in late April
One important reason why warm weather vegetables should not be planted anytime soon is that frost is a possibility even past April 15, which is considered the last frost date. We can have frost anytime during the month of April. The nights are plenty cold and this means garden plot soil is much too cool for any warm weather vegetable crops to be started.
Plenty of wild onions and dandelions
As we enter April, the wild onions and dandelions are showing up on early spring lawns. They are both hard to control and get rid of because both have deep root systems. Rather than dig up the lawn to get rid of them, we use the weed trimmer and clip them off at ground level to stunt their growth. When warm weather arrives, they will slow down and be gone for late spring and summer.
Taking care of spring flowering bulbs
The blooms of daffodils, jonquils, hyacinths, narcissus and tulips have faded away. The foliage is still green and important. Do not cut or mow them, allow them to phase their way out. They are passing strength to what will be next season’s blooms and bulbs for next spring. Just let them run their course and fade on their own and pave the way for next year’s bulbs and blooms. They are the heirlooms of the flower world.
April is the time to sow carrots
April is the month to sow a row or bed of carrots. Carrots have a difficult time producing in acid soil of the Piedmont, but this problem can be solved by improving soil texture and add amendments to the soil that will promote a harvest of carrots. They require 90 days to produce a harvest, so be patient with carrots. Plant the long varities such as Danvers Long.
To prepare a bed that will be receptive to growth of carrots, add peat moss, Black Cow composted cow manure, bone meal, blood meal, a couple of bags of top soil and compost. Mix all together and sow carrot seed in a six-inch deep furrow. Sow seed thinly and cover with a layer of peat moss on top and bottom of seed. Apply a layer of Plant-Tone organic vegetable food. Hill up soil on both sides of the row and tamp down with the hoe blade. Feed once a month with Plant-Tone and as carrots grow, keep soil hilled up on both sides of the row. Water every week with water wand on spray mode when no rain falls. Thin the carrots if they are growing too quick.
Preparing for early hummingbirds
With the arrival of April, we can soon see the arrival of a few early hummers. It is a good idea during April to have a feeder about half full of nectar, waiting and ready for these first arrivals. Most garden shops and hardwares already have hummingbird nectar in stock. You can choose from bottles of ready to go use nectar or packets and envelopes that you mix with water. If you want to make your own nectar, use half water and half granulated sugar and a few drops of red food coloring. You can purchase feeders that are tinted red and make nectar with only water and sugar.
Sowing beets in early spring
Beets are another cool weather vegetable that needs an early April start because they require a long growing season. Beet seed are hard and need to be soaked for several hours before you plant them. After soaking the seed, sow the beet seed in a furrow about 4 inches deep. Cover with a layer of peat moss and water the peat moss and seed in the furrow, apply an application of Plant-Tone organic vegetable food and cover by hilling up soil on each side of the furrow and tamp down with the hoe blade.
Water often when rain is not in the forecast. Feed every 20 days with Plant-Tone or Miracle-Gro liquid plant food. When beets sprout, thin to three inches apart. Hill soil up to them every 10 days. Detroit Dark Red is a good variety. Beets will need a growing season of around 90 days and they demand a whole lot of patience.
Getting warm weather seeds ready
Seed for warm weather vegetables can be purchased now and stored in a cool dry place in a box or bag or drawer. Packages of seed including flowers can now be purchased including flower seed packets. Zinnias come in many sizes, varities and colors and can be purchased at hardwares, Home Depot, Ace Hardware, Lowe’s Home Improvement, Walmart and many supermarkets. Try to discover as many different colors and varities as you can find to make a colorful bed or row that will perform all summer long.
The fickle month of April
We are now into the third day of April and we can look forward to the last frost of April after the middle of the month, but we could see a little frost even in early May. Don’t be in any hurry to set out tomatoes, peppers or any warm weather vegetables. April is a month of fickle, unpredictable weather, definitely no time to gamble on warm weather crops. We can expect plenty of showers during the month and also a lot of cool days and nights. If you do gamble on a few tomato plants, set out only as many as you can cover up each night.
Don’t be fooled by fickle April weather
Everyone knows we celebrated April Fool’s Day last week, but in April, we can be fooled every day by unusual and changing, unstable weather with no two days being exactly the same. We can definitely expect to be fooled by April’s weather patterns, but don’t be deceived by a few seemingly warm April days. Wait until more stable weather in May to set out tomatoes, peppers and sow warm weather vegetables.
April snow possible, but only melt the heart
One of the ways we can be fooled during the month of April is the surprise of a few snowflakes on an April morning. Most snowfall in April doesn’t hang around and many old timmers say it only excites kids and melts hearts. It is just one of the many tricks fickle April could have laid up in store for us.
April showers seem fewer and fewer
We do not think it is global warming or cooler weather patterns or just weather extremes, but April showers in the 21st century seems to only be the words of love songs. We remember as kids in April, we walked to school almost every April day and walked home in an April shower. We still have a few but not as common as they were back in the 1950s. April showers bring May flowers, but they also bring an unforgettable fresh aroma as well as a breath of April fresh air. Maybe this will be a come back year for the rebirth of April showers!
Making a heavenly delight dessert
This is a dessert that lives up to its name and easy to prepare and the whole family will really like it. You will need two sticks light margarine, half cup light brown sugar, half cup chopped pecans, two cups plain flour, twelve ounces of softened cream cheese, two cups 10x confectioners powder sugar, two cups Cool Whip, one three ounce box Jello instant french vanilla pudding mix, one three ounce box of Jello instant cheesecake pudding mix and three cups of milk. Mix light margarine, brown sugar, chopped pecans, plain flour. Spread evenly in a 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking pan or dish. Bake at 350 degrees for ten minutes. Mix softened cream cheese, 10x sugar, and Cool Whip and pour over the cooled crust of chopped pecan mixture. Mix the pudding mixes and milk and pour over top of cream cheese mixture and top with Cool whip and refrigerate. A melt in the mouth dessert!
A lawn filled with robins
A flock of robins searching for worms and grubs on the lawn on a spring morning is a beautiful sight. They have been around during winter but now they are abundant. The April lawn is moist and they are finding plenty of food to satisfy them.
Deadline for Irish potatoes
The deadline for setting out a row or bed of Irish potatoes is defiantly this week. They do need to be in the ground this week because they are a root crop that requires a 90-day growing period. Planting this week will assure a harvest before the Dog Days of heat in July. You can choose from Irish Cobbler, Yukon Gold, Red Pontiac or Kennebec.
Hoe hoe hoedown
An old preacher was on his deathbed. He sent a message for an IRS agent and a lawyer (both church members) to come to his home. When they arrived, they were ushered into his bedroom, and they sat on each side of his bed. for a time, no one said anything. The IRS agent and lawyer were surprised the preacher would want to see them in his final moments. They were also puzzled because he had never indicated he particularly liked either one of them. Finally, the lawyer asked, “Preacher, why did you ask both of us to come?” The old preacher said in a weak voice, “Jesus died between two thieves, and that’s how I want to go too!”
Almanac for month of April 2022
There was a new moon on Friday as we started the month with a new moon and will also end the month with a new moon on Saturday, April 30. All’s fool day was also celebrated on Friday. The moon reaches its first quarter on Saturday, April 9. Palm Sunday will be Sunday, April 10. Thomas Jefferson’s birthday will be Wednesday, April 13. Good Friday will be Friday, April 15. There will be a full moon on Saturday, April 16. This moon will be named “Full Pink Moon.” it is also named “Paschal Moon” and “Passover Moon.” Passover begins at sundown on Friday, April 15. Easter will be Sunday, April 17. Earth Day will be Thursday, April 22. The moon reaches its last quarter on Saturday, April 23. National Arbor Day is on Friday, April 29.