April Lawn and Garden Tips 2022
Spring has sprung as we are into April, our first month of Spring, as gardeners rush to tend to all our lawn and garden care needs here in Jacksonville and surrounding areas. Lawn and garden tips would not be complete if we didn’t start by encouraging you to make a plan for all you want to accomplish in the lawn and garden, pay attention to local weather, start planting and tending to fertilization, pruning, and pest control needs.
Making A Plan: Failure to Plan is Planning to Fail
While people acknowledge the need for an architectural design plan before building a house, the benefits of landscape design plans aren’t as readily appreciated. A home can collapse if not adequately planned. A tree planted in the wrong location can crush home and tear up driveways and water and sewer lines. Landscape planning should be as simple or complex as needed to accomplish your goals. Typically the more time spent thoughtfully considering the details of your landscape and creating a plan to implement means more enjoyment in your outdoor living space with fewer headaches and costly unwanted surprises.
Weather: Prepare for the worst and hope for the best Spring ever!
Jacksonville’s rainfall totals for March 2022 were something for the record books with 9.95 inches of precipitation, three times the average rainfall for the month. That was the 6th highest amount of rainfall for March in 150 years. March rains made up for the precipitation shortfall from the driest Winter (Dec.-Feb.) in a decade that temporarily at least dampened concerns over drought conditions and wildfires. However, the threat of drought is never far off in Northeast Florida, considering our well-draining sandy soils dry out fast.
In March, the cool nights prevented the fungus damage that would have followed from warmer nighttime temperatures later in the Spring and Summer. However, roses and many other plants in the area are exhibiting the black spot symptoms of fungus. Organic home remedies for Rose Black Spot fungus, Diplocarpon rosae include a combination of a tablespoon of baking soda, white vinegar, and horticultural oil in a gallon of water to use as a foliar spray. Diluted Hydrogen Peroxide solution such as one tablespoon (for 3%) or 1/4 teaspoon (for 35%) in a cup of water can treat Diplocarpon, and other fungi such as that found on milkweed weed leaves. Commercially available ready mix fungal treatments worth considering include Fertilome Liquid Systemic Fungicide.
Water As Needed
April’s average rainfall total is 2.93 inches. Abide by your municipal water restrictions, which in Duval County allows for twice per week irrigation during Spring and Summer with additional watering for new landscapes, and unlimited hand watering. Xeriscaping with native plants and those with low watering requirements conserves water, saves you time and money, and reduces concerns associated with high maintenance plants requiring frequent watering.
Tend To Your Soil
Periodically have soil samples tested to know the pH and other factors that impact your plant’s ability to grow and flourish. Periodic soil aeration and nutrient enrichment with a top dressing reduces compaction and stormwater runoff, and increases plants’ nutrient uptake. Poor drainage conditions threaten the structural integrity of structures and increase the risk of fungus, root rot, and choking off the oxygen supply to beneficial microbes in the soil. Earth Works provides aeration and top dressing services, products, and a wide range of drainage solutions.
What Can I Plant in April? Essentially Everything!
Unlike other seasons which don’t provide optimum conditions for planting, the Spring season is Go Time for almost everything you’d want to plant or transplant. Plant your favorite perennials and include Spring annuals for an extra dose of seasonal color. The moderate morning low temperatures and afternoon highs provide the ideal conditions to safely plant palms, trees, shrubs, vines, and flowering plants, fruits, herbs, and vegetables.
Lawn and Garden Fertilization
Fertilize only when your lawn turf is actively growing. Our warmer temperatures of April are perfect for doing so. Consider our blog on the use of Weed and Feed products.
Fertilize ahead of June through Sept nitrogen fertilization blackout periods that are in place for many Florida counties. Duval County does not prohibit nitrogen fertilization during the rainy season. Still, it is less effective due to runoff resulting in water pollution, algae blooms, and fish kills.
Lawn Weed & Pest Control
Pre and Post emergent lawn pest and weed control products are part of our lawn care maintenance programs that do-it-yourself property owners and gardeners likewise do. There are separate categories of weeds, including cold and warm-season varieties and those that thrive in wet and-or dry environments that may be present at any given time on a property. The treatment protocols to deal with all these factors are complex. Likewise, the prevalence of lawn pests such as chinch bugs and sod webworms is weather and soil condition dependent. We strongly recommend homeowners consider professional lawn maintenance such as ours for your ongoing weed and lawn pest control needs.
Visit the Earth Works Garden Center for Saturday Sip & Shop from 10AM-3PM for more lawn and garden tips and speak with one of our designers over a complimentary beverage. And for comprehensive solutions to your specific lawn, garden, and landscaping needs, contact Earth Works of Jacksonville online or at 904-996-0712.
Earth Works operates a retail Garden Center/Plant Nursery in Jacksonville and provides landscaping, hardscaping, water features, lawn care service, lawn spraying, and drainage solutions.
Earth Works proudly serves clients in Northeast Florida, including Jacksonville, Ponte Vedra Beach, Atlantic Beach, Neptune Beach, Jacksonville Beach, Nocatee, St. Johns, Fleming Island, Orange Park, Middleburg, Green Cove Springs, Amelia Island, Fernandina, and St. Augustine.