April Garden Tips

Birds and Wildlife

  • Supplement your hummingbird-friendly plants with sugarwater feeders.  Use one part sugar and four parts water.


  • Plant warm weather bedding plants: lantanas, begonias, firebush, impatiens, portulaca, coleus and zinnias.  Periwinkles in late May.
  • Resist cool season plants on sale now.  That season is over…that’s why they are on sale.  
  • Maintain your spray program for roses.  
  • Fertilize the roses this month if not done last month.   
  • Let bougainvillea get root bound and stressed between waterings for blooms.
  • Hibiscus food works well for container-grown plants.   

Shade Trees and Shrubs

  • Do NOT prune oak trees now.
  • You can still plant new shrubs and trees this month if they are container-grown.  
  • It’s too late to plant bare-root trees now.
  • Prune pillar or climbing roses, wisteria, and Carolina jasmine after they flower.


  • Remove pansies, snapdragons, dianthus, calendulas, kale and other winter plants when they get ragged. 
  • Plant caladium tubers after mid‑month. Impatiens, fibrous begonias, and coleus are summertime favorites for shade.
  • Do not remove leaves of spring-flowering bulbs.  They are feeding the bulbs while they are green.
  • Don’t place plants that have been indoors all winter into direct sunlight.   

Turf Grass

  • Does the lawn need some “fixing?”  Fix the problem and not the symptoms.  Replace dead grass with the same kind of grass.  
  • Fertilize lawn using a slow-release lawn fertilizer with a ratio of 3-1-2 or 4-1-2 NPK—Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P) and Potassium (K)—for example, 18-6-12, 19-5-9, 20-6-12.  If you use organic fertilizer, use about twice as much.  
  • Don’t start automatic sprinkler systems unless we haven’t had rain for at least 2 weeks. 

Fruits and Nuts

  • There is still time to thin late-season peaches, apples and plums.  Thin to one fruit per 6-8 inches of stem.  
  • Fertilize pecan trees in early April with 21-0-0 (1 lb. per inch of trunk diameter) to encourage good nut production. 


  • Plant vegetables such as tomatoes, sweet corn, snap beans and peppers. You can also plant cucumbers, lima or butter beans, cantaloupe, okra, southern peas, pumpkin, squash, peanuts and watermelon.
  • Write down what, when, and where you plant what so you will know next time.  
  • Plant eggplant, green beans, sweet corn, radishes, and carrots later in the month.
  • Mulch around the veggies with leaves, straw, or hay.
  • Harvest potatoes after they start blooming.  
  • Control snails, slugs and pill bugs with baits or beer traps.  
  • Thinning vegetables is one of the most important follow‑up activities in gardening.  Use drip irrigation on veggies. 

Seasonal Gardening Checklist Prepared by Tom Harris, Ph.D., Honorary BCMG