April is fickle

Mon. Apr. 20, 2020

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show: April is fickle

April is fickle in the Upper Midwest. From nearly 60 degree days (70 coming up this week!) to 19 degrees and 8 inches of snow. Yup, pretty darn fickle!

Me on my HD 4-7-20
yews in snow, yes you is 4-12-20

So what’s a gardener to do? Check the weather! Your perennials and hardy spring bulbs that are peeking out, don’t need extra protection—they can take whatever nature hands out—but any early annuals will need a cover or a quick trip inside if the temps drop.

Rainbow parrot tulips peeking out – their first year! Planted 10-8-19

The same goes for any cool season vegetables you may have put out. Hoop houses, cold frames and other protection are a good idea for vegetables that are set out in April such as those from the cruciferous family. There are a lot!

From Rainer Life, you can place a white netting over the hoops for more temperature protection.

While I’ll admit, I already cleaned up my dead perennials and grasses, NOW, the University is saying don’t do that until temps have been in the 50’s for several days.


That’s to help out the pollinators that overwintered inside those dead perennials.

The University of Minnesota recommends applying preemergent crab grass control in mid-April, if you choose to do that. Fertilizing is only needed in August. Don’t mow your grass until late April at the earliest. Let it green up and the ground firm up before mowing.

One thing you CAN do now is Turn your compost.  When the compost pile thaws out, give it a turn and collect the good compost to spread on plant beds and in the vegetable garden.

I just loaded my compost with leaves, there’s a lot of food scraps in there too

Don’t spread any mulch yet — let the ground warm up fully before adding mulch.