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Pennsylvania Gardening Calendar - April

Gardening & Lawn Care Chores for USDA Zones 5 & 6


Timing is everything when your goal is a beautiful lawn and garden. These April gardening tips and chores apply to USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 5 & 6, which encompass Western Pennsylvania.

Flowers & Vegetables:

  • Weed, weed, weed! Now is the time to dig or hoe weeds from your gardens and yard. This will save you a lot of work later on.

  • Continue removing protective mulches from roses, clematis, azaleas and other tender shrubs.

  • Fertilize spring-flowering bulbs. Also fertilize other ornamental fruit and berry plants that were not fertilized in March, and spring-blooming shrubs after flowering is complete. Fertilize perennials when you see 2-3" of new growth.

  • Cultivate garden beds as soon as soil is dry enough to work. Plant roots need loose soil twelve inches deep. Mix in a few inches of peat moss or organic material.

  • April is a good time for planting roses, and perennial flowers and herbs. You can also sow seeds of carrots, greens, beets and other root vegetables.

  • Plan, design, and create new landscape and garden beds, if desired.

Trees & Shrubs:

  • Finish up your pruning chores from March if you haven't already, including summer and fall blooming shrubs and decidious trees.

  • Continue applying dormant oil spray to any trees and shrubs (except blue spruce) that are plagued by scale insects or mites until they begin leafing out.

  • There is still time to transplant or plant new deciduous and evergreen trees and shrubs this month.

Lawn Care:

  • April brings in warmer temperatures and spring rains, so now is a good time to seed, overseed, or sod the lawn. Be aware that newly seeded lawns may take two or more weeks to germinate in the cooler spring weather. If you have used a crabgrass pre-emergent, you will need to wait a few months before overseeding.

  • When weather conditions permit, remove excess thatch from your lawn and aerate it, if necessary. This should not be done too often, and is actually better done in the fall for our area's cool-season grasses.

  • If you didn't fertilize your lawn in March, do it this month. April is also a good time to put down a spring pre-emergent to control crabgrass, if you haven't already. Again, watch for air temperatures above 60° F for 4-5 consecutive days.

  • Have your lawn soil tested if you haven't already, and apply lime or nutrients if needed.

  • Get your mower blade sharpened. Mowing with a dull blade tears the ends of grass blades, leaving ragged ends which later turn brown, and also encourages the spread of fungus disease.

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