April in Your Garden

  1. Getting Started on your Fruit Garden

    Getting Started on your Fruit Garden
    Come join us at Raintree Nursery for our annual Beginners Home Berry Garden Patch Class on Saturday, April 7th! A great class for the inexperienced gardener if you're putting in a new home orchard and berry patch and aren't sure about varieties, rootstocks, pollination, spacing, soils, siting, method of planting, irrigation, staking; come visit with our experienced horticulturist and get...
  2. What do I do if my plants have come but I can't plant right away?

    What do I do if my plants have come but I can't plant right away?
    The goal is to keep the bare root plants cool and dormant, and protect the roots from freezing or drying out. You can generally hold the plants up to two weeks in the bags they arrived in, in a cool (35-45º F) location. Check the bags for moisture a couple times, the shredded paper around the roots should be moist...
  3. A tip for those of you in cold winter areas who are receiving our potted plants

    A tip for those of you in cold winter areas who are receiving our potted plants
    Planting Out Non-Dormant Hardy Potted Plants:  Sometimes you might receive cold hardy plants that are no longer dormant but you are still experiencing winter conditions.  Our hardy plant greenhouses are kept to a minimum of about 28-30 degrees F at night, but late winter or early spring day time sun can warm them up well into the 70's. The resultant...
  4. Planting in Cold or Warm Spring Weather

    Planting in Cold or Warm Spring Weather
    PLANTING:  So long as the ground is not under water or water-logged, frozen, or covered with snow, and the weather is above freezing when you plant, you can plant dormant potted or bare root plants. For optimal results planting bare root plants, day time temperatures should be below the mid-60's for several weeks following planting (to give roots time to establish before...
  5. Try elderberry flower fritters. Delicious!

    Try elderberry flower fritters. Delicious!
    Ripe Elderberries. (Photo: Stephen McKay, Wikimedia) I found two versions of Elderberry Flower Fritters for you to try when your elderberries come into bloom. One was shared with me by a customer who grew up in Denmark, where elderberry is a traditional culinary and medicinal plant. He told me to expect the fritters to taste like the fragrance in the...
  6. Check out irrigation systems from Dripworks

    Check out irrigation systems from Dripworks
    Greenhouse irrigation system from DripWorks. Now is a good time to look over your stored irrigation equipment and order replacement parts, or parts for new plantings going in this year. In warmer drier locations it may already be time to install (or re-install) systems and start irrigating. Regular irrigation of new plants is essential for establishment, and may also...
  7. Prune as needed or as time permits during April

    Prune as needed or as time permits during April
    Continue pruning as needed, or as time permits. The best time to start pruning stone fruits is as the buds swell. This is because the wounds seal themselves more quickly, reducing opportunity for fungal infections to occur. If you are growing tip-bearing apples such as Thompkins King and want to encourage them to branch, wait until new growth has extended...
  8. April fertilizing and weed control tactics

    April fertilizing and weed control tactics
    April is about more than just planting. Fertilization and weed control is also a priority! Fertilize: Apply a 1/2 strength dose of fertilizer to acid loving plants, such as blueberries, lingonberries and cranberries as buds start to swell on the plants. Use a fertilizer that is specifically for blueberry or rhododendron. Follow with a light mulch of wood chips or...
  9. Fungus control continues in the Pacific Northwest

    Spring time warm wet rains encourage the germination and growth of fungal infections in our fruit trees. Continue applying fungicide sprays for scab or powdery mildew in your apples or pears, or brown rot or coryneum blight in your stone fruits if you noticed problems last year. If you are not sure what the problem was take a sample to...
  10. Insect and Disease Control: Check your trees!

    Some of last years  tent caterpillars or leaf rollers may have over-wintered in your trees. As spring weather begins to dominate (usually April in the Pacific Northwest) check your trees regularly, a BT (Bacillus thuringiensis) spray is an effective organic control to use when you start seeing the caterpillars. Codling Moth and Apple Maggot adults will soon be emerging from their over-wintering cocoons in the...

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