April 2008 To Do List

Rebecca Jepsen
for the Mercury News

Fertilize citrus if yellowing leaves have been a problem. A 1-year old tree will need 1/10 of a pound of nitrogen; a 5-year-old tree will need 1 1/2 pounds. It's best to divide fertilizer into three applications in April, June and August.

Codling moths on apple and pear trees can be difficult to control. It's easier to keep numbers low from the start rather than attack an infestation later. Continually check for signs of damage, remove and destroy infected fruit, hang traps and, if necessary, spray summer oil. See the UC Pest Note for more information.

Fertilize acid-loving azaleas, camellias and rhododendrons after they finish blooming. Now is the time to prune them. Powdery mildew on roses, dahlias, chrysanthemums or crape myrtles is best controlled by prevention. Avoid susceptible cultivars, plant in full sun and provide good air circulation. When necessary, spray with horticultural oils or fungicides.

Take control of poison oak now, when plants are bearing new spring growth. Primary control is achieved by hand-pulling (only by professionals or individuals who are not sensitive to poison oak) or by treatment with herbicides.

For a complete list of April gardening tips, go here.

What to plant now

Transplants: Arugula, beets, chard, lettuce, peppers, beans, cauliflower, many herbs such as parsley, chives and mint.
Seeds: Beets, cucumber,lettuce, tomatoes, eggplant, arugula, chard, basil.
: Tuberose, dahlias, cannas, calla lilies, gladiolus can be put in containers or in the ground.

- Rebecca Jepsen, University of California Cooperative Extension Santa Clara County Master Gardener