April offers an ideal
gardening climate in Southern California. With hot weather ahead, gardening
enthusiasts should take advantage of April's mild temperatures and longer days.
Rotate Crops: Some vegetables such as corn tomatoes, lettuce
and cabbage deplete soil nitrogen so rotating them to another area of the garden
will keep the soil in balance. Plant such light feeders as peas and beans in
the location instead.
Plant Vegetables In Containers: A robust vegetable garden doesn't need a lot of
space. If you don't have a big backyard, think about container gardening.
Herbs, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, cucumbers, melons and squash can all be
grown successfully in containers. Make sure to water regularly, as the soil
will dry quickly. If space is very tight, consider gardening in a community
garden, located in most cities. The gardens enable residents to plant
vegetables in designated plots.
Plant Warm-Season Annuals: Warm season annuals such as marigolds,
petunias, daisies, zinnia and impatiens thrive in spring, summer and early
fall. Since they only last until fall, warm season annuals spend all their
energy flowering. Remove dead flowers to encourage growth. When planting, dig a
hole and add compost to the bottom and into the existing soil. Pick plants with
small, but healthy leaves.
Acquire a Green Thumb: If you are new to vegetable gardening, start
with easy-to-grow vegetables that require little care and maintenance. These
include tomatoes, summer squash, radishes and beans. The key is to first add
organic vegetable mix into existing soil so it is rich in nutrients. Next, add
plants and keep them moist by watering once a day for one week and then water
as needed. These vegetables grow quickly. The only maintenance required is to
remove vegetables as they ripen.
Prune Fruit Trees: There is still time to prune fruit trees—but only
if buds have not yet turned into blooms. Pruning a blooming fruit tree causes
stress on the tree, which could mean little or no fruit this year.
Leave Frost Damaged Plants Alone: Plants that experienced frost damage may look
the worse for wear, but underneath the brown, withered leaves is usually a healthy
plant. Watch for new growth to emerge on limbs in April. New growth should
displace the dead leaves meaning very little pruning is needed.
Manage Your Water: With water restrictions on the horizon (or
already in place), take steps to make the most of the water in the garden. To
reduce water usage but still maintain a healthy garden, layer mulch around
plants and trees to hold in moisture and keep the soil cool. This will also
reduce weeds, which compete for water. Add a drip irrigation system to reduce
evaporation. These steps should mean adequate water even if watering is
restricted to only two days a week.
Labels: April garden tips for Southern California, container gardening, easy to plant vegetables, warm season annuals, water saving ideas for garden