This news item expired on Monday, April 30, 2012 so the information below could be outdated or incorrect.
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- Mow fescue lawns 3 inches high.
- If you did not get the lawn fertilizer out in time (early March), just wait until September. Nitrogen applied this late is an invitation for brown patch fungus disease and other problems.
- It is also late to apply “crabgrass preventer” pre-emergent herbicide. Much of the crabgrass has already germinated so ‘preventer’ won’t help with those plants. But you may still have some effect in reducing the amount of crabgrass by catching the late germinating seeds.
- The warm, moist winter has produced plenty of annual weeds. Pull weeds before applying a fresh layer of mulch to landscape beds.
- Do not remove foliage from spring bulbs until the leaves have begun to die down on their own. If you want to relocate daffodils, go ahead and dig them, with leaves attached, and replant as you would any other transplant.
- This is a great time to plant new shrubs and perennials. Do remember to keep them watered all summer.
- Do not plant tender annuals before May unless you are prepared to protect them from frost.
- Repot and renovate house plants. Cut back overgrown or leggy plants and inspect for insects. Do not move them outdoors before May, when the night time temperatures are not dipping below 50 degrees.
- Plant both small fruit and fruit trees. Be sure to keep them watered this summer.
- Pull weeds in the strawberry bed and apply fresh straw mulch around plants.
- Fertilize fruit trees, blueberries, grape vines and brambles; but not strawberries.
- If you did not get fruit trees pruned, it is better to prune late than to miss a year, especially if you are training young trees.
- Cool season crops can still be planted early in the month - broccoli, cabbage, lettuce and other leafy greens.
- Wait until May to plant tender crops such as tomatoes and beans.
- Have row cover fabric or other covers handy if frost sensitive plants are planted before May 10.
- Perennial herbs such as rosemary, thyme and lavender can be planted as long as the plants are hardened off (not right out of a greenhouse). Basil is very sensitive to frost, though, so do not plant it in the garden too early.
- If you send soil samples in right now, you should get results back in time for the summer plantings (about 4 weeks turn-around).
- Clean and fill hummingbird feeders. The first hummers arrive in Western North Carolina around April 15.
For more information, call Buncombe County Cooperative Extension at 255-5522.