Watch for frosty nights through the end of April. Your own garden's risk of frost should be judged by weather conditions, elevation and microclimate conditions like shade/wind/frost pockets.
Most new seedlings are used to "ideal" greenhouse conditions. Before you put them into your garden, acclimate these starts to the outdoors. Over a week's time, place them into the garden for increasing periods each day and shelter them each night. With mild weather they can be planted in a week. Continue to protect from freezing temperatures.
Perennial plants that shine at this time of year include bergenia, euphorbia, pulsatilla, dicentra (bleeding heart), aubrieta (rock cress), Phlox stolinefera (creeping phlox) and viola.
This is a great time to plant containers; you can include tender annuals late in the month if you can protect them from nighttime freezes. Early planting gives more time for roots to develop. Better root development gives more access to water and nutrients. That means healthier plants during summer's highest temperatures. Consider including water-absorbing polymer additives in planting boxes and containers.
Add beneficial bacterial to ponds. Start monitoring water for temperature changes. At 50 degrees, start feeding the fish.
KITCHEN GARDENS AND ORCHARDS
This is a great month to plant lots of vegetables. The newest edition of Garden Guide for the Rogue Valley: Year 'Round and Month by Month, gives the complete low-down for those who want to put their hoes down. Compiled and published by Jackson County Master Gardener Association, the book has been up-dated and even includes color photos of good and bad bugs, along with the best varieties of vegetables and when to plant them. Buy at garden centers or through the JCMGA. Call 776-7371 for more information.
Seeds: Get beets, chard, chives, kale and lettuce into the ground. Indoors or in a greenhouse, start seeds for warm weather crops like basil, cucumbers, eggplant, squash, and tomatoes.
Plant onion starts now. Be sure to buy long day or intermediate day types, or bulb development will be disappointing.
Sharpen and tune up your mower and other lawn equipment. Get your irrigation equipment checked. Mulch around trees to prevent grass from spreading and competing with the tree for nutrients.
Overseed thin lawns or bare patches. Water as needed, so seeds can sprout and get a foothold.
Consider thatching and aerating to renew established lawns.
Master Gardener's 28th annual Spring Fair is set for Saturday and Sunday, April 28-29, at the Jackson County Expo & Fairgrounds, Central Point. The largest garden show between Portland and San Francisco, the Spring Fair features over 150 horticulture related vendors, demonstrations, free classes and thousands of plants for sale. Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m, Sat., and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sun. Admission $2.00, children under 12 free. Proceeds fund local Master Gardener educational programs. Call 776-7371 for info.
Monday, April 2
Kathy Griffin, Master Gardener
CENTRAL POINT (664-1726)
Wednesday, April 4
Thursday, April 19
Pam Rouhier, Grange Co-op
Friday, April 20
Garden and Nursery Tour
April Garden Calendar