University of Vermont Extension
Department of Plant and Soil Science
VIBURNUMS AND OTHER APRIL GARDENING TIPS
Charlie Nardozzi, Senior
Dr. Leonard Perry, Extension
University of Vermont
viburnum shrubs for leaf beetle eggs, preparing flower planters, and potting
dahlia tubers are some of the garden tips for this month.
your viburnums had problems with viburnum leaf beetles last summer, now is the
time to inspect your plants closely for egg-laying sites on the bark. Look for tiny, brownish black bumps on your
twigs. These are the coverings over
holes in which the eggs are laid. Prune
these infested twigs as soon as possible because the eggs will be hatching soon
and the young larvae will begin feeding on new foliage.
strawberry plants twice a week for signs of new growth. As soon as you see
sprouts, remove the hay or straw mulch and spread it in the rows to help
control weeds. A topdressing of an inch or two of compost will give plants a
a good idea to test your soil every few years to determine its nutrient status
and pH (acidity/alkalinity). Your state extension service can provide a
reasonably priced test, and along with the results you'll get recommendations
for improving the soil. The proper soil pH is especially important
for plant health.
planting large containers for the deck or patio, save on soil by creating a
false bottom. Most of the plants you'll use don't need more than about a foot
of soil depth for their roots, so put some foam packing peanuts in the very
bottom, then cover with landscape fabric or a piece of cardboard cut to fit to
keep the soil from sifting around the peanuts. Or use small plastic pots to
take up some space before filling the planter with soil.
flowers sooner by potting up dahlia tubers and growing them indoors until it's
warm enough to plant them outside. Pinch the growing tips when they get six
inches tall to keep the growth short and stocky for easier transplanting into
get a head-start on fresh greens, sow seeds in a large, shallow container. Keep
the container outside during the day and bring it in at night if the
temperatures dip below freezing, or protect it in a cold frame.
be in too much of a rush to prune roses and other woody perennials. If butterfly bush has died to the ground,
cut the dead stems to the ground. Otherwise just shorten them by about one
third. Cut back Russian sage, rue, and artemisias to about 8 to 12 inches from
the ground. Don't prune lavender until new growth appears, and then just
shorten the stems by about one-third. Heather should be lightly pruned to
remove the old flowers and the tips of the shoots, but don't cut back to brown
wood, stay in the green.
Return to Perry's Perennial