Lawn and Garden Tips for April

Wildlife

Eastern box turtle

Eastern box turtle

  • Eastern box turtles and various species of snakes are coming out of hibernation and may visit your yard. Box turtles are becoming scarce throughout much of Maryland because of road mortality and habitat destruction. Observe turtles, but don’t collect them as pets.
  • The eggs of amphibians like wood frogs and toads will hatch in a couple of weeks and produce many small tadpoles. If you need to do some work in your pond, try not to disturb their eggs. Learn more about Creating a Herp Friendly Landscape and Interesting Visitors in Your Landscape.

Houseplants

(Cissus rhombifolia) Oak or grape leaf ivy

(Cissus rhombifolia) Oak or grape leaf ivy

  • This is a good time to re-pot and divide houseplants. Use lightweight, well-drained soilless potting mixes containing peat moss, vermiculite, and perlite.
  • Begin to fertilize houseplants again. The increase in natural light will prompt them to grow.
  • Fungus gnats are small, harmless black flies that hover around, breed in and feed on moist growing media. They can be controlled by being careful not to over-water houseplants. Growing media should be allowed to dry out before watering again.

Lawns

  • LawnThe height and frequency of mowing lawn are very important. Cool season grasses such as tall fescue and bluegrass should be maintained at 3.0 inches for most of the growing season.
  • Keep your mower blades sharp to prevent turf damage. Dry, white, or tan-colored grass blade tips are an indication that the mower blade is dull. Dull mower blades tear turf grass and can lead to disease problems.
  • Leave the grass clippings where they lay. “Grasscycling” eliminates bagging labor and adds organic matter and nitrogen to your soil, allowing you to apply 25% less nitrogen fertilizer.

More tips from the Home & Garden Information Center

The Home & Garden Information Center’s horticulturists are available year-round to answer your plant and pest questions. In addition to gardening questions, we cover houseplants, indoor pests, and more. Send your questions and photos to Ask an Expert!

One Comment on “Lawn and Garden Tips for April

  1. When we were kids, we saw a ‘rock’ that seemed to come out of the orchard. We knew that rocks did not move, but as we watched it, it seemed to get closer. When it got frighteningly close, we hid behind a hedge as the rock slowly came into the lawn and starting eating dandelions out of it. It ran out of dandelions in front, so moved into the back yard and lived with us for many years. It was a desert tortoise. There are no turtles nearby.

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