Monthly Garden Tips

What to do in Your Garden this month
by Suzanne Millard, Ukiah Master Gardener

By now you've noticed that the Buckeye trees are nearly full of leaves and those daffodils that signal spring's approach are starting to fade. We all keep our fingers crossed through the weeks ahead as fruit trees flower so that frost doesn't hit and take away the promise of a bountiful fruit harvest. This is a fantastic time of the year as we get ready for early spring-cleaning in the garden.

Below are some of the primary tasks that will help to prepare your garden for a long and prosperous growing season.

Spring-cleaning & garden preparation tasks:

  • Turn-in winter cover crops (after rains have subsided and soil is no longer wet)
  • Clean up raised beds amend the soil with healthy compost
  • Tune up Irrigation systems, replace tired parts and set up the system to accommodate the new season's garden plan. Remember to plant your vegetables and flowers together according to companion planting guides and watering needs
  • Build new plant supports for climbing plants and to maximize your garden space (vining plants such as peas, cucumbers, beans are all great climbers)
  • Perform soil and water tests for pH levels
  • Fertilize trees for maximum fruit production
  • Start your spring weeding routine

Gardener's Tips - What's going on in the garden this Month? (Please click here (add hyperlink) for Peter Huff and Kate Frey's Monthly Planting Calendar for Inland Mendocino, also found at the "How to - Grow Food" page on The Garden's Project Website)

During the month of April you can directly sow vegetables and fruits such as beets, carrots, chard, kale, lettuce, potatoes, celery and turnips outside. Inside, you'll want to start lettuce, chard, cucumbers, melons, zucchini, summer squash and pumpkins. At this time you can also transplant lettuce, leeks, onions, brassicas, chard and kale.

For flowers and herbs, you can directly sow dill, cilantro, and cold sensitive flowers such as Nasturtiums, Morning Glory and Alyssum. Parsley and basil may be started from seed indoors to be transplanted later.

Click here (add hyperlink) to see a table from UC Davis which describes the Average First and Last Frost Dates for California Counties.

Welcome to spring! Migrate to the great outdoors and feed your body and your soul through healthy sustainable gardening!