Texas Gardener's April Checklist

Is there anything you can’t do in the Texas garden in April? This is a critical month for planting, sowing seeds, fertilizing and performing important garden maintenance chores. With so much to do, it’s easy to become overwhelmed, but take it a step at a time to ensure your garden is healthy, lush and beautiful. And keep one eye on the toaster while we are not as inclined to have a late-season frost at this point, it’s not hopeless, so be sure to cover up tender tails or new transplants if temperatures dip.

Noel Cross+Architects

Sow Seeds

Virtually any plant easily grown from seed could be sown this month. Be sure to check the planting directions on the backs of their seed packets to know the correct planting depth for each seed type.

Annuals. Opt for celosia, coleus, periwinkle, sunflower, zinnia, gomphrena, ageratum and cleome.

Herbs. Most herbs can be sown this month, including chives, catmint, basil, thyme, oregano, sorrel, tansy, winter savory, summer savory, yarrow, tarragon, germander, lavender, cumin, comfrey, sage and lavender.

Laara Copley-Smith Garden & Landscape Design

Vegetables. Lots of vegetable seeds can be sown: lima beans, snap beans, beets, chard, okra, radishes and summer squash. Wait till late April to sow seeds for corn, cucumbers, eggplant and pumpkin.

Erin Ponte Landscape Design

Plant Your Garden

You can plant nearly anything that month.

Vegetables. Eggplant, peppers, summer squash, tomatoes, tomatillos and sweet potato slips can be planted from 4 – to 6-inch containers.

Fruit. Cantaloupe, honeydewand watermelon are good options; look for them in 4-inch pots.

Herbs. Nearly all herbs can be planted, including rosemary, chives, thyme, oregano, lavender, sorrel, catmint, sage, lemongrass, lemon verbena, basil, catnip, bay laurel and tarragon. Plant from the nursery from containers.

Douglas C Lynn

Bulbs. Caladium, elephant’s ear and lily bulbs can be planted today, but be sure to plant them in the proper depth. A good rule of thumb is to plant two to three times stronger than the bulb is tall.

Annuals. Plant ageratum, geranium, impatiens, marigold, pentas, periwinkle, phlox, coleus and torenia. Start looking for 4-inch containers or six-packs for quick growth.

Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design LLC

Perennials. Coneflower, shasta daisy, four-nerve daisy, lantana, salvia and yarrow could be planted this month. Start looking for 1-gallon pots for quicker growth and spread.

Ornamental grasses. Maiden grass, bamboo muhly, large muhly, pink muhly, inland sea turtles, Mexican feather grass, switchgrass and purple fountain grass are fantastic grasses to try. Choose grasses in 1 – .

Notice: Some grasses, like Mexican feather grass, can be invasive. Be sure your plant choices are appropriate and recommended for your region.

Frank & Grossman Landscape Contractors, Inc..

Trees and shrubs. It’s generally a good idea to plant those larger landscape plants in the cooler months, but it is possible to plant them today if you take a little extra care.
Dig a hole twice as wide as the root chunk of the plant, then add just a little bonemeal or rock phosphate to the pit. (Follow the package directions for numbers.) Plant and water in thoroughly. Spray some liquid seaweed within the planting area for more nutrients. Irrigate regularly through the first growing season (two to three times every week). Turfgrass and grass seed. Consider planting a native grass mix of buffalograss, curly mesquite and blue grama in a sunny part of your lawn — those grasses are drought tolerant and sturdy enough for foot traffic.

Make certain to prepare the region thoroughly before sowing grass seed — follow the directions on the package — and keep it moist until the seed has sprouted.

If you want to include sod to get a more instant lawn, start looking for bits of St. Augustine or zoysia, both of which are somewhat tolerant of light shade. Always follow turfgrass recommendations from specialists locally, such as a trustworthy nursery or your county extension office, even if making bud selections.

Jocelyn H. Chilvers

Stay on Top of Garden Maintenance

If you continue with frequent maintenance chores this month, your garden will thrive throughout the hotter summer months. And if the forecast is right, it’s going to be another warm and humid season.

Weed. Hand select stray weeds before they go to seed or spread, but be sure to pull them out from the roots rather than breaking them off at the soil surface.

Use chemical weed controls only when required, depending on the severity of your weed issue. There are lots of organic options available that are kinder to the surrounding environment, but use caution if employing a solution of any sort — those that are labeled “nonselective herbicides,” whether they’re organic or not, will kill any plant they’re sprayed.

Fertilize. Spray a seaweed solution on your bedding plants once every week for lush growth and flourishing. Fertilize based trees, shrubs and other plants using a balanced fertilizer, and go light on fertilizing newly planted transplants.

Fertilize your lawn using a low-nitrogen fertilizer and water it in thoroughly. Use a water-soluble fertilizer for container plants and houseplants. Always follow the package directions, as overfertilizing can really harm your plants.


Bugs. Be on the watch for detrimental bugs, such as aphids, tomato hornworms, leaf rollers and spring cankerworms. Remember that not all bugs are bad — ladybugs feed on unwanted pests and should be protected and encouraged to set up home.

Identify your problem pest by choosing a sample to a local nursery, and then make your treatment selection from that point. Always follow package directions when using any pesticide or chemical to prevent damaging insects.

Compost. Add 1 or 2 inches of mulch to bare soil areas to amend the soil, and then gently work it into your topsoil. I like to use a garden fork to loosen the region up to incorporate the dirt, then rake it smooth with a challenging rake and then add mulch.

Arterra Landscape Architects

Mulch. A 3-inch layer of mulch around all plantings will maintain soil moisture and discourage weeds. In Texas use a Texas native hardwood mulch, which is shredded and resists moving through a hard rain. Mulches such as bark chips or stoves have a tendency to wash off, leaving the soil bare and creating a maintenance issue.

Irrigate. New plantings require regular irrigation to establish roots. Attempt to water toward the bottom of the plant rather than about the plant’s leaves (which can create fungal problems); water deeply and less often, and always comply with any watering instructions that exist in your area.

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