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Greenville, South Carolina
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March & April Garden Chores -


March Checklist

  • Reseed cool season lawns if needed.
  • Dig and divide overcrowded perennials.
  • Pot those self-sown seedlings for the Plant Sale, such as Lenten rose, coneflower, zebrina, etc.
  • Continue hand-pulling weeds.
  • Plant or transplant groundcovers and evergreen ornamentals.
  • Prune spring-flowering shrubs that bloom before July 1 right after flowers begin to fade. Forsythia, spirea, deutzia, daphne, winter jasmine, camellia, azalea and weigela are part of this group as they bloom from flower buds formed during the previous year.
  • Prune evergreens for shape.
  • Prune hedges and fertilize to promote new growth.
  • Prune winter-damaged limbs and leaves.
  • Prune repeat-blooming roses, such as hybrid teas, floribundas and many shrub roses as soon as leaf buds begin to swell, but before buds elongate.
  • Fertilize cool-season grasses with slow-release formula.
  • Apply crabgrass preventer early in March.
  • Top-dress liriope, mondo and pachysandra with finished compost or a light feeding of slow-release fertilizer.
  • Apply a maintenance dose of fertilizer to shrubs including those planted this fall or winter.
  • Feed fall-blooming camellias now, but wait until flowering is complete before feeding winter and spring bloomers. Remove mulch and spent flowers before feeding.
  • Fertilize hydrangeas in late March. Remove dead stems and shape as necessary cutting off just above a live bud.
  • Feed pansies and remove spent blooms.
  • Apply dormant oil spray on dormant shrubs.
  • Fertilize azaleas and camellias according to soil results. Use a 16-4-8 slow release fertilizer if soil test recommendations are unavailable.
  • Read and use fertilizers, pre-emergents and dormant oil according to label directions.

April Checklist

  •  Keep mowing cool-season grasses.
  • Seed warm-season grasses at recommended rate.
  • Check trees and shrubs weekly for insects and diseases.
  • Check camellias for scale. If present, treat with horticultural oil once temperatures are between 40- 85ºF.
  • Prune spring-flowering shrubs that bloom before July 1 right after flowers fade. These include forsythia, spirea, deutzia,daphne, winter jasmine, camellia, azalea and weigela.
  • Destroy poison ivy by uprooting young plants and disposing. Use an herbicide recommended for poison ivy on older plants.
  • Feed azaleas after bloom if they were not fed last month.
  • Set out tender annuals after April 15 – the average last frost date.
  • Remove faded flowers from spring-flowering bulbs to prevent seeds from developing.
  • Condition or harden-off seedlings started indoors. Remove suckers from the graft union of roses; inspect roses for rose aphids and spider mites.
  • Fertilize palms with a slow-release fertilizer such as 3:1:2 analysis (18-6-12 or 15-5-10).
  • Continue hand-pulling weeds.


Sources: Clemson University Extension Service Robert Polomski, Month-by-Month Gardening in the Carolinas and Francis Worthington, The Piedmont Gardener