A Note From Rick | Spring in the Garden

April 13, 2022

By Rick Bogusch, Kathleen Kennedy

Bridge Gardens

When it comes to gardening, what isn’t there to do in April? Time to finish all the old business of March and get on with this month’s to-do lists.

In the vegetable garden that means seeding cold weather crops like arugula and radishes (if you haven’t already) before it’s too warm and flea beetles emerge and devour them before you do. Late this month is also a good time to get hardened-off seedlings of broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower into the ground.


Peas should be planted soon. Plus lettuce, beets, carrots and dill. And it’s time to start tomato, pepper and eggplant seeds for planting at the end of May.

We just finished digging out and re-mulching paths in the Community Garden, so all the plots are ready to go. Some gardeners have overwintered spinach and corn salad (also known as mache) to harvest already, and some have planted radishes, arugula, peas, chard and tatsoi.


Community garden plot growing strong

The forsythia on the neighbor’s property is in bloom, so it’s time to finish uncovering the roses from their winter mulch, give them their first pruning and fertilizing. We rely on stalwart volunteer, Heidi O., who’s been busy removing the last of the mulch from the rose crowns and pruning any dead wood.

By removing any inward-growing branches and buds, we also prune to shape the roses and allow good air circulation through the bushes after leaves emerge. Once pruned, roses and the ground around them will be sprayed with dormant oil to smother overwintered insect eggs and black spot spores.


Newly pruned and fertilized rose

Clean-up around the property continues. It’s a good time of year to weed beds and paths before cool-weather weeds flower and go to seed. We’re busy fertilizing trees and shrubs planted last year and the year before. Instead of broadcasting fertilizer on the mulch circle around plants, this year we’re trying an old-school method. We’re making holes around the plant near the dripline with a piece of rebar and then filling the holes with fertilizer. Sometimes there are 3 holes, sometimes 5 or more, depending on the plant size.

Recent visitors are seeing lots of daffodils, with more to come, plus Hellebores and the blue flowers of Anemone, Chionodoxa and Scilla.


Daffodils and Scilla surround the bench under the crabapple tree

Edgeworthia is a standout any time of year, but especially now it’s in bloom and scenting the air around it with its sweet and spicy aroma. It won’t be long before our ‘April Snow’ camelia is also in bloom. Now 10-feet tall, it’s definitely worth a visit.


Edgeworthia's scented blooms greet you near the ivy maze

Flowers of the native spicebush, Lindera benzoin, are just about to open. Spicebush is our Native Plant of the Month, and a couple of these plants can be found at the end of the grass path between the vegetable and herb gardens. So, come join recent visitors and enjoy the warmth of the early spring sun and the delights of the early spring garden. I hope to see you soon!

~~~~ Rick

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