April 26th 2022

April

We are seeing forsythia & dandelions starting to bloom, but most fruit trees have not started blooming yet. Apple buds are at tight cluster now. The weather is not pushing much development yet.   You should be finished with pruning now, but if you are not yet, prune on a dry day to avoid spreading disease. You should also be done with insect-preventative dormant oil and disease preventative  sprays now. Unless you are higher elevations on later blooming apple trees. We are to the point of treating individual pests as we encounter them

The first aphids are hatching now. If aphids were a problem last year, you can spray with insecticidal soap or neem oil.  Ash Leaf Curl Aphids are hatching and will soon be inside ash leaves. If you had problems with Ash leaf aphids curling Ash tree leaves last year, now is the time to treat for these aphids. The least-toxic option is neem oil or a mixture of insecticidal soap and pyrethrum. Spray ASAP – the spray window is very short. It is still possible to apply insecticide soil injections for ash aphid.

Soil temperatures are averaging 45 degrees. It’s time to mow lawns and apply the first fertilizer application. Compost is a good 1:1:1 N-P-K ratio fertilizer that also helps to suppress turf disease problems and build soil structure. This is also a good time to aerate, unless dandelions are blooming in your lawn.

Annual weeds are germinating now. It is a good time to treat them with vinegar sprays. White and cider vinegar can be used on tender succulent annuals; but newly sprouting perennial weeds, such as quackgrass and knapweed are not affected by these low acetic acid concentrations of vinegar. Tillage can also be used to kill newly germinating annual weeds. Till on a warm, dry day so weeds dry out and die.

It’s time to test garden soil and decide what soil amendments are needed. Apply amendments 2-3 weeks before you plan to plant. You can start seeding cool season vegetables now such as potatoes, onions, lettuce, peas, ect.  It’s too early to put out warm season transplants, such as tomatoes.   

If you’ve not done so already, prune June bearing raspberries ASAP. Last year’s fruiting canes will not be leafing out. Prune these canes as close to ground level as possible.

Five Valley’s Glad & Dahlia society will be holding their annual dahlia tuber sale this Saturday at Ace Hardware in Trempers shopping center.

You are invited to join us!

MSU Horticulturist Abi Saeed is talking “Creating Backyard Habitats for Pollinators” this Friday April 29th at 6pm at the Missoula County Extension Conference room.

If you want to attend please RSVP Patrick Mangan -258-4205 or Patrick.mangan@montana.edu