There is still time in the first half of April to plant cool-weather annuals like pansies. Some annuals that aren't exactly considered for cool weather are more tolerant of the still-cool nights of April than others. Once the threat of frost has passed, around April 20, it is usually safe to plant geraniums, salvia, petunias, and million bells, among others. Hold off planting vinca and begonias until the soil has warmed up a bit. They are more cold-tolerant.
Prepare your planting beds before installing the plants. Incorporate organic material like Sweet Earth or Soil Builder. Mulch the beds with a shredded bark mulch before putting in the little plants. It is easier to spread the mulch when you don't have to worry about placing it around every little plant.
Make sure you feed your plants when installing. A slow-release, granular food is preferable to liquid food. The slow-release food slowly releases the food to the plant over months rather than all at once when using liquids or old-fashioned 10-10-10.
April is a great month for planting perennials. When visiting the nursery, do not ignore the perennials that aren't in bloom yet. By planting summer-blooming perennials now, perennials like echinacea (cone flowers, and coreopsis have time to root in before the blooming begins. Don't hesitate to ask our experts for advice on choosing the right perennials for your particular needs.
If you haven't fed your perennials yet this spring, do so now. Remember that newly-planted perennials will need extra water throughout this year. By next year, they will be established and the water needs will decrease slightly.