Monthly Horticulture Tips 

Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service
Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources
Oklahoma State University

April

By David Hillock

Download the entire list of tips here

Flowers

  • Most bedding plants, summer flowering bulbs, and annual flower seeds can be planted after danger of frost. This happens around mid-April in most of Oklahoma. Hold off mulching these crops until spring rains subside and soil temperatures warm up. Warm-season annuals should not be planted until soil temperatures are in the low 60s.
  • Harden off transplants outside in partial protection from sun and wind prior to planting.
  • Let spring flowering bulb foliage remain as long as possible before removing it.

Fruit and Nut

  • Don’t spray insecticides during fruit tree bloom or pollination may be affected. Disease sprays can continue according to schedule and label directions. (EPP-7319)
  • Control cedar-apple rust. When the orange jelly galls are visible on juniper (cedar), following a rain, begin treating apple and crabapple trees with a fungicide. (EPP-7319, HLA-7611)
  • Fire blight bacterial disease can be controlled at this time. Plant disease-resistant varieties to avoid diseases.
  • Continue spray schedules for disease prone fruit and pine trees.

Tree and Shrub

  • Proper watering of newly planted trees and shrubs often means the difference between success and replacement.
  • Remove any winter-damaged branches or plants that have not begun to grow. Prune spring flowering plants as soon as they are finished blooming. (HLA-6404, HLA-6409)
  • Control of powdery mildew disease can be done with early detection and regular treatment. Many new plant cultivars are resistant. (EPP-7617)
  • Leaf spot diseases can cause premature death of foliage and reduce plant vigor.

Landscape – General

  • Hummingbirds arrive in Oklahoma in early April. Get your bird feeders ready using 1 part sugar to 4 parts water. Do not use red food coloring.
  • Keep the bird feeder filled during the summer and help control insects at the same time.
  • Lace bugs, aphids, spider mites, bagworms, etc. can start popping up in the landscape and garden later this month. Keep a close eye on all plants and use mechanical, cultural, and biological control options first.
  • Be alert for both insect pests and predators. Some pests can be hand picked without using a pesticide. Do not spray if predators such as lady beetles are present. Spray only when there are too few predators to be effective.

Lawn

  • Warm-season grass lawns can be established beginning late April from sprigs, plugs, or sod. (HLA-6419)
  • Fertilizer programs can begin for warm-season grasses in April. The following recommendations are to achieve optimum performance and appearance of commonly grown species in Oklahoma.
    • Zoysiagrass: 3 lbs N/1,000 sq. ft./year
    • Bahiagrass: 3 lbs N/1,000 sq. ft./year
    • Buffalograss: 2 – 3 lbs N/1,000 sq. ft./year
    • Buffalograss/grama mixes: 3 lbs N/1,000 sq. ft./year
    • Bermudagrass: 4-6 lbs N/1,000 sq. ft./year
    • Centipedegrass: 2 lbs N/1,000 sq. ft./year
    • St. Augustinegrass: 3-6 lbs N/1,000 sq. ft./year

When using quick release forms of fertilizer, use 1 pound of actual nitrogen per 1,000 sq. ft. per application; water in nitrate fertilizers. (HLA-6420)

  • Mowing of warm-season lawns can begin now (HLA-6420). Cutting height for bermudagrass and zoysiagrass should be 1 to 1½ inches high, and buffalograss 1 ½ to 3 inches high.
  • Damage from Spring Dead Spot Disease (SDS) becomes visible in bermudagrass (EPP‑7665). Perform practices that promote grass recovery. Do not spray fungicides at this time for SDS control.
  • Grub damage can be visible in lawns at this time. Check for the presence of grubs before ever applying any insecticide treatments. Apply appropriate soil insecticide if white grubs are a problem (EPP-7306). Water product into soil.

Download the entire list of tips here