Whether you live in Florida or Virginia, April is a great time to get out in the garden when the soil is warm but the heat isn’t yet oppressive. But what exactly should you be doing in your garden in the southern states? Keep reading to learn more about April gardening tasks for the South.
April in the Southeast
The Southeast region of the United States ranges down much of the East Coast, including Virginia, the Carolinas, Georgia, Florida, and Alabama. Although the climate in these states can vary dramatically, they are all similar in that April is an exciting time with relatively mild temperatures and bursts of new growth everywhere.
That means it’s the perfect time to get out into the garden.
Gardening To-Do List
So what April garden chores should you be thinking about this month? Here are the basics:
- Plant vegetables: April is the time to begin planting warm season vegetables. Early in the month, especially in more northern regions, you will probably want to start your seeds indoors. If you’re farther south, or it’s later in the month, and nighttime temperatures are steadily above 50 F. (10 C.), you can sow them directly in the ground. If you buy seedlings, plant them directly in the garden as soon as temperatures are warm enough as well.
- Move winterized plants outside: When nighttime temperatures are over 50 F. (10 C.), you can start moving most winterized tender and tropical container plants outside. Just keep an eye on the forecast and be ready to provide protection in case of a cold snap.
- Plant bulbs: April is a good time to plant frost-tender bulbs and tubers, such as canna, caladium, gladiolus, lily, and iris.
- Inspect for pests: Be on the lookout for pests, especially aphids.
- Maintain moisture: Mulch around plants and water during dry spells.
- Plant larger plants: If you’re looking to add perennials, shrubs, or trees to your landscape, now is a good time to do it. Plant warm season grasses too.
- Visit garden centers: With spring in full force, garden centers will be brimming with new plants and fresh ideas. Take a stroll down the aisles and let inspiration wash over you.
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The only child of a horticulturist and an English teacher, Liz Baessler was destined to become a gardening editor. She has been with Gardening Know how since 2015, and a Senior Editor since 2020. She holds a BA in English from Brandeis University and an MA in English from the University of Geneva, Switzerland. After years of gardening in containers and community garden plots, she finally has a backyard of her own, which she is systematically filling with vegetables and flowers.