Spring in the Boise Valley gives would-be gardeners four chances to start a garden. If soils and weather cooperate, early garden veggies can be planted in March. But April is fine for planting any early produce—and potatoes. Perhaps you prefer weather more hospitable to the gardener and don’t care about starting early. If so, May is not too late to plant even the cool weather vegetables. If you are running behind schedule, early June planting will at least salvage the year for growing warm-weather crops like corn and tomatoes.
As soon as the weather is settled, early cabbage, broccoli, lettuce, and cauliflower plants may be set out. It is  a wise plan to scatter a few radish seeds in the rows when carrots, beets, parsnips, and salsify are being planted, because the radishes will come up quickly and mark the rows for cultivation.
Plant carrots beginning the second week of April and corn on the 30th or thereafter. If you wish to grow your own petunias April is the time to start flowering plants in the house. Warm weather vegetables like peppers, eggplant, and tomatoes can be planted in early-to-mid April and will be ready to set out in late May.
When transplanting strawberries in the home garden, plan to use only strong, clean plants. Small, weak plants with discolored roots or any other abnormal features should be discarded. Set the plants so that the crown will be just even with the surface.
Ammonium sulphate has been found to be the most important fertilizer for blueberry plants. Spread a quarter pound around each mature plant twice in the growing season. Use less for young plants.
The pruning of evergreen hedges, especially arborvitae, boxwood and yew, may be undertaken just before growth starts. Amateurs should avoid removing any but last year’s growth. April is a good month to plant perennials. Prune roses beginning late in April or early in May.
If some perennials look frowzy, it may be time to take a shovel or spading fork and break up some of the clumps of crowns and roots. Space the healthy outer portions of the clumps around to allow them room to grow. Discard the center portions. Some plants don’t appreciate being divided in the spring: peony, oriental poppy, platycodon, baby’s breath, and gas plant.
Bare spaces in the lawn may be lightly reseeded if more than a foot across. An application of fertilizer and plenty of water may be more effective if the bare spaces are smaller. In any event, be sparing of the seed.
Bright yellow forsythia blossoms are a reminder that April is time to fertilize shrubs. Forsythia time is also the time to apply pre-emergent herbicides to thwart lawn invaders like crabgrass and spotted spurge.
Edward Farrington contributed items to this article.

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