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Ask an Expert: April gardening checklist

Concept of gardening on rustic wooden background
USU Extension

Contact: JayDee Gunnell,

The snow is finally melting, and soon it will be time to plant! Consider these tips to help you prepare. Included are tips and links from the Utah State University Extension Gardeners Almanac.

  • Plant seeds of cool-season vegetables (peas, lettuce, spinach, radishes) as soon as garden soil is workable.
  • Check out over 55 vegetable and herb fact sheets produced by USU Extension.
  • Consider planting peas in the garden every 2-3 weeks (until early May) to extend the harvest. 
  • Now is a great time to learn how to plant and harvest asparagus and rhubarb
  • Control young garden weeds by hoeing or hand-pulling.
  • Protect fruit blossoms and tender garden plants from late critical freezing temperatures.
  • If storing bulbs, check to make sure they are firm, and remove any soft or rotten bulbs.
  • Wait to prune roses until buds begin to swell to avoid late-frost damage to new growth.
  • Prune spring flowering shrubs (those that bloom before June) after they have bloomed to encourage new flower buds for next season.
  • Divide crowded, fall-blooming perennials.
  • Divide cool-season ornamental grasses when new growth begins to emerge.
  • Apply chelated iron (FeEDDHA) to plants that have had prior problems with iron chlorosis.
  • Use organic (wood chips or bark) mulches to retain soil moisture around shrubs and trees.
  • Plant a tree to celebrate National Arbor Day. The USU Tree Browser offers an interactive list of tree species adapted to the Intermountain West.
  • Apply pre-emergent herbicides in late March to mid-April to control annual weeds such as crabgrass and spurge in the lawn.
  • Learn about lawn care and planting
  • In compacted sites, aerate with a hollow core aerator when turfgrass is actively growing, usually from April to June.
  • Check your sprinkler system for leaks. Clean filters, and fix and align heads.

Pests and Problems:

For more tips, visit Here you will find information on gardening courses, growing and maintaining the yard and garden, drought resources, and the Extension Gardener’s Almanac with monthly tips.

Nicholas Porath is a Logan native and music lover. Having graduated from USU with a degree in broadcast journalism, it was while studying journalism that he found his niche and newfound love for radio. He first started out as an intern behind the scenes and eventually made his way to the production and control rooms where he worked as a fill-in host, as well as producer for numerous UPR programs including <i>Cropping Up, Access Utah, Behind the Headlines</i> and more. In 2023 he took on a new hurdle as UPR’s new Radio Broadcast Engineer. He still works as a programming producer and is a member of the Society of Broadcast Engineers.