crocus flower

April Gardening Tips

Hello Friends, Neighbors, Fellow Gardeners,

Spring  weather is finally here in April and there are plenty of activities where you can celebrate the season, including Earth Month festivities and Arbor AprilEarthMonth2016Day on Wednesday, April 5th.  Here are some garden tips, educational opportunities, and events for April. Events include an Earth Day Scavenger Hunt,  Earth Day Festivals, an Earth Day Campfire, Brookside Garden’s Wings of Fancy, Native Plant Sale, Spring Grow It Eat It Event in Derwood, MD, Sowing the Seeds of Victory: Montgomery County Farms During World War I at the Agricultural History Farm Park, our program on “Garden Critters” by Mary Hagedorn, Montgomery County Master Gardener, on Tuesday, April 25th at our Mill Creek Towne Garden Club’s meeting, and more!


  • Take an inventory of pots and containers. Clean or replenish potted soil.
  • Design new beds and gardens.
  • Plan landscape design projects.
  • Mark beds outside where new plants will go.
  • Prepare containers for planting.
  • Check out garden centers for discounted house plants.
  • Attend a local garden club meeting.BestGardeningVideosCollages27
  • The Very Best Videos that Teach Spring Gardening
    Good Gardening Videos · NEW! The best videos for these 3 big jobs in the spring garden.
  • Go on a local house or garden tour to see what plants are thriving in other’s area home gardens:

Flowers and Groundcovers:

  • Gently clean up the garden; add 1 inch of compost.
  • Remove and discard dead annuals and old growth on perennials.
  • Transplant seedlings into individual 3″–4″ pots when crowded. Water when dry to touch.
  • Pinch out growing tips of leggy transplants. tulips
  • After spring bulbs bloom, let leaves turn yellow and die before trimming.
  • Transplant spring flowering bulbs after flowering.
  • Begin hardening off hardier transplants. Sow seeds outdoors of hardier annuals.
  • Add organic matter to beds.
  • Start seeds for: Cosmos, Celosia, Impatiens, Petunias, Tall Marigolds, Tall Zinnias
  • Pests to watch for: aphids, slugs, snails, deer, squirrels
  • Diseases to watch for:  Botrytis on peonies, Volutella blight on pachysandra.
  • See UMD’s HGIC’s April Flower tips for more details.

Trees and Shrubs:

  • Plan to plant a tree for Arbor Day on April 5th.
  • Plant trees, shrubs, perennials; this is a good time to plant evergreens.
  • Prune broken, dead, or diseased branches.
  • Prune azaleas when they finish blooming. Do not fertilize newly planted or transplanted plants the first year.
  • Soil test established trees that have not been performing well. azaleas
  • Keep mowers and trimmers away from trunks!
  • Prune winter damage on evergreens when new growth begins.
  • Test soil pH on some hydrangeas and adjust: pH 5–5.5 for blue; pH 6–6.5 for pink.
  • Pests to watch for: Eastern tent caterpillar, gypsy moths, scale, sawfly, spidermites, leafminers, caterpillars.
  • Diseases to watch for: Anthracnose, Exobasidium gall on azaleas, Phytophthora, top dieback and root rot on azaleas.
  • See HGIC’s April Trees and Shrubs Tips for more details.

Herbs, Veggies, and Fruit:

  • Keep all transplants watered deeply for 2–3 weeks.
  • Harden off cool season transplants. Plant asparagus.
  • Sow seeds of carrots, endive, sunflowers, and lettuce.
  • Do not set out seedlings or tender annuals until after Mother’s Day (traditional last frost-free date for our entire area).
  • Thin seedlings.
  • Direct-sow early, cool-season crops as soon as ground can be worked. Good choices are peas, lettuces, mustards, onion sets, kale, and cabbages.
  • Put up trellises and teepees for peas and beans to climb on.vegetable_garden
  • Build a raised bed for vegetables. Add lots of manure and compost.
  • Protect tender plants by covering them up with some type of cloth material, if an unusually cold day or night is forecast. Be sure to uncover when it warms up.
  • Pests to watch for: rabbits, deer, woodchucks, birds.
  • Diseases to watch for: Damping off of seedlings. Fireblight of pears and apples.
  • Here are some more fruit and vegetable gardening tips for April from UMD’s HGIC.


  • Dethatch if necessary and plug aerate BEFORE applying weed control.
  • Start lawn seeding. Reseed bare spots or overseed (through early April).
  • Mow high to reduce weeds and stress: Fescue and Bluegrass: 3″ – 3 1/2″
  • Control wild onions in warm season turf with broadleaf weed control.
  • Clean yard of all leaves and other debris.
  • Apply pre-emergent weed control such as corn gluten.
  • Turn your compost pile weekly and don’t let it dry out. Work compost into your planting beds.
  • Diseases to watch for: dollar spot, brown patch and red thread
  • Pests to watch for: Grubs, voles
  • See HGIC’s April Lawn Tips for more details.


  • Repot larger plants that are going outside for the summer.
  • Repot root-bound houseplants and start fertilizing them.
  • Buy an indoor plant to liven up your office space. Try an orchid or African violet.
  • Pests to watch for: aphids, spidermites, mealybug, scale.
  • See HGIC’s April Houseplants Tips for more tips.

Indoor/Outdoor Insect and Wildlife Tips:

  • Put up bird houses.birdbath
  • Feed birds and provide nesting material (try dryer lint) as well as houses for the start of their family season.
  • Keep bird feeders clean and filled and provide a source of water.
  • Check indoors for termites and winter ants.
  • Set out traps for mice, moles, and voles.
  • See HGIC’s April Insect Tips for more details.
  • Watch for: carpenter ants, flies, stink bugs, termites, rabbits, raccoons, groundhogs, deer, moles, snakes, squirrels, and voles.
  • For more information on wildlife management and attracting wildlife see HGIC’s April Wildlife tips.

Source: University of Maryland’s Home and Garden Information Center (HGIC) and the Washington Gardener.

Please Support the Mill Creek Towne Garden Club

Hello Friends, Neighbors,

Please support the Mill Creek Towne Garden Club! Your donations will help us continue to provide garden-related programs to the community and pay for maintaining and landscaping the Mill Creek Towne main entrances. donate-today-button

We accept donations throughout the year. Thanks to all of you that have recently donated as well as those of you who have supported us in the past years! Thanks for your continued support of the Mill Creek Towne Garden Club and our community programs!

Mill Creek Towne Garden Club – Derwood, Maryland | | Like us on Facebook


See below for upcoming local events in April.


Montgomery Parks Special Events & Festivals

More events are being added regularly. Please check back often!

Save the dates for these upcoming Spring events!   Events include an Earth Day Scavenger Hunt,  Earth Day Festivals, an Earth Day Campfire, Brookside Garden’s Wings of Fancy, Native Plant Sale, Spring Grow It Eat It Event, Sowing the Seeds of Victory: Montgomery County Farms During World War I at the Agricultural History Farm Park, our program on “Garden Critters” by Mary Hagedorn, Montgomery County Master Gardener, on Tuesday, April 25th at our Mill Creek Towne Garden Club’s meeting, and more!


Egg Hunt

Friday, April 7 | Hunts begin at 10 a.m.
Meadowside Nature Center, RockvilleEasterHunt

Search for real eggs in our meadow, then dye and decorate the eggs you find. Enjoy other spring-themed activities throughout the event as well. Fun for the entire family! Don’t forget to bring a basket to collect your eggs. Reservations are required (we want to be sure we have enough eggs for all!)



Mill Creek Towne Garden Club Meeting Topic: Garden Critters

Tuesday, April 25, 2017
garden-critters7:30 p.m.

Mill Creek Towne Elementary School
Teacher’s Lounge
17700 Park Mill Drive
Derwood, MD 20855

Please plan to join us for a program on “Garden Critters” at our upcoming April meeting where we will learn about garden critters from Mary Hagedorn, Montgomery County Master Gardener.

For questions or to RSVP, contact us at

Native Plant Sale

Friday, April 28 | 3pm – 7pm
Saturday, April 29 | 10am – 3pm

Black-Eyed_Susan photo
Black-Eyed Susan

Sunday, April 30 | 1pm – 3pm
Black Hill Visitors Center, Boyds
20926 Lake Ridge Drive
Boyds, Maryland 20841


Shop ’til you drop for nursery-propagated native wildflowers for your yard and garden, many of which are nectar and host plants for butterflies. The sale is offered by the Friends of Black Hill Nature Programs (FOBH), and all proceeds are donated to Black Hill Nature Programs. Are you a Friend? If so, then you’re in luck! There’s a FOBH Members Only preview sale on Thursday April 28 from 5 – 7 pm. Visit our website to view the plant list and download the application to become a Friend. No registration required. The site of the sale is at the fenced area across from the Black Hill Park Office; look for the sign.


Spring Grow It Eat It Event

Saturday, April 29th

Montgomery County Extension (Agricultural History Farm Park)
18410 Muncaster Road
Derwood MD 20855growiteatit_April2017

The Grow It Eat It Spring Event is April 29! There are activities for adults and children. Master Gardener consultants will be answer your gardening questions at our plant clinic. Attend our event classes, workshops*, and children’s programs*.

Event Classes/Workshops:

Grow It Eat It Spring Event
Girl Scouts
Boy Scouts
Discovery Program


Family Archaeology Day

Saturday, May 6 | Noon – 4 pm
Needwood Mansion, Rock Creek Regional Park
$10 per person or $20 per person

Bring a bag lunch and stay for the day! Montgomery Parks staff will be on hand for tours of Needwood Mansion, simulated archaeology dig for children, and storytelling. Old-time games and crafts will also round out a family-fun filled day!

More Info

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