When do you want to see the first flowers in your garden? How to protect yourself from hemorrhagic fever? When should potatoes be prepared for planting? Lyubov ZANINA, deputy head of the Rosselkhozcenter branch in the Republic of Tatarstan, tells about what work should be carried out at the dacha and in the garden in April.
On the first visit to the country in the spring, you need to take poisoned baits against mouse-like rodents with you. Spread poisoned baits around sheds, houses, buildings and lay out baits in the area where you see holes. This year the winter has been mild and the snow cover has been extensive – these are ideal conditions for rodents to breed, so their numbers are expected to increase. You also need to protect yourself from hemorrhagic fever: work in the garden only with gloves, clean the house on the first visit, wash everything thoroughly with gloves and preferably in a medical mask.
If in the fall you did not prune the trees in the garden, then it should be done in the first decade of April – before the start of sap flow. If you arrived at the dacha later, then you can cut only broken, dried, missing branches. Be sure to disinfect the cuts with garden pitch or oil paint.
If the whitewashing of trees has disappeared after the winter or you did not whitewash in the fall, then fruit trees need to be whitewashed. This is done not for beauty, but to protect them from sunburn, since in spring the sun warms up very much, which leads to damage to the bark of trees. I recommend adding more copper sulfate to the whitewash – one or two grams – to disinfect the bark.
With the spring awakening of nature in the garden, an important period of processing shrubs and fruit trees from the wintering phases of pests and diseases begins. One of the most effective protective methods is spraying berry bushes and garden trees in early spring, when the last snow has just melted, with the pesticide Preparation 30 Plus with the addition of the biofungicide Rizoplan.
After the snow melts, do not forget to remove the covering material with which you covered the onions and garlic planted in the fall. Open roses, grapes, strawberries so that there is no decay and the plants do not die. When you open the roses, carefully inspect them and cut off the spots that have become stained to a healthy area. If the branches are thick, sprinkle them with ashes, and remove the root growth.
Onion sets are also being prepared for planting in April. When buying, you need to pay attention to the size of the set. The optimal size is about 2 cm. If it is larger, it will go to a green feather. So that the sevoke does not go into the “arrow”, before planting it must be warmed up for a week at room temperature, if the house is from 25 degrees and warmer, or near radiators. Then, before planting, the dry part of the “neck” must be cut off to the “shoulders”: we are talking about the very 5 cm that are left for the duration of the onion storage. If they are not cut off, then the apical bud will not be able to germinate freely, it will have to expend energy to overcome these dried 5 cm.
It is important to disinfect the sevoke. Soak it in water for 10-12 hours at room temperature or soak it in a solution of copper sulfate – one teaspoon per 10 liters of water. A solution of potassium permanganate is also suitable – two to three grams per 10 liters of water; or a fungicide solution (rhizoplane, pseudo bacterin-2, phytosport M and others). After planting the sowing, the bed needs to be rolled up, for example, with a roller or a board – this simple agricultural technique is used by many experienced gardeners.
In the greenhouse, when the ground thaws, sow radishes, dill and parsley there in order to get the first crop of greens already on the May holidays.
If the potatoes are stored in the cellar in the country, then in April you need to prepare them for planting. Take the tubers out of the cellar, sort them out and expose them to the light so that they turn green and sprout.
In April, avid flower growers already take out dahlia and gladiolus bulbs to check their condition after winter. They are disinfected in a 1% potassium permanganate solution (20–30 minutes) or in an antibiotic solution (day). Dahlias can be planted in the ground for seedlings so that the bulbs germinate and bloom earlier. Gladiolus should be left at room temperature for germination. You can do this already in early April, or you can do it in the middle, depending on when you want to see the first flowers.