Check local sales just in time for frost-free planting

Buy azaleas while they are in bloom so you can see their color.
Buy azaleas while they are in bloom so you can see their color.

Spring officially arrived on March 20, and our spring bloom period is underway with the green film of pollen expected soon. The days are lengthening and Daylight Saving Time affords us more opportunities to work in our gardens in the evening. If you have spring fever, it is understandable.

April is a great time to plant. Annual bedding plants can be put out once we are past our frost-free date of April 15. If you are looking for some bedding plants and landscape perennials to fill in your beds, April is filled with plant sales that are sure to have just what you need as well of a lot of things you don’t need but want and will happily purchase. Here is a quick rundown.

On April 13-14 two big plant sales are underway. Lichterman Nature Center’s plant sale specializes in native plants. The Memphis Botanic Garden is the home of the other big plant sale, offering many plants grown on site.

April 20-22 is the Bartlett City Beautiful plant sale. Bartlett City Beautiful does not receive any funds from the city, and the organization uses this event as its primary fundraiser. Organizers promise great plants at reasonable prices. Hours will be 9 a.m.-6 p.m. April 20-21 and 1-4 p.m. April 22. Visit them under the green-and-white tent at 5777 Stage Road in Bartlett, next to Sheridan’s Frozen Custard. For details, contact Tom Rieman at (901) 386-7939.

April to-do list

  • Plant: Roses (no later than April 15). Buy azaleas while in bloom so you can see the color. After April 15 plant annuals and warm-weather vegetables, caladiums and container plants.
  • Lawn care: Spot control weeds with herbicides. Overseed any thin fescue lawn by the end of the month.
  • Fertilize: Spring blooming shrubs after blooming.
  • Prune: Flowering shrubs as soon as they finish blooming.
  • Other: Inspect plants for insect damage and fungal disease and treat as needed. Late in month move houseplants outside.

TOM RIEMAN can be reached at