The Essential Guide for April Lawn & Garden Maintenance

It’s spring!  There’s yard work to do!

Are you ready to get this (garden) party started?!?

Check out our essential guide for April lawn and garden maintenance to get expert advice and timely tips on what to plant, pests and diseases to anticipate this month, and steps to take to get your lawn and garden in tip-top shape this spring!

  • Get garden and flower beds ready to plant by adding Marcum’s Nursery Redbud Compost to your beds.
  • Control cedar-apple rust! When orange jelly galls are visible on juniper (cedar), begin treating apple and crabapple trees with ferti-lome® Copper Fungicide or ferti-lome® Broad Spectrum Fungicide. 
  • Apply ferti-lome® Fire Blight Spray to help control and prevent blight on crabapple, pears, and fruit-bearing trees when they begin to bloom.  This is the only opportunity to apply this prevention.
  • Apply ferti-lome® Rose & Flower Food with Systemic Insecticide to rose plants once every four to six weeks during the growing season.
  • Remove winter-damaged branches and plants that have not begun to grow by mid-April.  Once flowering is complete on spring flowering plants, like forsythia and flowering quince, you can prune them back to the desired size and shape.
  • Let spring-flowering bulb foliage remain as long as possible before removing it.  Gently pull or cut back the foliage to ground level once it has yellowed and died.  Cutting foliage too soon prevents the bulbs from photosynthesis which is how they store energy for the next season’s blooms.
  • Now is the time to apply preventative treatment for powdery mildew and leaf spot diseases.  Use ferti-lome® Liquid Systemic Fungicide II before fungal problems begin.
  • Apply 3/4” of Gold Diamond Western Red Cedar mulch or Classic Grade A Cedar Mulch™ to control weeds in beds.
Copper Soap

Soil temperatures determine when weeds emerge in winter and spring. Most weeds germinate after three consecutive days of 50°F soil temperature at a depth of 2 inches.  The Mesonet website is useful for monitoring soil temperatures in Oklahoma ( They also have a free app for Apple and android phones.  It’s better to apply pre-emergent too early rather than too late; once seeds have germinated, pre-emergent is no longer effective.  If you miss some weed seeds in the pre-emergent herbicide process (or if you don’t do it at all), don’t fret; we have effective post-emergent herbicides as well….

  • Apply pre-emergent herbicides early this month to prevent weeds from popping up later.  We recommend and stock the following pre-emergent products:
    • Granular Pre-Emergent Herbicides
    • Liquid Pre-Emergent Herbicides
      • Ike’s Sandbur & Crabgrass Preventer
  • DO NOT apply pre-emergent herbicides to areas where you will seed lawns or plant any other type of seed in the next three to four months; pre-emergent herbicides, when used properly, prevent ALL seeds (not just weed seeds) from germinating.  If you’re wondering how long you can expect your pre-emergent herbicide to remain effective, plan on 60-110 days (depending on the herbicide and weather conditions).  
  • Apply ferti-lome® Weed Free Zone, a post-emergent broadleaf herbicide, to control broadleaf weeds.  Weed Free Zone is effective at lower temperatures than other post-emergent herbicides making it especially useful in the early spring months.  You can also use Hi-Yield® Killzall™ to kill weeds that have popped up in dormant bermudagrass lawns.  
  • Preventative treatment for white grubs can be applied from late April to mid-May, but only apply in areas with a history of grub problems.  Use Hi-Yield® Grub Free Zone III when white grubs are newly hatched and before they can cause turf damage.  
  • Control cutworms and pillbugs using Hi-Yield® Ant Killer Granules.
  • In late April or early May, you should make the second application of fertilizer on cool-season lawns.  We recommend and stock the following fertilizers:
  • To treat weeds in your cool-season lawns, we recommend and stock the following post-emergent herbicides:
  • Mow cool-season grasses 1½ to 3¾ inches high.
  • Preventative treatment for white grubs can be applied from late April to mid-May, but only apply in areas with a history of grub problems.  Use Hi-Yield® Grub Free Zone III when white grubs are newly hatched and before they can cause turf damage.


  • Plant your container and Ball & Burlap (B & B) trees.
  • Shrubs and perennials can also be planted now.
  • By mid-April, most bedding plants, summer flowering bulbs, and annual flower seeds can also be planted as the average last frost is in mid-April for most parts of Oklahoma.
  • Marcum’s Nursery has you (and your crops) covered when it comes to soil choices!  We, of course, carry all kinds of amendments for those looking to create their own soil, but we really recommend the following soils based on the type of garden you are planting:
Premium Raised Bed Mix

This soil is our recommendation for raised bed gardens.  It is ready-to-use and provides all the nutrients your plants will need for a growing season.  It’s available at all locations. 

Ingredients and ratios as follows:

1/3 screened topsoil
1/3 Redbud Living Soil (details below)
1/9 Redbud Compost (details below)
1/9 Pine Bark Mulch
1/9 Pumice

Redbud Compost

Marcum’s Nursery’s own brand of fully finished compost.  We recommend this product with every plant we sell!  It is great for amending existing soil as it adds loads of beneficial microbes and loosens our often compact, clay-like soil.  Add it to gardens each year to promote soil and plant health.  It is available in 40lb bags at all our locations.  

Ingredients include:

Horse Manure and Shavings
Food Byproducts

Redbud Living Soil

Marcum’s Nursery’s own blend of nutrient-packed, organic potting soil.  This is great for small container gardening as it is ready-to-use and provides all the nutrients plants need for a growing season.  It is available in bulk at all locations.

Ingredients include:

Redbud Compost
Peat Moss
Rice Hulls
Oyster Shells
Kelp Meal
Alfalfa Meal
Crustacean Meal
Fish Bone Meal
Diatomaceous Earth


This is a great option for leveling, sod installation, in-ground planting, and amending existing soil.  It is available in bulk at all locations.
Ingredients and ratios as follows:

70% turned topsoil
30% Redbud Compost

  • In the Lawn Care section above, we mentioned early control for grubworms using Hi-Yield® Grub Free Zone III as well as cutworms and pillbugs using Hi-Yield® Ant Killer Granules.  We also carry NemaKnights™ for the treatment of grubs in small areas of your yard.  NemaKnights™ Biological Insect Control is effective against grubs, weevils, borers, and more, and it is safe for birds and other wildlife.
  • Now is also a good time to apply ferti-lome® Tree & Shrub Drench to trees and shrubs.  This treatment provides up to 12 months of systemic protection from a host of insect pests.

Available at any Marcum’s Nursery location, SoilKit provides all the supplies needed for a quick and easy soil collection. Your soil will be tested by one of the nation’s leading agricultural labs. SoilKit will provide you with easy-to-understand results and soil treatment recommendations to keep your lawn and garden healthy.

Note:  Thanks to Oklahoma Coop Extension Service for providing some of the suggested maintenance guidelines. 

For questions regarding April maintenance guidelines, please call Goldsby at (405) 288-2368, Oklahoma City at (405) 691-9100, Norman at (405) 447-3100, or Ardmore at (580) 223-1846.