Monthly Garden Calendar for Hawaii

Organic Gardening Month-to-Month Almanac

By Joan Conrow



April is the month that truly welcomes Spring and her glorious riot of lush, unrestrained growth. Blossoms bust out everywhere, trees sport tender new leaves, grass gets taller seemingly before our eyes, seeds germinate quickly and weeds pop up overnight. The cloudy, cool, windy days of March are forgotten, replaced by soft breezes, frequent morning showers and lots of sunshine. We gain 33 minutes of daylight over 30 days, making it easy to give your garden the extra time and attention it needs right now. So take a cue from the birds and raise your voice in song—or at least whistle a happy tune—as you're reminded once again of life's eager desire to begin anew.

Cinder and Compost Solution. Apply a thin layer of cinder and compost mixed in equal parts to create a top dressing for the soil around native plants and blooming shrubs.

Get Informed About GMO (genetically modified organisms) In Hawaii. Controversy is mounting over plans to insert a rice gene into Chinese taro to create a hardy ornamental. Some worry it could contaminate edible taro, a staple crop with profound cultural significance for Native Hawaiians.

Sharpen Your Mower Blade. Dull blades cut unevenly, making your lawn more susceptible to disease.

Test Your Soil pH Before You Start Planting. The University of Hawaii cooperative extension service does testing for a small fee, and can offer advice for balancing soil acidity. Or buy a kit and do it yourself.

Extend Spring Cleaning Into The Yard. Collect dead leaves, fallen branches and rotting fruit. Remove wind-damaged leaves, banana, and dried fronds from palms. Check hoses and faucets for leaks. Inspect plants for scale, white fly and other pest infestations and diseases.

Glorious Greens. Add cilantro to kale, collards, spinach, luau (taro) leaf and other greens while steaming to enhance flavor and reduce bitterness.

Soap Solution. Spray a mixture of one part neem oil to four parts liquid soap (use a natural brand like Dr. Bronners) and eight parts water on sago palms and citrus to fight scale.

Seed Sowing. Sow seeds for cucumbers, green beans, lettuce, radishes, daikon, Chinese greens, okra, eggplant, peppers, soybeans, arugula, beets, broccoli and collards directly in the ground.

Plant Edible Ginger. Purchase organic ginger root that has new growth buds. Lay sections horizontally in a sunny, well-worked bed, with buds pointed up. Cover with a thin layer of rich soil and keep evenly moist. It'll be ready to harvest in the fall, when the leaves die back.