Spring Gardening Checklist

(April 23, 2017 )



Early Spring


Check for signs of growth
Did you remember to plant bulbs last fall? If not, cut forsythia or magnolia branches to bring inside for forcing to get a dose of early spring color.

Prep the beds
Remove winter mulch or, if well composted, work into the top layer of the soil. Work in some leaf mold or well-rotted manure, too.

Prune

Now is the time to trim fruit trees if you didn't prune in winter. Prune before buds begin to break into bloom or you'll stress the tree and get a tiny crop (or possibly none).

Divide perennials

Before plants have begun spring growth is a good time to divide many perennials.

Perform basic maintenance

Check stonework for frost damage. Check and clean the deck now so you don't have to do it later and make any repairs needed.

Start seeds indoors
 
You've spent the winter reading seed and plant catalogs, so try some.

Plant veggies

Hardy vegetables, such as onions, potatoes, artichokes, and some lettuces, should be planted now.



Mid-Spring


Build new flower beds
This year, install complementary shrubs offering blooms throughout the season.

Stop feeding the birds
Take down and clean feeders, put them away until fall.

Plant hardy annuals

Sow seeds outdoors or transplant seedlings.

Apply mulch

If you mulch now, you'll have next-to-no weeding come summer.



Late Spring


Deadhead bulbs
Remove spent blossoms from spring-flowering bulbs; let foliage die back without removing it.

Go shopping

Pick out flats of your favorite bedding plants; remember to pick ones not yet in bloom for stronger plants.

Prune spring-flowering shrubs

Trim away spent blooms, and thin too-thick branches to rejuvenate older plants.