Spring Garden Guide:
What To Do In The Yard & Garden Now
wait to get back to the garden?
Use this handy spring garden
guide to get started. Believe it or not, the key is avoid
getting too impatient and doing certain jobs too soon.
Early spring jobs: in the yard
winter cleanup of the lawn when the grass is no longer
sopping wet and planting beds stop being a sea of mud.
Rake your lawn to get rid of dead growth, stray leaves,
twigs and winter debris and let light and air to the soil
level, encouraging the grass to grow.
bare or damaged patches of lawn. Scratch up the soil with
a rake first. Mix a shovel of soil with a couple of scoops
of grass seed and spread in the patch you're fixing. Rake
level and keep well-watered until seeds germinate and
the new grass establishes.
"Getting on top of the weeding now means a lot
less work later. Weeds are easier to pull out while their roots are still shallow in early spring."
tree guards or burlap winter protection from any young
trees or shrubs. Try not to leave tree guards in place
over the summer. They keep rabbits and mice from nibbling
on tender bark over the winter, but trees don't need them
in summer. They don't allow enough air movement around
the base of the trunk and that can promote rot of the
any existing shrubs you want to move before they begin
to leaf out.
• Weeds start growing vigorously early, so when you spot them,
go to it. Getting on top of the weeding now means a lot
less work later. Weeds are easier to pull out while their
roots are still shallow in early spring.
dormant oil spray to fruit trees, magnolias, crabapples
and shrubs such as euonymous to control scale insects
and other overwintering pests. Use this organic pest control
method when the buds are swelling but the leaves haven't
opened yet. Apply when temperatures are between 40 and
70 degrees F (4-21 degrees C).
your lawn mower checked and its blades sharpened if you
didn't get the job done in late winter. Sharp blades cut
better and leave your lawn grass healthier.
Early spring jobs: in the flower garden
be in a rush to remove winter mulch or to cut back evergreen
plants such as lavender until temperatures are reliably
and thaw cycles over the winter may given some of your
plants the heave-ho. Replant any perennials that the frost
has heaved out of the ground as soon as you can.
back any remaining dead perennial foliage from last season
(trimmings can go into the compost).
back ornamental grasses to about 10 inches from the ground.
• Remove winter protection of mounded earth from roses. Prune rose bushes before they start to leaf out.
• Resist the urge to start digging in your garden flower beds too early. You can damage the soil's structure. If you pick up a
handful of soil, it should fall apart, not stick together like glue. When it's dry enough, you can start to dig
beds and add compost or manure in preparation for planting.
growth is vigorous in the early spring garden, so edge
your flower beds with a sharp trench between them and
the grass to keep it in bounds. Repeat this job a couple
of times through the season, or installing permanent edging
goes a long way towards having a lower maintenance flower
Yvonne Cunnington is an avid gardener and the author of Clueless
in the Garden: A Guide for the Horticulturally Helpless. Visit her website http://www.flower-gardening-made-easy.com
for more flower gardening tips.