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Spring Gardening Tips


– Plan planting areas based on exposure to sun, shade, and wind; consider distance from water source

– Test for soil types and pH levels before major planting

Chores and Maintenance

– Carefully remove winter mulches from planting beds

– Dig beds in preparation for spring planting as soon as earth is friable

– Add compost in four to six inch layers and work into planting bed soil

– Remove protective cover from evergreens

– Reset frost-heaved plants

– Apply horticultural oil sprays to dormant trees and shrubs before buds open and if there is no danger of night frost

– As ground becomes workable, de-thatch lawn; fill in low spots with soil; fertilize established lawns


– Plant deciduous and evergreen trees and shrubs, weather and soil conditions permitting

– Sow seeds of annuals and vegetables indoors that require 10 to 12 weeks before transplanting

– Sow radish and lettuce seeds directly into the vegetable garden

– Plant cold weather vegetables like spinach, peas, lettuce, and broccoli as soon as soil is workable

– Plant and transplant perennials

– Divide and transplant summer-blooming perennials

– Soak mail order bare-root plants before planting

– Plant roses


– Prune all plant material to remove any diseased, dead, weak, or crossing branches

– Complete tree pruning before new growth begins

– Prune late-flowering shrubs such as buddleia and Hydrangea paniculata but wait until after flowering on early-flowering shrubs like forsythia, Hydrangea macrophylla, rhododendron, and syringa

– Wait to prune evergreens, hedges, and other shrubs until late spring into early summer

– Prune all fruit trees before growth begins

– Prune hybrid tea roses, floribundas, and grandifloras but wait until after flowering on climbers and ramblers

– Prune back leggy perennials

– Cut back ornamental grasses to new shoots

– Fertilize deciduous, broad-leaved and needle-leaved evergreen trees and shrubs if not fed in the fall

– Apply fertilizer to roses as new growth begins

– Fertilize and lime vegetable garden


– Begin to transplant pot-bound houseplants

– Continue to inspect for pests and control as needed

– Cut back leggy houseplants