Very Early Spring
Start dreaming of your gardens. Start sketching how you’d like it to look when it is in full bloom, framing your front walkway, the back deck, and just generally punctuating your landscape. This is the best time to let your imagination go wild and envision the perfect garden. Just remember to be realistic if you alone have to do all the work to plant that new or extended garden plot.
Next, you’ll want to get your hands on some seed catalogs and pour a large cup of tea, hot chocolate or coffee. I like to bundle up and sit on the front porch or deck during Spring for my garden planning day. It just sets the tone and gives me the perfect view for my visualization. So out come the seed catalogs and I start shopping for unique annual seeds to compliment the existing perennials.
This is also a great time to plan out any new bushes and shrubs you’d like in your garden this year. When you’re done with the landscaping and flower gardens, why not start planning your vegetable garden too? Or a blend of both in a Victory Garden.
Check grow light kits and replace any weak bulbs.
Make a shopping list of nutrient rich soil and peat pots and pellets for starting both annual and perennial seeds.
Early Spring – Get in Your Garden
Divide perennials before plants begin spring growth.
Clean up all that nasty debris you left for the birds in the Fall but now lay rotting in your country garden flower bed!
Re-mulch perennial beds with a light coat of organic mulch.
Prune fruit trees now if you didn’t prune in winter. Prune before buds begin to break into bloom or risk tree stress. (Tools and Pruners)
Start seeds indoors. You’ve spent the winter dreaming of the day when gardening begins and pouring over the new seed catalogs…time to get growing! (see: Starting Annual Flowers)
Check gas gardening equipment – lawnmowers, tillers, etc. If you didn’t drain the fuel tanks and run motors dry before winter, pick up a gas stabilizer for 2 and 4 stroke engines to clean up gas residue in your equipment (you’ll find it at the hardware or auto supply store).
Also, check your equipment’s pull cords. Change spark plugs and oil.
Sharpen all blade-type cutting equipment and replace the string in your edger/trimmer.
Revisit your garden checklist. You’ll likely notice that some of the hardiest vegetables – such as onions, potatoes, artichokes, and some lettuces – can be planted now.
Light thinning can be done now to any shrub or tree except lilacs.
Prepare annual beds adding compost or fertilizer to the soil.
Apply mulch to all beds. Mulch now for minimal weeding throughout summer. I always say that summer if for enjoying the garden, not for incessant weeding of the gardens!
Late Spring (frost free nights)
If pruning isn’t on your garden checklist yet, add it now. After most spring-flowering shrubs are finished blooming you can start pruning.
Wait until after the last frost to plant annuals.
Deadhead spring flowering bulbs blossoms. Let foliage die back naturally without removing it as it feed the bulb for next year’s flowers.