Gardening Checklist

Gather your equipment

  • ;Purchase any needed mulch, compost or other soil improvers, along with a good quality fertilizer to ensure a green, lush garden.
  • ;Use garden loppers and clippers to prune shrubs and roses, and a garden shovel to dig holes for new plants. A hoe or garden rake can be used to smooth soil.

 Get started

  • ;Look for areas that could be improved, plants that need to be removed, and spots that are bare and need greenery.
  • ;Now is the time to plan new flowerbeds, vegetable gardens or any other gardening projects.
  • ;Erect trellises, finish laying a path or complete construction on any planned raised flowerbeds.
  • ;Remove any debris, mulch or dead material left from the winter.
  • Soil amendments are added to correct specific problems. Peat moss will acidify the soil and retain moisture. Sand is added to improve drainage. Grass clippings or manure will break down quickly and add nutrients to the soil.

 Spruce up your shrubs and roses

  • ;Prune rosebushes and shrubs as soon as the danger of frost is past, removing dead branches and shaping plants for optimum growth.
  • ;A good rose-specific fertilizer will get your roses off to a healthy start. Apply once new growth appears.
  • ;Work an all-purpose granular fertilizer into the soil around shrubs.
  • These are sold in early spring at nurseries and garden centers, and are heavily pruned roses, packaged without soil. You will find the largest selection of roses during bare root season.
  • ;Look for healthy shrubs as they become available at the nursery.

Get to work on the lawn

  • ;Using a grass fertilizer that includes weed-killer will reduce your work later in the season.
  • ;Seed any dead or bare patches with a blend of grass seeds suitable for your area.
  • ;Now is the time to sharpen blades, change the oil and fill the gas tank.
  • ;Replace any broken or missing edging materials to keep your lawn looking neat and make mowing easier.

 Focus on your flowers

  • ;Start them indoors if in a cold-winter area; sow outdoors if in a mild-winter zone.
  • ;Work soil thoroughly in flowerbeds, adding compost to the top few inches.
  • ;Plant annuals or other small flowers once danger of frost is past.
  • ;Fill your containers with spring and summer-blooming flowers.
  • ;You will find the best selection of perennials at the nursery mid-to-late spring.
  • ;Dig up and divide any perennials that have formed large clumps, grown too big for their space or are looking unhealthy.

Take a look at your trees

  • ;Remove branches that spoil the tree's shape, rub against other branches, or block pathways.
  • ;Stake young trees between two supports for their first year's growth.

As spring warms up the ground, it's time to start waking up your garden, and preparing for the growing season ahead. Take the time now to plan and prepare your yard. By getting your garden prepped and ready for planting early in the spring, you can ensure it will be beautiful all summer long.

Tips

  • Depending on your climate, your spring gardening might start any time between February and May.
  • Most gardening tasks will begin around the average date of last frost for your area.
  • Use a good all-purpose slow-acting fertilizer for your shrubs, trees and flowers. Roses will do best with a fertilizer made for their specific needs.