early spring plant tips page
1. Feed Daffodils, Tulips and other spring flowering bulbs when first emerging in the spring. Use a fertilizer that is rich in organics and high in potassium. This will feed the bulb and ensure productive flowering for next spring.
2. Remove mulch from the crowns of rose bushes.
3. Early spring is a good time to plant new perennials.
4. Early spring is a good time to divide and move established perennials. As certain perennials such as Poppies and Peonies do not transplant easily, please consult your local nursery.
5. Clear your lawn of winter debris. Proper maintenance will reduce the chances of lawn disease.
6. This is a good time of the season for re-seeding bare spots. Spread seed evenly and cover with a thin layer of top soil. Keep moist until established - about 10-14 days.
7. Apply an early season application of a pre-emergent control for dormant weed seed.
8. Start summer flowering bulbs such as dahlias and other tuberous roots and rhizomes indoors. Beginning with an established transplant will allow for a longer flowering season.
9. Check winter mulch and add more if needed
10. Check garden beds for plants for exposed roots systems due to heaving. Cover exposed sections with soil and mulch in.
11. Begin flower, vegetable and herb seeds indoors. Refer to seed packet and your local last frost date to establish proper time table for transplanting.
12. This is a good time to prune deadwood and crossing branches from shade trees.
13. Apply a dormant oil spray on fruit trees. Temperatures should be above 45 F degrees. Refer to product label for directions.
14. Remove winter protection from perennial beds as growth starts.
15. Test soil pH; adjust for excessive acidity or alkalinity. Apply ground limestone to increase soil pH, Aluminum sulphate for reducing high pH.
16. Prune winter-damaged shrubs. Removed deadwood and diseased limbs.
17. Feed decidious shrubs and all ground covers with a general purpose fertilizer (5-10-5).
18. Fertilize acid-loving broadleaf evergreens with an organic fertilizer and top dress with organic compost.
19. Feed clematis, iris, and peonies with bonemeal and organic fertilizer.
20. Add ground limestone to the base of clematis vines.
21. Remove the mulch from strawberry beds as soon as the new growth starts. Keep an eye on the weather to recover quickly in case of frost or freezes.
22. Keep an eye out for lawn damage. If there is evidence of burrowing, it could be a sign of grub activity. Moles feed upon the emerging Japanese Beetle grubs. Treat for grubs in early spring and fall.
23. As soon as you can work the soil, add organic material such as composted cow manure and aged compost into your vegetable bed.
24. Early spring is a good time to plant cool-weather crops such as lettuce, spinach and peas.
25. Prune the deadwood from rose bushes as soon as the leaf buds start to swell.
26. Prune early flowering shrubs such as forsythia, PJM Rhododendrons and Lilacs right after bloom, before next year's buds have set.
27. Treat birch trees for miners with a systemic insecticide.
28. Start your tomatoe plants indoors now for transplanting outdoors in May. Keep the soil warm for speedy germination.
29. Plant asparagus crowns in a sunny spot in soil that drains well. You will need to dig a trench about a foot deep and add large amounts of compost, planting the crowns 1 foot apart and deep enough so that they will be 3-5 inches below the soil line.
30. Rake out your lawn with a stiff rake to remove moss from shady spots. Add topsoil, lime and reseed with a shade-tolerant fescue.