- Prune, repot and clean houseplants, as needed.
- Fertilize houseplants as new growth appears. Follow label directions.
- If not done already, sketch garden plans, including what to grow, spacing, arrangement and number of plants needed.
- Order seeds and plants as early as soon as possible.
- Place Easter lily, florist azalea, cyclamen and other seasonal flowering plants in bright, indirect sunlight. Keep soil moist.
- Pot up summer flowering bulbs to be transplanted outdoors later, including tuberous begonias, caladiums and cannas.
- Start seeds of warm-season plants, including tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, marigolds, zinnias and petunias for planting outdoors in mid-May.
- Fertilize woody plants before new growth begins.
- Complete pruning to remove dead and injured branches from trees and shrubs. Prune spring flowering shrubs, such as forsythia or lilacs, within a month after blooming.
- Mow grass as needed to 3 1/2- to 4-inches tall.
- Remove winter-damaged ground covers with trimmers or shears.
- Divide or transplant hardy perennials.
- Allow foliage of spring-flowering bulbs to ripen and yellow or brown before cutting back. Leaves make the food reserves stored in the bulbs that bring next year’s flowers. Divide or transplant spring-flowering bulbs after they’ve finished blooming. Mark empty spaces in the landscape to show where to plant spring-flowering bulbs next fall.
- Harden off transplants started indoors earlier by gradually exposing young plants to outdoor conditions of wind, sunlight and lower moisture.
- Remove winter covering from roses. Keep mulch nearby to use on plants in case of late freezes. Prune and fertilize as needed.
Vegetables and Fruits
- Sow seeds for cool-season crops, including peas, lettuce, spinach, carrots, beets, turnips, parsnips and Swiss chard, directly in the garden as soon as soil can be worked. Soil should crumble instead of forming a ball when squeezed.Mesclun seedlings can be transplanted outdoors anytime or the seeds can be sown directly in the garden. Photo courtesy National Garden Bureau
- Plant seedlings of cool-season crops, such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi and onions.
- Plant asparagus and rhubarb crowns. (Do not harvest until three years after planting.)
- Plant certified, disease-free potato sections or seed tubers.
- Plant strawberries, raspberries and other small fruit.
- Remove winter mulch from strawberries, but keep it handy in case late frosts threaten and to keep weeds down.
- Prune grape vines to remove dead or weakened limbs. Repair trellises as needed.
- Apply a pre-bloom, multipurpose orchard spray to fruit trees.