Prune spring-flowering shrubs a few weeks after they bloom
- If needed, prune early spring-flowering trees and shrubs, such as lilac, azalea, forsythia and dogwood, within about four weeks after flowers fade. If you delay this task much longer, you run the risk of pruning off next year’s flowers.
- Cut spring-bulb foliage after it browns or at least begins to yellow — never before. Also don’t tie or braid foliage. Green leaves are needed to manufacture sugars that the bulb needs to store and use for next year’s flowering. It’s OK, however, to remove spent flower stalks as soon as the blooms are done.
- Pinch chrysanthemums and certain annuals, such as impatiens and petunias to keep them compact and well branched.
- Harvest spring-planted crops, such as lettuces, spinach and peas.
- When you're sure the danger of frost is gone, plant tender vegetables and annual flowers, such as tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, petunias, marigolds, zinnias and celosia. It’s also time to plant tender summer bulbs, such as callas, dahlias, caladium and gladioli.
- Plant containers, window boxes and hanging baskets. Besides adding new annual flowers from the garden center, consider digging up and using divisions of coralbells, hosta, foamybells, lamium and other perennials with good-looking foliage.
- Plant outdoors tender annuals and tender perennials or bulbs, such as cannas, gladiolus, dahlias, tuberous begonias and caladiums.
Divide tulips (above), daffodils and other spring bulbs.
© Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp
- Divide or transplant hardy perennials, such as chrysanthemum, aster and hosta. Apply Preen Garden Weed Preventer Plus Plant Food or Preen Southern Weed Preventer Plus Plant Food, which effectively combines the two steps of weed prevention and feeding into one easy step. Preen Garden Weed Preventer Plus Plant Food prevents summer and winter annual weeds from growing in flower and vegetable beds and around trees and shrubs for up to three months.
- Apply Preen Vegetable Garden Weed Preventer when transplanting crops.
- Move houseplants to a shady location outdoors when danger of frost has past. The soil in the pots will dry out faster outdoors, so check it frequently.
- Take cuttings from houseplants to increase collection or share. Root cuttings in media such as vermiculite, perlite or potting soil.
- Mulch time. The soil has warmed and dried enough now that adding a layer of wood or bark mulch won’t encourage lingering cold wetness. Apply Preen Mulch Plus – its color lasts all season long, and it will prevent weeds for up to 6 months. If you’ve already got an inch or two of mulch remaining, top it off with Preen Mulch Plus so you end up with no more than 3 inches around trees and shrubs and no more than 2 inches around perennials. Preen Mulch Plus Color Enhanced Russet Red, Midnight Black and Chestnut Brown are guaranteed not to fade for one year.