Spring is one week away, and while that’s no guarantee that the snow and frigid temperatures will be completely gone from here on out, we can start a few tasks around the garden to get ready for warmer days ahead.
* Plan your gardens. Plan your summer vegetable and herb garden. Plan your annuals beds. Plan your containers and hanging baskets.
* Start your seeds. We offer a wide selection of seeds that include all of your favorite annuals, perennials, vegetables, and many hard-to-find selections as well. Inventory your pots and flats and discard unusable ones.
* Make a list of the supplies you will need for the growing season ahead.
* Have your garden soil tested for nutrient content. We carry affordable soil kits in our Garden Center, and the UNH Cooperative Extension provides soil testing and other services if that suits your needs.
* Prune woody plants while dormant, including fruit trees, summer- and fall-blooming shrubs and vines. Limit pruning of spring-blooming trees and shrubs to the removal of sucker growth and rubbing or broken branches. Spray trees and shrubs with year-round horticultural oil to reduce insect population.
* Sharpen, clean, and oil tools and lawn mowers. Begin heavy annual pruning of shrub roses as new leaves appear.
* Cut back ornamental grasses if you haven’t already.
* Divide or thin any crowded perennials. Share with friends!
* Prune fruit trees if you didn’t mid-winter.
* Plant pansies, English daisies, and primrose as soon as the earth is workable. Plant strawberry plants. Sow cool-season vegetables and herbs in the garden.
* Start spring cleanup and begin major lawn work. Remove debris, dethatch your lawn or aerate compacted areas to improve water penetration.
* Spray needles and limbs of Arborvitae, Cryptomeria, false cypress, fir, hemlock, Juniper, pine, yew and spruce (except blue spruce) for spider mites with year-round horticultural oil.
* Apply fertilizer to perennials and roses with. Feed berry bushes, grapevines, rhubarb and asparagus a balanced 10-10-10 fertilizer before new growth begins. Fertilize trees and shrubs.
*Apply crabgrass preventer with fertilizer to feed the lawn and control crabgrass. Do not use on newly seeded lawns.
* Remove winter weeds and debris from the planting beds. Apply corn gluten or a pre-emergent herbicide with fertilizer specified for gardens and scratch it in to prevent future weeds. Do not use in gardens where you will be direct seeding.
* Reseed bare spots in established lawns. Keep the area moist until seedlings appear, then mow when the new grass is 3″ high.
* Prune forsythia and other spring-flowering trees and shrubs after the flowers fall.
* Dig and divide crowded early spring bulbs after they finish blooming. Enrich the soil with bone meal.
* Plant and transplant trees and shrubs, including roses, ground covers, and perennials.
* Transplant cool-season seedlings into the garden. When the soil temperature reaches 60 degrees, sow warm-season vegetable and herb seeds.
* Place gro-thru sets over peonies, grasses, or any other perennials in need of support.
* Look for our “Pruning and Spring Checklist” Class on Saturday, April 6, at 10:30AM to learn more.
As you know, there is always something to be done in the garden. We hope this list will help get you off on the right foot this spring. Happy growing!