Start off your garden year right by laying the foundation for a great garden.
Planting Bare-Root Trees, Shrubs and Roses -- Now is the time to plant bare-root trees and shrubs as well as bare-root roses.
When to Plant Trees and Shrubs -- Plant container-grown trees and shrubs. Wait to plant more delicate perennial herbs, perennial flowers, and ground covers until your region's last average frost date, or check with your local garden center to find out the best planting time.
Pruning Roses -- Prune deciduous fruit trees and also prune roses. (In the very hottest regions, you may need to prune your roses back to just 6 to 8 inches to stimulate new growth.) Also spray your roses with horticultural oil to prevent insect problems later.
Pruning Trees and Shrubs -- Prune trees and prune shrubs. Be careful with flowering trees and shrubs -- you don't want to trim off developing buds! Wait to trim off frost damage until all danger of frost is passed.
Start Seeds Indoors -- In low desert areas and other places where you're six to eight weeks away from the last average frost date, start seeds indoors for warm-season annuals, such as tomatoes, marigolds, peppers, cosmos, zucchini, impatiens, salvia, basil, and others. Otherwise, wait until all chance of freezing temperatures has passed and buy established seedlings at the garden center.
Lawn Fertilizer -- Fertilize cool-season lawns, that is, lawns planted with ryegrass, bluegrass, and fescue. Apply crabgrass preventer to all lawns now. And try our handy lawn fertilizer calculator so you know exactly how much to buy and apply.
Garden Journals -- If you haven't already, start a garden journal or file. Tuck into it names of plants you like, magazine pictures, plant labels and seeds, and anything else that suits your fancy. If you're feeling crafty, make your own journal.
Landscaping and More -- While you're doing your garden planning, check out the entire section on garden planning and landscaping at BHG.com. It covers everything from assessing your landscape needs to putting it down on paper to choosing the best plants for you.