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Spring Gardening Checklist

The garden is waking up, and you're in charge! It's time to plant, prune, prepare beds, and care for your lawn.

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Early Spring

Check for signs of growth.
Did you remember to plant snow crocus last fall? If not, cut forsythia or magnolia branches to bring inside for forcing to get a dose of early spring color.
Learn how to force branches into bloom.

Prep the beds.
Remove winter mulch or, if well composted, work into the top layer of the soil. Work in some leaf mold or well-rotted manure, too.

Prune.
Now is the time to trim fruit trees if you didn't prune in winter. Prune before buds begin to break into bloom or you'll stress the tree and get a tiny crop (or possibly none).

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Perform basic maintenance.
Check stonework for frost heaves. Check and clean the deck now so you don't have to do it later; make any repairs.

Start seeds indoors.
You've spent the winter reading seed and plant catalogs, so try some.
Learn more about seed-starting.

Plant veggies.
Hardy vegetables, such as onions, potatoes, artichokes, and some lettuces, should be planted now.
See what other veggies do best in cool weather.

Divide perennials.
Before plants have begun spring growth is a good time to divide many perennials. Share some divisions with your friends this year.

Mid-Spring

Build new flower beds.
This year, install complementary shrubs offering blooms throughout the season.
See which shburs flower the most in the summer.

Stop feeding the birds.
Take down and clean feeders, put them away until fall.

Enjoy the spring show.
Resolve to plant more spring-flowering bulbs next fall.

Plant hardy annuals.
Sow seeds outdoors or transplant seedlings.

Apply mulch.
If you mulch now, you'll have next-to-no weeding come summer.
Learn more about the different varieties of mulch.

Late Spring

Deadhead bulbs. Remove spent blossoms from spring-flowering bulbs; let foliage die back without removing it.

Go shopping. Pick out flats of your favorite bedding plants; remember to pick ones not yet in bloom for stronger plants.

Prune spring-flowering shrubs. Trim away spent blooms, and thin too-thick branches to rejuvenate older plants.

Pruning Shrubs

How to Prune Spring-Flowering Shrubs

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