Start off your garden year right by laying the foundation for a great garden.
Leaf Disposal and Tool Care -- Clean up and fix up before plants really get growing. Rake leaves, pull obvious weeds, spruce up and sharpen hand tools and power tools.
Planting Trees and Shrubs -- Plant container-grown trees, shrubs, perennial herbs, ground covers, and perennial flowers as long as you're within at least one month of your region's last frost date. You can get a general idea by clicking on our map, but to find out precisely, give any local garden center a quick call.
Pruning Roses -- Prune deciduous fruit trees and also prune roses. Spray both them 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. But do trim late-summer or fall-blooming trees and shrubs, including abelia, mimosa, cassia, oleander, crape myrtle, princess flower (also called tibouchina), golden rain tree and hibiscus. As a rule of thumb, otherwise, prune flowering shrubs and trees within a month after they stop blooming.
Houseplant Basics -- Houseplant growth this month is slow, so don't fertilize and keep watering to a minimum. For more information, check out our houseplant basics.
Start Seeds Indoors -- Start seeds indoors if you like 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.
Fertilize Lawns -- Try our handy on-line lawn fertilizer calculator so you know exactly how much to buy and apply.
Garden Projects -- Now is an excellent time to start some of those garden hammer-and-nail projects you've been wanting to do -- window boxes, planters, arbors, and more. Check out BHG.com for a list of dozens of garden projects.
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.
Garden Plans -- For specific ideas and layout plans, go to BHG.com's Garden Plans. There are a number of great combinations for everything from shade to property lines to front entries.