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.

Winter weather has gone away and spring fever is well under way. It's time to tend to your spring landscape and add the best spring garden plants into your yard once again. Spring landscape maintenance isn't a one-and-done deal; caring for your spring plants is a constant and necessary task to undertake. We've made it easy for you—follow our spring landscaping checklist to make your spring landscape thrive through the season.

Check out our spring garden guide.

Early Spring Checklist

Early spring begins mid-March and runs through early April. The ground is just starting to dethaw, with rain and melting snow moistening the soil. Follow these landscaping tips for spring for a better-looking yard.

Check for signs of growth

Did you remember to plant snow crocus last fall? If not, cut forsythia or magnolia tree branches to bring inside to get a dose of early spring color. If your branches are not where you want them to be, you can force the 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. Even add some additional organic compost to the mix.

Find out how to prep your flowerbeds.

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 risk stressing the tree and ending up with a tiny crop (or possibly none).

Here's how to prune your trees.

Divide perennials

A good time to divide many perennials is before plants have begun spring growth. Share some divisions with your friends this year, too!

Discover how to divide your perennials.

Perform basic maintenance

Check stonework for frost heaves. Check and clean the deck now so you don't have to do it later. After examining the damage from winter weather, make any repairs needed.

Start seeds indoors

You've spent the winter reading seed and plant catalogs, so try some. Starting seeds indoors is an easy way to get a head start on the growing season. Shop for seeds in store or online—you can even shop for seeds now through the Amazon Plants Store.

Plant veggies

Hardy vegetables—such as onionspotatoesartichokes, and some lettuces—should be planted now. Start planting cool-season vegetables in April or May when the weather is still chill.

See what other veggies do best in cool weather.

Mid-Spring Checklist

Build new flower beds

This year, install complementary shrubs offering blooms throughout the season. Adding in a little contrasting color will be sure to brighten your garden for summer. Fill in gaps in spring garden landscaping with some ornamental grasses for variating texture.

Enjoy the spring show

Resolve to plant more spring-flowering bulbs next fall. Bulbs such as tulip, lily, iris, and hyacinth are among the best spring garden plants. Whether you are planting single bulbs, multiple bulbs, or pairing your bulbs with perennials, these plants are among the easiest to grow, especially when planted in a sunny spot.

Plant hardy annuals

Planting hardy annuals early on will ensure that their roots establish and that they will thrive through the entire season. Some all-time favorite annuals that will stick through it all are godetias, sunflowers, chrysanthemums, and nasturtiums. You can sow the seeds outdoors or transplant the seedlings into your garden after starting them indoors.

Check out our annual care guide.

Apply mulch

If you mulch now, you'll have next-to-no weeding come summer. There are many different types of mulch, all with a different purpose. Wood chips are the most common type of mulch for landscaping, while sphagnum peat moss is best for your acid-loving plants.

Explore the different types of mulch.

Late-Spring Checklist

Deadhead bulbs

Deadheading promotes new blooms that will be bigger and better than the last. It also helps the roots and leaves grow stronger because the extra energy isn't going to try to revive dead blooms. Remove spent blossoms from spring-flowering bulbs and let the foliage die back without removing it—your bulbs will thank you.

Learn how to deadhead for extended bloom.

Go shopping

Pick out flats of your favorite bedding plants; for stronger plants, remember to pick ones not yet in bloom. If you're not sure which spring garden plants to try, begonias, cosmos, and geraniums are tried-and-true options that add tons of low-maintenance color to the garden. Planting these summer bloomers at the end of spring will be well worth the few weeks of waiting for flowers.

Prune spring-flowering shrubs

Trim away spent blooms and thin too-thick branches to rejuvenate older plants. Pruning is a way to keep any shrub looking its best. Getting rid of dead branches takes away brown eyesores, while pruning back healthy branches (in moderation) promotes new growth and gives the shrub a more condensed growth pattern.

Keep your shrubs in shape with a little pruning.

 

Get tips for pruning spring-flowering shrubs to keep them attractive and healthy.

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