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.

house with front yard garden bed

Winter weather has gone away and spring fever is well underway. 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 be done. 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

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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.

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 for forcing 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 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 stress the tree and get 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.

Learn more about seed-starting.

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 cool.

See what other veggies do best in cool weather.

Mid-Spring Checklist

flowers

Build new flower beds

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

See which shrubs flower the most in the summer.

Enjoy the spring show

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

Plant hardy annuals

Planting hardy annuals early on will assure their roots establish and they thrive through the entire season. Some all-time favorite annuals that will stick through it all are godetias, sunflowers, chrysanthemums, and nasturtium. 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 peat moss is best for your acid-loving plants.

Explore the different varieties of mulch.

Late-Spring Checklist

Deadhead bulbs

Deadheading helps promote new blooms that will be bigger and better than the last. 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; 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.

Keep your shrubs in shape with a little pruning.

 

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