Besides cleaning up the yard, there’s several other things that should be done right now before we say good-bye to the last gasps of this seemingly never ending winter.
Early Spring Landscape Pruning
Ornamental shrubs and trees can be pruned before they begin to show leaf. The one precaution is this: if you don’t want to miss the spring blooms, don’t prune spring flowering shrubs until AFTER they bloom, unless you absolutely have to cut back on their size right now. Better to wait until just after the blooms have faded, that way you’ll still have blooms next spring.
On shrubs like lilacs, remove the large woody stocks from the center of the plant. This will open up the plant and allow for more bloom producing growth.
Spring Garden Cleaning
I know we’ve mentioned it before, but removing all those brown leaves and debris should be removed from turfgrass areas, from the flower beds and around the shrubs. This will help reduce the number of slugs and other hiding insects.
Spring Landscape Mulching
A few inches of mulch around the landscape and trees will help reduce weeds, moderate temperature fluctations that are common in the spring, and conserve moisture levels.
Garden Seed Starting Time
Now is the time if you plan on growing tomatoes from seed, to get started. There’s plenty of kits available, or you can use any plant trays from previous years. They like plenty of light (no need to use grow-lights, florescent lights work just fine. Give them about 16-18 hours of light with the balance in total darkness. If possible have very small fan on to circulate the air while the lights are on, but make sure it doesn’t blow directly on the seedlings. It just needs to move the air around the room. The lights should provide enough warmth even for a cool basement. Heat mats can be used for even more control, but they’re really not necessary except for unusual circumstances.