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The Dirt

A Gardener’s Checklist for Early Spring

Photo/Illustration: Dolores R. Santoliquido
Photo/Illustration: Steve Aitken
Photo/Illustration: Jennifer Benner
Photo/Illustration: Brent Heath
Photo/Illustration: Jodie Delohery
Photo/Illustration: Scott Phillips
Photo/Illustration: Todd Meier
Photo/Illustration: Jennifer Brown
Photo/Illustration: Daryl Beyers
Photo/Illustration: Dolores R. Santoliquido
Photo/Illustration: Steve Aitken
Photo/Illustration: Jennifer Benner
Photo/Illustration: Brent Heath
Photo/Illustration: Jodie Delohery
Photo/Illustration: Scott Phillips
Photo/Illustration: Todd Meier
Photo/Illustration: Jennifer Brown
Photo/Illustration: Daryl Beyers

You have chores, and we can help you do them efficiently with expert advice on winter cleanup, spring pruning, sowing seeds, planting late-season bulbs, creating containers, dividing perennials, planting trees, and planning a vegetable garden.

March/April 2012 For more spring gardening information and inspiration, check out the March/April 2012 issue of Fine Gardening (#144).

 Late winter/early spring chores It’s Not Too Early to Get Outside
Put on your gloves, and get a jump-start on spring chores such as cleaning and sharpening tools, planting woody plants, cleaning up winter debris, dividing perennials, rejuvenating the soil, and pruning woody ornamentals.   Read more…
Pruning crape myrtles Pruning Crape Myrtles
Crape myrtles bloom on new growth, so prune them in early spring before they break dormancy. To improve a plant’s looks and health, start at the bottom and finish at the top.   Read more…
 Five common pruning mistakes, and how to fix them Five Common Pruning Mistakes, and How to Fix Them
Have you ever pruned so ineptly that your tree or shrub looks like a caricature? Well, don’t despair. Help is at hand.   Read more…
All about starting seeds All About Starting Seeds
Learn about what to start from seed, where to get seeds, how to start seeds seed-starting equipment, and caring for your seedlings.   Read more…
 Bulbs for summer and fall Bulbs for Summer and Fall
In spring, plant late-season bulbs such as ornamental onions, rain lilies, lilies, summer hyacinths, and fall crocuses. Find suggestions for easy-to-grow, beautiful varieties to light up the garden in summer and fall.   Read more…
Video series: Dividing Perennials Video Series: Dividing Perennials
Multiply your plants and keep them healthy by dividing them now. Follow along, step by step, through the how and the why of dividing with garden expert Janet Macunovich in this six-part video series.   Watch the videos…
Colorful containers for early spring Colorful Containers for Early Spring
Fill your pots with plants that don’t mind cool weather.   Read more…
Soil testing Soil Testing Is Worth the Effort
A soil test is like a health checkup for your garden. Besides indicating nutrient deficiencies, a soil test can also provide information on soil acidity, the percentage of organic matter in your soil, and your soil’s texture. It’s helpful to know all this in early spring so you can amend your soil appropriately for the plants you want to grow   Read more…
Planting trees the right way Planting Trees the Right Way
Spring is prime time for planting trees, which are generally purchased bare root, in containers, or balled and burlapped. Get planting instructions for all three.   Read more…
How to plan a vegetable garden How to Plan a Vegetable Garden
By devoting a few hours each winter to planning and a few minutes each day during the season to record keeping, you can increase your yields and set yourself up for success in future years.   Read more…
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