Tasks to Do Now in the Garden

Spring is the perfect time to tackle many chores. Your plants are just getting going, and the weather is (hopefully) mild.

Early spring is a great time for pruning. Trees and shrubs are still mostly dormant, and the worst of winter is past. You have a clear look at the plant’s framework, so you are less likely to make a cut you will regret. (If the plant you are thinking about pruning blooms in spring, however, wait until after it blooms to make any cuts.)

Effort in the early part of the season will set you up for success down the road. If you put down mulch now, you can stop weed seeds from germinating. Dividing perennials now gives them a season to get established before the heat of summer. It will also give you more plants without having to take a trip to the nursery. And starting any hardscape projects now means you might actually have a chance to enjoy the results before it gets too cold out.

A wise gardener should keep a few things in mind when gardening in spring:

  • Again, this is not the time to prune early-blooming shrubs.
  • In many areas, spring means mud. Working with wet soil can cause compaction, creating less-than-optimum conditions for root growth.
  • Is that a weed? If you aren’t sure, wait a week or so until you can identify it better.
  • Don’t be too eager to clean up all of the debris from fall and winter. Overwintering beneficial insects and pollinators might still be sheltering there. If warm weather is here to stay, you are probably safe.

In the collection below, you will find plenty of ways to get your garden going. Whether you spend most of a day or part of an hour with your plants, you can feel good about what you have accomplished. You might hurt your knee or strain your back, but your spirit will be healthy.