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Most recent posting below. See other articles in the column to the right.

Pre-Season Gardening Tips

Starting your gardening year off right is very important. The following tips are an excellent way to lay the foundation for a great garden.

Leaf Disposal

Get started on spring garden cleanup. Rake and dispose of leaves, pull obvious weeds, and cut back any perennials still standing, as well as ornamental grasses.

Tool Care

Spruce up and sharpen hand tools and power tools. Also, sharpen your mower blade, something you should do three or four times a year. Check oil levels and the filter. Some filters need to be replaced, others cleaned.

Planting Bare-Root Trees, Shrubs and Roses

Plant bare-root trees and shrubs as well as bare-root roses as soon as the ground has softened.

Start Seeds Indoors

Start seeds indoors, if you like, early this month for warm-season annuals, such as tomatoes, marigolds, peppers, cosmos, impatiens, salvia, basil, and others. Otherwise, wait until all chances of freezing temperatures have passed and plant outdoors. Cut back any perennials that are still standing, as well as ornamental grasses. Their tough stalks can be hard to cut even with long-handled loppers. A power hedge trimmer, however, makes short work of them.

Pruning Trees and Shrubs

Prune nearly all trees and shrubs except those that bloom in the spring. (You'll trim off the developing flowers!) Prune evergreens any time from now until late summer. (Don't prune later than that or you'll prompt new, tender growth that will get zapped by winter's cold.)

Plant pots, windowboxes, and containers with cool-season flowers that can withstand frost and even snow. Pansies are a favorite. Or, tuck in pots of purchased forced spring-bulbs, such as tulips or daffodils to brighten these spots.


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