1. Fertilize winter annuals like Cyclamen, Pansies, etc. The cold wet winter we have had has made blooming winter annuals a little ragged so feeding them now as the days are getting longer will give them an extra push for gorgeous color for the rest of this season. I recommend a good water soluble fertilizer that will encourage blooming like Master bloom or MaxSea Bloom.
2. Clean up. If you haven’t already, clean up any plant debris from last summer or fall. Don’t forget to add it to your compost pile or green bin! This does not involve pruning!
3. Prevent weeds. As you are cleaning you may expose bare soil, this is an ideal time to prevent a weed infestation. Cool season weeds like annual rye are prevalent now but as the days warm, you will see all the common summer weeds. You can use a pre-emergent to prevent weeds or if you prefer an organic method, mulch at least 2″ thick will reduce the number of weeds. Be sure not to apply pre-emergent if you plan on or have planted seeds you want to grow! Hand weeding and careful mulching is the only thing to do here until the new seedlings are established.
4. Pruning. If you have not pruned your fruit trees, shade trees or any other dormant shrub you still have time! Don’t forget to get your last spraying on your fruit trees before popcorn stage! Need more information on spraying fruit trees? See the previous post, here. Make sure not to prune anything that is frost tender, yet. No matter how tattered and dead it may look!
5. Plant! Yes there are actually things you can plant and grow now. There is still time to plant Potatoes which have not arrived yet, it’s time to start planting Strawberries, Asparagus, Rhubarb, Cilantro, Primrose for some quick color, select and plant bare root fruit trees and berries.
6. Lawn maintenance. You can overseed existing lawns or sod or seed new lawns now. Doing this now reduces the competition with weeds where as waiting a couple months, you will be fighting all the summer weeds while your new lawn tries to become established.
So hopefully this will give you something to do outside to enjoy the warmer weather we have been having. You can bet I’ll be puttering in the garden while the sun is out!