What's NewSpring has sprung. if you are itching to get out and garden, here are some things you can put on your to-do list.
• Prune trees and shrubs while plants are still dormant.
Those that bloom early in spring should be
pruned after flowers fade.
• Fertilize woody plants before new growth begins, but
wait until after soil temperatures have reached 40°F
Two pounds of actual nitrogen per 1000 square feet
should be broadcast over the entire root area.
• Remove winter coverings from roses as soon as
new growth begins, but keep mulch nearby for
protection from late freezes. Prune and fertilize as
• Apply superior oil (dormant spray) to control scale insects and
mites on landscape plants and fruit trees when tips
of leaves start to protrude from buds.
• Remove tree wrap from trunks to prevent scalding
due to overheating of bark.
• Bare-root stock should be planted before new top
growth begins. Balled-and-burlaped and container
stock can still be planted later in spring.
• Thin fruits of apple (and other fruit trees if needed)
about 3 weeks after petal fall. Apples should be
spaced on the average of about 8 inches apart;
peaches at 6 inches apart. If a large crop is set and
no thinning is practiced, all fruit will be small and
branches may break.
• Apply fungicide sprays to roses to control diseases
such as black spot.
• Prune early spring flowering trees and shrubs after
• Rake to remove leaves, twigs, and trash.
• Mow lawn as needed. The first mowing should be
slightly lower than normal to encourage green-up.
• Seed bare spots.
• Apply weed seed inhibitor to control crabgrass and weed seeds.
• Fertilize in May using a 4-1-2 ratio of nitrogen,
phosphorus, and potassium at the rate of 1 pound of
actual nitrogen per 1000 square feet.
Flowers, Vegetables, & Small Fruit
• Prepare garden soil for planting. Do NOT work the
soil while it is wet. Soil should crumble when
squeezed in your hand when it is ready to work. If
soil forms a solid ball when squeezed in your hand,
it’s still too wet.
• Follow last fall’s soil test recommendations for
fertilizer and pH adjustment. (It’s not too late to soil
test if you missed last year.)
• Start seeds of warm season vegetables and flowers
• Watch for blooms of early spring bulbs such as
daffodils, crocus, dwarf iris, and snowdrops.
• Remove old asparagus and rhubarb tops, and then
side dress with nitrogen or manure.
• Plant cool-season vegetables and flowers as soon as
the ground has dried enough to work.
• Harden off transplants before planting outdoors by
gradually exposing the young plants to outdoor
conditions of wind, brighter sunlight, and lower
• Plant or transplant asparagus, rhubarb, and small
fruit plants such as strawberries and brambles.
Divide rhubarb and replant, if last year’s planting
• Plant sections of certified, disease-free potato “seed”
• Remove winter mulch from strawberry beds as soon
as new growth begins, but keep the mulch nearby to
protect against frost and freezes and to help keep
weeds under control.
• Remove weak, diseased, or damaged canes from
raspberry plants before new growth begins. Remove
old fruiting canes (if not removed last year), and
shorten remaining canes if necessary.
• Prune grape vines to remove dead or weakened
limbs, and repair support trellises as needed.
• Allow foliage of spring flowering bulbs to remain in
place after blooms fade. Leaves manufacture the
food reserves, which are then stored in the bulb for a
repeat showing next year.
• Plant frost-tender plants after danger of frost is past
for your area.
• Make successive plantings of beans and sweet corn
to extend the season of harvest.
• Thin seedlings of earlier planted crops such as
carrots, lettuce, spinach, and beets to their proper
• Harvest early plantings of radishes, spinach, and
• Harvest asparagus by cutting or snapping spears at,
or just below, the soil level.
• Harvest rhubarb by cutting or by grasping the stalk
and pulling up and slightly to one side.
• To prevent bacterial wilt in cucumbers, control
cucumber beetles, the carriers of the disease, as
soon as plants germinate or are transplanted.
• Remove blossoms from newly set strawberry plants
to allow better runner formation.
• Remove unwanted sucker growth in raspberries
when new shoots are about a foot tall.
See you soon.
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