A new growing season is underway! I’m sure we can all relate to how fast Spring inevitably comes up, and our lack of ability to keep up with it. Don’t scramble last minute this year trying to get through endless to-do-lists—now is the time to get a head start prepping to have your neighborhood’s most envious lawn! Get ahead of the season and equip your growing space with the following tips:

1. Pull Weeds: There’s no better time to pull weeds than when the ground is still soft from winter. They come out easier now than they would in summer when the soil is particularly hard and dry. This will also allow you to remove them before they develop a deep root and start spreading seeds.

2. Prune: Late winter to early Spring is the time to prune summer-blooming flowering shrubs. Any perennials and ornamental grasses that weren’t cut back in fall should be chopped to about 4-inches tall to prepare for new growth.

3. Fertilize: When the ground thaws, apply fertilizer that matches the particular nutrient that a plant needs by doing a soil test to see what is missing.

4. Assess Winter Damage: Eliminate dead, broken, or damaged branches. Also rake away winter-killed, brown leaves in your garden beds from last year’s plants and spread compost over the bare soil that you raked to replace lost nutrients. Don’t forget to pull out fall annuals that died over the winter!

5. Divide Perennials: If your perennials are growing outside where you’d like them, replanting before they start blooming is essential.

6. Edge Beds: The end of winter is the time to cut sharp edges along garden beds. This neatens your landscape and contains mulch that will be applied once the soil warms up.

7. Tune-Up Your Tools: Maintain your gardening equipment before you get too busy this Spring! Sharpen mower blades and pruning equipment, sand off rust, and coat blades and moving parts with oil.

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