Wonder what region you live in? See our map here or visit the “Site Specific” column in each issue of Gardening How-To.
• Start cool-season transplants (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and lettuce) under lights. In about three weeks, move them to a protected place outside during the day, bringing them in at night. After a week of this treatment, leave them out in a protected spot before planting them.
• Clean up dead leaves and debris in your flower beds and divide summer-blooming perennials. Be on the lookout for slugs and slug eggs; getting rid of them now will leave fewer chewed leaves later.
• Add fruit to your landscape. Bare-root plants are available now for considerably less than potted ones will cost later in the season.
• Beware of closeout sales on bare-root trees and shrubs. The chance of survival is low on bare-root plants this late in the season. Best bets for now are container-grown or balled-and-burlapped trees and shrubs.
• Shear back freeze-damaged plants just as new growth begins to show. Shear off only parts that are damaged.
• Fertilize non-native trees and shrubs with slow-release or organic fertilizers.
• Pot up tender bulbs of tuberous begonias, caladiums, dahlias, and canna lilies in well-drained soil rich in organic matter. Discard any that have rotted in storage.
• Pot up, cut back, and water geraniums that you stored in cool, dark conditions over the winter.
• Order perennial and summer bulbs
• On trees, shrubs, and vines, prune off and destroy cankered twigs and dead branches. Prune shortly before budbreak, or wait until just after leaves have expanded.
• Thin bramble plantings (raspberries, blackberries, etc.) to increase air circulation and reduce stem and leaf diseases.
• Check for tan gypsy moth egg masses on tree trunks and branches. Scrape or brush off and destroy.
• Mulch strawberries with pine straw as soon as they start blooming.
• Get your mower blade sharpened and start your regular mowing regime.
• After camellias and azaleas finish blooming, fertilize them with 2 to 3 pounds of azalea-camellia fertilizer per 100 square feet of bed area. (Follow package instructions.)