After a long winter and some late-season snowstorms, we are all thrilled to have the sun’s warmth melt the last of the snowbanks and wake up the earth for gardening season. Yet, it can be a daunting task to look outside at lawns and beds covered with leaves that blew in during the colder months, plants that need trimming, and mulch and soil that needs enhancements.

Where to start? What’s most important? Will it ever all get done? 

Here are five simple guidelines for beginning your time outdoors this spring, while making steady progress in your garden landscapes: 

  1. Tackle the highly visible tasks first. Clear away limbs, sticks, and leaves from your lawn and most prominent garden beds. In general, this means: front lawn before back, foundation beds before perimeter beds, though you may have different priorities. Compost when possible. 
  2. Stay off of anything that is still wet. Don’t compact the soil by tromping around. Choose another task where the ground has firmed up. 
  3. Add compost to your garden beds to add nutrients and build the soil quality. A weed-free compost over a layer of newspaper can offer both nutrients and weed control.
  4.  Treat yourself to some cold-tolerant plants like pansies to add a bit of color by your entry door, on the porch, or other highly visible spots.Though it’s too early to plant most things due to the risk of frost, the bright colors of a few hardy flowers will make you smile while you are working hard! 
  5. Divide perennials like hostas and daylilies just as they emerge from the soil. This is a great way to fill in empty spots in your beds or trade with friends. 

While you are outside, take a moment to step back and take in the landscape as a whole. Are there some small projects you want to accomplish early in the season that can lead to big rewards later? Is there an area of the garden where you could use some professional advice on plantings or do you need extra help to rejuvenate an area? We are happy to help you, whatever the project.