After the cooler temperature of winter, spring is a critical time for practices that will help maintain health and help ensure a lush growing season. Here's a helpful checklist:

  1. Cut back herbaceous plants. Any remaining winter interest perennials can be cut back now.
  2. Remove dead plant material, dead leaves and dead branches.
  3. Edge planting beds in preparation for new mulch. Create a shallow edge to avoid damaging existing plant roots and do not place soil against the stem of woody plants.
  4. Top-dress beds with new mulch. Don't exceed a 3-4 inch layer and keep mulch away from woody plants' stems.
  5. Apply dormant horticultural oil sprays just before new growth begins.
  6. Fertilize plants and adjust soil pH as needed.
  7. Monitor for early spring insects.
  8. Prune plant material that blooms on new wood.
  9. Plant trees and shrubs. If you live in an area experiencing a drought, delay planting until the fall.

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