BY KIT SMITH
Springtime can be one of the busiest times of the gardening year. Here’s a checklist of things to consider, now that the weather is warming up:

  • Plant summer bulbs like dahlia, gladiolus, canna and tuberose.
  • Start feeding roses with a complete fertilizer.
  • Cut flowers of spring blooming bulbs and immediately place them in 100-degree water in a clean vase to enjoy indoors.
  • Feed acid-loving plants such as azalea, rhododendron, gardenia, camellia, hydrangea and Japanese maple.
  • Feed your lawn with a high nitrogen fertilizer.
  • Remove weeds before they flower.
  • Fertilize citrus and keep feeding monthly all year.
  • Prepare vegetable beds for when the soil is warm enough to sow seeds or transplant tender plants. For tomatoes, that temperature is 55 degrees.
  • Pick up spent camellia blooms.
  • Deadhead spent spring bulb blooms leaving the leaves to continue to produce food that will be stored in the bulb for next year’s blooms.
  • Plant bare root trees and plants just as they are about to break dormancy. At that time, they are full of growth hormones. Plant them slightly above the soil line and keep them watered.
  • Apply three inches of coarse mulch several inches away from tree and shrub trunks. Mulch reduces water evaporation, prevents weeds and buffers soil temperatures.
  • Rid the yard of snails and slugs, but use caution with pesticides especially if children or pets will be exposed.
  • Take cuttings of roses, azaleas, geraniums, carnations, chrysanthemums and succulents to start new plants.
  • Avoid pruning frost sensitive plants until the danger of frost is past. Susceptible plants include Rose of Sharon, hibiscus, gardenia, bougainvillea and fuchsia.
  • Move frost-sensitive potted plants brought indoors for the winter like poinsettias, citrus, ficus, Christmas cactus, plumeria and certain succulents, once all danger of a late frost is past. At that time, it is all right to prune out leaves and twigs on other plants left outdoors that are frost-damaged or look burned.

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