- Starting Seeds Indoors – Many types of annual flower plants can be started indoors this month. Generally, most are started 5-6 weeks before they are planted outdoors.
- Spring bulbs are emerging and some are even flowering at this time. Exposed leaves may be burned later by very cold temperatures but the spring flower display will not be adversely affected.
- Groundcovers are arriving in local nursery and garden centers this month. They are a great alternative to grass where grass won’t grow, where you have heavy shade or tree root problems and on steep slopes.
- Late winter-early spring is considered the second-best time (the best time is late August through mid-October) to seed your lawn make repairs, or to cover bare areas. Read (PDF) HG 102, Lawn Establishment, Renovation, and Overseeding.
- Soil testing can be done now. For grass keep the soil pH in the 6.0 – 7.0 range to help maintain, vigorously growing healthy turf. Although tall fescue is a little more forgiving of an acidic soil, it will still grow much better at the proper pH. Not sure how to take a soil sample? Watch our video on collecting a soil sample!
- Fertilizing in the spring is not recommended for older established lawns. When selecting a crabgrass pre-emergent look for one that does not contain fertilizer. Although convenient weed and feed products lead to over-fertilization and applying fertilizer at the wrong time of the year.
- Avoid the temptation to turn over or dig into wet soil. Tilling wet soil can cause it to become cloddy and brick hard when it dries out. How do you know when your soil can be turned or tilled? One test is to form a clump of your soil into a ball. Bounce it up and down in your hand a few times. If it breaks apart easily it’s probably OK to dig!
- Potatoes, onion sets, onion seedlings, and peas can be planted as soon as the soil can be lightly worked. Chinese cabbage, leeks, beets, kale, mustard, and turnips can also be planted now. Learn more about these spring crops.
- Start your cabbage, broccoli, pepper, and eggplant transplants indoors
The Home & Garden Information Center’s horticulturists are available year-round to answer your plant and pest questions. In addition to gardening questions, we cover houseplants, indoor pests, and more. Send your questions and photos to Ask an Expert!