Don’t be fooled by the recent smattering of days with temps in the 60s. Only transplants from warmer climates let themselves get excited about spring arriving in March. After all…this IS Minne-snowta! So, while we’re cautiously optimistic enough to put away our boots and mittens, we’re not breaking out the kiddie pool or the speedos just yet. Still, there’s plenty you can do for Minnesota lawn and yard care right now (at least before the next snowstorm blows in):
- Brrrr-lap. No need to keep those trees and shrubs covered any longer. Remove any burlap wrap and prune dead or damaged branches before buds appear.
- Divide and conquer. Cut back perennials to at least 4–5 inches for flowering plants, or 2–3 inches for ornamental grasses. Thin out overcrowded beds by dividing perennials like daylilies or hostas, leaving at least three stems per clump, and transplanting them to bare spots.
- Annual chore. Pull up old annuals, dead foliage and old leaves. Once the threat of frost passes, you can remove existing mulch too.
- Pile it up. Get that compost pile going with old leaves, plant cuttings and last year’s mulch. Keep the pile moist and aerate every few weeks to keep the decomposing process moving along.
- Plan it. Before your perennials start shooting up and the leaves pop out on your shrubs, take a good look around. See any bare spots? Thinking of making some changes from last year? Consider what you’d like to do, then make your new garden plan.
- Plant it. Got your plan? Great! Now start your seedlings indoors. It’s less expensive than stocking up at the nursery in six weeks.
- Book it. Now is the perfect time to start collecting bids for that patio, pathway, water feature or irrigation system you want. Now is the time when landscapers start booking up, so make your decision and you’ll be at the top of their list when it’s “go” time!
- Fit and trim. Get your lawn mower in shape now. Change the oil, sharpen the blades, and clean it up for peak performance for the season to come.
- Melting. Still have some large piles of snow in the shady spots of your yard? Spread it around. It’ll melt faster and keep snow mold from developing as the ground thaws.
- Early bird. Clean birdhouses and bird feeders and fill them with fresh seed when they dry.
- Have a seat. Remove patio furniture cushions from storage and air them out. Wash patio furniture and paint or repair surfaces so they’re like new.
- Keep it clean. Scrub old flower pots and replace cracked or chipped ones. Clean gardening tools, and buy new gardening gloves.
If you made it through the list, we’ve got just one more thing for you to do…sit by the window and wait for the perfect day to dig in the dirt and get going on the garden. It’ll be here before you know it!