Pruning – Some shrubby plants with woody stems need to be cut back each spring, because they only bloom on new branches. These are pruned in the spring, to limit winter damage and to encourage the plant to start sending out those new flowering branches. It’s best to wait until danger of a hard frost is past (early May on the Main Line).
However, early spring bloomers set their flower buds the fall before, so pruning them early in the spring would mean losing some blossoms. Prune Azaleas, Flowering Crabapple, Forsythia, Hydrangea, Lilac, and Rhododendron after flowering.
Cut ornamental grasses to a few inches from the soil. They’ll come back up when they’re ready.
Weeding – These opportunistic pests start growing vigorously early, so when you spot them, go to it. Getting on top of the weeding now means a lot less work later. Weeds are easier to pull out while their roots are still shallow in early spring
Planting – Now, is a great time to plant new trees, shrubs, and perennials to beef up existing plantings or establish new gardens. Plant summer bulbs such as cannas, dahlias, elephant ears, caladiums, and gladiolus now. Temperatures should now be warm enough to go full throttle in your garden. Plant summer annuals, bedding plants, and the mainstays of your veggie garden.
Planting Bed Maintenance – Apply a 3-inch layer of mulch to help keep down weeds and retain soil moisture, but keep it away from the base of trees, shrubs, and larger perennials to prevent mold and disease. Cut the edge of the beds with a spade, and spread a top dressing of mulch for a clean look.
Apply a pre-emergent herbicide as a preventative measure to control weeds. Support floppy perennials such as delphiniums and peonies once stems become sturdy. Early staking will assure foliage camouflages the stakes and poles.
Lawn Care – Start by raking the lawn free of dead growth, leaves, twigs and winter debris. Spread soil and starter fertilizer in the bare patches of your lawn and rake to create furrows. Water, water, water! Most turf grasses require an inch of rain a week to flourish.
Enjoy your time outdoors and good luck!