• Remove tree wrap from trees.
• Clean up garden beds by cutting back tops of perennials, raking out leaves and pulling out any remaining dead annual plants.
• Check shrubs and trees for snow damage and trim back any broken branches.
• Start flower and vegetable seeds (inside).
• As the weather warms up, remove mulch from roses, perennials and bulbs.
• Sow seeds (indoors). Place under a grow light or in a sunny window.
• Prepare beds for planting by putting in compost, manure or fertilizer and working it into the soil.
• Early spring (April/May) is the best time to divide flower perennials such as daylilies, hostas, monarda and many others. Use a pitch fork to lift out the clump, take a heavy knife and divide the plant into four or five sections. Replant one part and give the rest to friends.
• If there is any remaining debris (leaves, etc.) on beds, remove it from garden beds and remove any dead leaves from under trees.
• Prune hedges and shrubs that bloom on new growth, such as hydrangeas and potentillas. If you are unsure if your shrub blooms on old or new growth, check with the Minnesota Extension Service or your local garden center.
• Add manure, compost or fertilizer to garden and flower beds and work into the soil with a pitch fork or shovel. Do this before putting in your plants so the nutrients work their way into the soil.
• Put fresh mulch around trees and shrubs for weed control.
• Plant trees and shrubs once the ground is dry enough for digging. Late frost will not hurt newly planted trees.
• Start thinking of how to protect your beds from deer. Now is the time to start spraying with Liquid Fence so the deer will realize the beds are not a gourmet meal for their taking.
• Plant summer blooming bulbs, dahlias, calla lilies, cannas and gladiolas.
• Bedding plants, flowers and vegetables, can be planted outside once the danger of frost is past, which is usually Memorial Day.
• Mid to late May seeds can be planted directly into outdoor flower and vegetable beds.
• Deadheading, or removing faded flowers, helps the plant place more energy to flowering rather than producing seeds. Pinch back annuals as blooms start to fade to encourage new blooms.
• Containers dry out faster than plants in the ground and sometimes need daily watering as plants grow larger and if the weather is hot and windy.
• If container plants are watered frequently the fertilizer will run out of the drain holes in the pots. To prevent yellow or purplish foliage and fewer flowers, fertilize container plants once every two weeks.
• Use grass clippings as mulch around flowers. Do not use any clippings that have had any type of herbicides or pesticides applied.
• Water beds if it rains less than an inch of rain per week.
• Prune forsythia, azaleas and lilacs after they have flowered. (If plants bloom early, this can be done in late May.)
• Stake larger varieties of perennials, such as delphiniums and lilies.
• Watch tomato plants for any type of disease. Plants can recover quicker from disease if caught early.
• Thin seedlings in vegetable and flower beds to avoid overcrowding.
• Mulch around garden plants (vegetables and flowers) after the soil has warmed up.
• Prune evergreen trees.
• Cut back daffodil and tulip leaves once the foliage turns brown. If the plants did not do well, dig them up after the foliage has turned brown, divide them and replant one piece in the original area and place the others in different parts of the yard.
• Continue to deadhead annual flower plants.
• Early maturing vegetables, like peas and beans, can be harvested.
• Before late summer, perennial plants can still be divided.
• Don’t allow weeds to go to seed. Pull any weeds and apply mulch to help control weeds.
• Monitor plants for insect pests such as aphids and control large infestations with insecticidal soap.
• July is a good month to prune maples, birch and other trees that bleed when pruned in late winter.