Spring Garden Tasks

By: Jennifer LaMontagne – Horticulturist – Bloch’s Farm – Green Lake, WI

            Spring brings on the warm temperatures and the excitement of outdoor gardening. It’s finally time to gear up for gardening tasks in preparation for the growing season. Here are some suggestions for work that can be completed from March to May to get your gardens in tip top shape!

            March/April – You can begin planting seeds indoors 6 to 8 weeks before the safe outdoor planting date, which is usually mid-May for our area (Zone 5a). Just be aware that seedlings can get leggy and weak if started too soon. A special lightweight seed-starting soil mixture works well for planting. March and the beginning of April are a good time to prune trees and shrubs that bloom on new wood (plants that bloom in the summer). Before growth begins in the spring, fertilize grapes, raspberries, and blueberries. Weather permitting, you can uncover roses. Other tasks include cleaning and sharpening garden tools, and checking your inventory of potting soil, fertilizers, and pesticides. 

            April – This is a good time to fertilize roses, woody plants, ground covers, and lawns. It’s also a good time to begin fertilizing houseplants again. Once the ground has thawed, but before blossoming, fertilize fruit trees. You can begin to clean up and prepare your garden areas by removing dead plants and leaves, removing winter mulch, and adding compost to the soil. In late April or early May, you can direct sow cool-season vegetable seeds, such as brussel sprouts, collards, cabbage, radishes, and onions.  Other vegetables that do well when planted in spring include turnips, potatoes, chard, spinach, and peas among others.

May – Temperatures are typically warm enough to plant perennials. After Mother’s Day, most vegetable seeds can be planted directly into the soil, or if started indoors, the seedlings can be transplanted outside. By the end of May, most tender annuals, as well as tuberous begonia, dahlia, canna, and caladium can be planted or transplanted outdoors. In addition, May is a good time to mulch plants and to prune shrubs and trees such as junipers, arborvitae, yews, white pine, and hemlock.

Happy spring gardening! Bloch’s Farm will be open soon! We are busy preparing for all your spring gardening needs. Will you need tools or gardening items, such as pruners, gloves, or knee pads? We will have all that and more to help you accomplish your spring gardening dreams. Call 920-294-6000 or e-mail jlamontagne@blochsfarm.com with any questions. You can also check out our website at www.blochsfarm.com and follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

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