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- Re-pot houseplants so they will grow well during spring and summer.
- Plant deciduous trees and shrubs as soon as the ground is workable.
- Prune fruit trees until spring buds swell. Maple and birch should not be pruned until they leaf out. Choose a day above freezing if possible, as it is easier on you as well as on the tree.
- Dormant spraying for fruit trees should be done before spring growth begins. Choose a calm day when temperatures are above 40 degrees F, and be sure to cover all sides of the branches.
- Resist the temptation to uncover spring-flowering plants such as daffodils and tulips. Mulch may be loosened, but the shoots will still benefit from protection against cold, drying winds.
- Be sure that flats and pots used for starting seed are perfectly clean. You can sterilize with a solution of 10 percent bleach and 90 percent water.
- Water newly started seedlings carefully. A pitcher may let the water out too forcefully. A mist sprayer is gentle but can take a long time. Try using a meat basting syringe, which will dispense the water effectively without causing too much soil disruption.
- Sow peas outdoors, even if it's snowy! The earlier they mature, the sweeter they'll be. Sow them as soon as the soil can be worked, but save some for a later planting as well. Choose a location that gets maximum sun.
- Spread dark plastic intended for mulch out over the garden site to hasten the warming of the soil. This will provide for earlier and better germination.
- Keep plastic milk jugs or other coverings on hand to protect the flowers of pansies, crocuses, and other early bloomers against the return of severe weather.
- Start seedlings of annuals in flats -- aster, larkspur, alyssum, snapdragons, and petunias should be started now (or 6 to 8 weeks before the last frost date in your area). If summer season is short, zinnias should be started now. They will need to be potted up in individual pots after 4 to 5 weeks.
- Start some vegetables in flats inside under lights: Brussel sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, peppers, eggplants, tomatoes, and lettuce are good choices. Use moistened seed-starting mix. Fertilize when two sets of leaves have grown.
- A peck of March dust and a shower in May, Makes the corn green and the fields gay.
- Start seeds of some herbs in flats indoors, such as basil, parsley, sage, and thyme. Once the seeds germinate, place the plants under grow lights for 14 hours a day (timers make this easy) and keep soil moist.
- Knowing when to start seeds in time for outdoor planting can be confusing. See packet instructions and also consult our Best Dates to Seed chart at www.Almanac.com/PlantingTable.
- Ideally, seeds need 70 to 75 degrees F temperatures to germinate, and 60 to 65 degrees F temperatures to grow.
- Plant seeds in a soil-less growing mix. Soil can cause disease.
- Prune evergreen and summer-flowering trees and shrubs. Prune spring-flowering shrubs only after they finish blooming.
- Remove any leaves and debris from your lawn.
- Remove suckers from fruiting trees.
- If you have roses, slowly unwrap and remove protective mulch to awaken them.
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