The weather is getting warmer, the May 24 weekend will soon be upon us, and our thoughts are now turning to our lawn and gardens. Check out my handy Spring Garden Checklist and check-off your spring garden maintenance tasks.

For Your Flower Garden:

  • Deadhead tulips, daffodils, and other bulbs that have finished flowering.
  • Plant summer-flowering bulbs such as gladioli and dahlias.
  • Select, purchase, and plant new perennials.
  • Address problem areas-such as those with too much shade or pool soil- by selecting specific perennials for these conditions.
  • Choose low-maintenance rose varieties.
  • Fertilize, prune, and stake your perennials as necessary.
  • Consider planting showy biennials such as hollyhocks and foxgloves.
  • Add instant colour to your garden with annuals.
  • Plant containers using my “thrill, fill, spill” recipe.
  • Prune trees and shrubs that have finished flowering.
  • Look for caterpillar infestation in trees and take steps to remove the insects.

For Your Vegetable Garden:

  • When danger of frost has passed, plant bean, corn, and squash seeds.
  • Choose your favourite varieties of tomatoes and peppers.
  • Protect your strawberry plants and get set to pick the first crop.
  • Take steps to keep your vegetable garden clean and health to deter diseases and pests.
  • Buy or build a composter.

For Your Lawn:

  • Mow your lawn at least once a week, keeping the grass between 6 and 8 cm (2 1/2 and 3 inches high).
  • Water and fertilize only if necessary.
  • Attack dandelions by pulling them out at the root before they have a chance to go to seed.
  • Rake and remove moss from problem areas and take steps to make sure it doesn’t return.

Frank Ferragine AKA “Frankie Flowers” is an award winning gardening expert and “weather specialist” on City’s morning show Breakfast Television in Toronto.

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