Getting Your Garden Ready for Spring

Categories: Blog
The Clarkson Home at Wing Haven. Photo credit: Wing Haven.
By Susan Evans
Wing Haven

When we have a few warm days during winter, what renowned garden writer Elizabeth Lawrence referred to as “open weather,” our thoughts quickly turn outside to our gardens. Here is a helpful list from our own Wing Haven Garden & Bird Sanctuary maintenance manual of garden to-do’s that you can use to prepare your own garden for spring:

Photo credit: Wing Haven Garden & Bird Sanctuary.

In March:

  • Begin regular grass maintenance: mowing, edging, spot weeding, etc.
  • Prune low clipped boxwood hedges
  • Prune all privet hedges. After first trimming, feed with Hollytone and Ironite. Water if no rain
  • Prune Callicarpa (beautyberry) down to the ground when new growth first appears
  • Selectively prune flowering quince and Camellias (sasanquas and japonicas), and any other winter or early blooming shrubs
  • Selectively prune Elaeagnus (silverberry) after birds have eaten berries
  • Begin fertilizing roses late in the month
  • Sow seeds (parsley, cilantro, etc.) in herb garden
  • Fertilize pansies
  • As hostas emerge, divide and transplant as needed
  • As Narcissus (daffodils) emerge, fertilize with appropriate organic bulb fertilizer if they have not bloomed well. Keep them deadheaded to prevent seeds from setting, but leave foliage until it dies completely back
  • Trim old fronds from Christmas ferns and holly ferns
  • Use B.t.i. (Bacillus thuringiensis var. israelensis – naturally occurring bacteria) briquets in pools or water features to control mosquitos
  • Put out generous amounts of mealworms for nesting birds. Clean and fill feeders with plenty of sunflower seeds, peanuts, nyjer, millet, suet, etc.
  • Need new bird houses? Get them up now!
    Photo credit: Wing Haven Garden & Bird Sanctuary.

Find Inspiration for Your Garden at Wing Haven!

Looking to fill in some holes or add a new dimension to your landscape? Shop the Wing Haven Spring Plant Sale April 6-8, 2017 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily (Members’ Only Day on Wednesday, April 5) and let our nursery volunteers and area Master Gardeners help you select top-notch and legacy plants for your garden. Spring is the perfect time to plants summer and fall bloomers. Or, join us for our Backyard Gardening Workshop for children and their families on March 25. You can also sneak a peek into five private gardens and get inspiration for your own yard at Wing Haven’s annual Gardeners’ Garden Tour May 13-14 – home gardeners will be on hand to answer questions and share tips! More information, registration and ticket details at