Perennials: After the snow melts the warm sun will begin to wake up the perennial bed. Spray deer repellent or spread milorganite as soon as the tips of tulips and day lilies appear. Fertilize bulbs when they are up and growing.
Flowers: Ageratum, asters, calendula, salvia and snapdragons can be started from seed inside now.
Vegetables and fruits: Sow leek seeds indoors. Save some seed to plant in the ground later — they may do better. For vigorous pepper plants to transplant outdoors, start seeds six to eight weeks before the last frost date. Seeds of pepper plants may take two to three weeks to germinate over a heating pad. Eggplant can be started now and will take six to 10 days to emerge. Make sure there is strong light after the seedlings emerge. Wait until early to mid April to start tomatoes or else they will become leggy and weak.
Trees and shrubs: Continue pruning summer and fall blooming shrubs. Learn which shrubs bloom on new or old wood. Remove weak branches and those that cross or rub. Remove water shoots at their bases. Plan for new shrubs and trees to be planted. Nurseries may not be stocked yet.
Lawns: Begin lawn cleanup unless the lawn is soggy. Spread lime and seed bare patches.
Houseplants: If you planted daffodil, hyacinth and tulip bulbs in pots for forcing last November you are enjoying them now. The color and fragrance remind us that spring is near. Turn the pots frequently to encourage even growth and straight stems.
General: Before embarking on spring chores that use muscles unused in the winter, do some stretching exercises. Tune up your power equipment. Do preventive maintenance if it wasn’t done in the fall. Make sure you have safety equipment on hand for use with power tools, especially safety glasses.