Perennials: When daffodils fade, snap off the tops to prevent seed pod formation. Leave the foliage until it is yellow or brown. Next year’s bulb development depends on food produced by the leaves. Do not braid or wrap the leaves. Continue dividing overgrown plants.
Flowers: Get out planters, wash thoroughly and fill with fresh potting soil for annual displays. Pansies do well in cool weather.
Vegetables and fruits: Start seeds of melons, pumpkins and summer squash in peat or cow pots. Plant sales are ubiquitous during the first two weeks of May. Even if tender plants need protection until later in the spring, it is a good time to buy the choice offerings. Continue planting onions, carrots, beets, broccoli, potatoes and more lettuce and greens in the garden.
Trees and shrubs: Continue planting new trees and shrubs. When choosing conifers for the landscape consider the full grown size, the shape of the mature tree as well as texture and color of the needles. A mixed conifer planting can be stunning. For small spaces there are many compact conifer varieties.
Lawn: Two blue-purple weeds bloom early and spread quickly over the lawn: Veronica officianalis (common speedwell) and Nepeta hederacea (ground ivy). They are often confused and require different treatments for control.
Houseplants: Repot house ferns making new growth with rich compost.
General: Check out the many gardening apps, many of them free, on the Internet. The seeding schedule is very useful.
— Susan Henry, master gardener with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Westchester