Perennials: Continue dividing perennials. If the perennial bed was fertilized in the fall no need to do it now. The plants haven’t used the fall treatment yet. Compost is not fertilizer — it helps the plants take up the nutrients by maintaining tilth. Continue making notes of the location of flowering bulbs and bloom time.
Flowers: These seeds can be started indoors by now: ageratum, aster, calendula, hollyhock, lobelia, petunia, salvia, snapdragon, strawflower; black eyed Susan vine. Zinnias and cosmos like to go directly in the ground after the last frost.
Vegetables and fruits: Practice crop rotation to discourage pests and diseases from taking hold. Tomato, pepper, eggplant, the cabbage family and melons, squash and cucumber should be rotated. Make sure all potatoes from last year are out of the ground and discarded. They might carry the late blight and infect new plantings.
Trees and shrubs: Continue dormant oil spray. Check evergreens for winter damage. Plan to give overgrown forsythia a thorough pruning after bloom.
Lawns: Lawn cleanup continues.
Houseplants: Continue to inspect for insects and fertilize at half strength. Cut them back if they are getting leggy.
General: Are you keeping up your Garden Journal with bloom dates and spring events? Make notes now of the places where spring bulbs, planted this coming fall, will look perfect next spring. Catch up with chores that haven’t been done because of the cold weather.
Susan Henry is a master gardener with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Westchester