HOME (Indoor plants and activities)

Begin fertilizing houseplants as new growth appears. Remove spent leaves and flowers to improve appearance and encourage more blooms.

Start garden seeds indoors for transplanting outdoors later in spring.

Check stored bulbs and produce for decay; discard damaged items.

Prune, repot, and clean houseplants as needed.

YARD (Lawns, woody ornamentals and fruits)

Prune trees and shrubs (except those that bloom early in spring) while plants are still dormant. If you are concerned about winter injury, delay pruning until after dieback; you can assess desiccation injury as plants come out of dormancy.

Plant new trees and shrubs as soon as the soil dries enough to be worked. Plant bare-root plants before they leaf out. Soils may be exceptionally wet as winter snows thaw.

Fertilize woody plants before new growth begins, but after soil temperatures reach 40 degrees Farenheit.

Remove winter coverings from roses as soon as new growth begins. Prune out dead canes and fertilize as needed. Delay pruning into live canes until after you can assess winter injury.

Apply superior oil spray to control scale insects and mites when the tips of leaves start to protrude from buds.

GARDEN (Flowers, vegetables and small fruits)

Plant cool-season vegetables and flowers as soon as the ground has dried enough to work. Do not work the soil while it is wet – wait until it crumbles in your hand. If the soil forms a solid ball when you squeeze it, it’s still too wet.

Gradually harden-off transplants by setting them outdoors during the daytime for about a week before planting.

Follow last fall’s soil test recommendations for fertilizer and pH adjustment. It’s not too late to test soil if you missed last year.

Start the seeds of warm-season vegetables and flowers indoors. In northern and central Indiana, wait until the end of March or early April. Transplant seedlings to the garden after the danger of frost has passed. To find the average date of a frost in your area, consult the maps provided by the Indiana State Climate Office.

Remove old foliage from ornamental grasses and perennial flowers.

Watch for blooms of early spring bulbs, such as daffodils, squill, crocus, dwarf iris, and snowdrops.

Remove old asparagus and rhubarb tops, and sidedress the plants with nitrogen or manure. Plant or transplant asparagus, rhubarb, and small-fruit plants.

Remove winter mulch from strawberry beds as soon as new growth begins, but keep the mulch nearby to protect against frost and freezes.

Remove weak, diseased or damaged canes from raspberry plants before new growth begins. Remove old fruiting canes if you did not remove them last year, and shorten remaining canes if necessary.

Prune grapevines after you can assess winter injury.

Source: Purdue Extension