crocusWhether you say crocuses or croci, they’re looking lovely in Chicagoland.   They’re just plain cheerful.  The beginning of our gardens!  crocuscrocuscrocusToday, I spent about five hours adding compost, outlining a new bed or two, and trying my hand at growing poppies again.  I’ve not had any luck with poppy seeds.  Fingers crossed this year.  I also got my first lettuce seed in.

april garden

A good early spring checklist:

  • If you haven’t already, trim back perennials that were left for winter interest.  Don’t prune any spring flowering trees or shrubs.  You may be cutting off the bloom buds.
  • Stir up the compost bin and add to your beds and containers.
  • Add extra potting soil to containers that need it.
  • Mulch around trees.
  • If you’ve got common orange day lilies coming out of your ears like I do, it’s easy to dig and thin them out now while they are still small.
  • Divide perennials like ornamental grasses.  For complete list, check out UM Extension site.
  • Plant seeds that need/like the cold.  The back of your seed packet will tell you when is the best time to plant.  Right now, anything with 4 weeks or longer before last frost date can be planted here in Chicago. (I planted lettuce, poppies, gaillardia, and california pansy.)
  • Inside, starts of tomatoes, basil, peppers should be underway.

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