Wednesday’s snowfall in the Knoxville area is proof that we’re still in the grip of winter, but it’s not too early to turn your attention to spring gardening.

We asked David Montgomery to provide a Top 10 list of things you should do to prepare your garden for spring. He is owner of The Garden Walk Horticultural Specialties and has taught non-credit landscape and garden design courses since 2000.

Ever the overachiever, David submitted a list that contains 11 suggestions. (I really like suggestion No. 11!)

1.  Get those bulbs planted that you forgot you bought last fall.  They might not bloom this spring, but probably will next year.

2.  Finish cleaning up or pruning any spent perennial foliage.

3.  Trim any ornamental grasses down to about a foot before new growth starts in March.

4.  Start a compost pile with the garden litter so that you can topdress with compost later this year.

5.  Prune those shrubs that bloom later, on the new growth, now; such as Hydrangea, Spirea and Roses.

6.  Apply micronutrients to beds before mulching; wait until leaves are on good to fertilize.

7.  Get some mulch down before all the perennials and bulbs start emerging; it will be easier to apply, and freshen up the looks.

8.  While the leaves are off, size up trees and Crape Myrtles for inner branch thinning or tree-form pruning.  Please don’t cut your Crapes in half.

9.  Have a soil test done on your lawn so that you know exactly what to apply this spring.

10. Apply crabgrass preventer around March 1, if you have problem weed grasses in your lawn.  It will help control other annual weeds, too.

11. Get signed up for some non-credit UT Landscape & Garden Design courses so that you will know what to do for the rest of the year. Click here to learn about our certificate program and to register for courses.

Darrin Devault, UT Professional & Personal Development

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