80 In Gardening

Spring Gardening Tasks

Spring Gardening Tasks

Spring cleaning doesn't just apply to inside the home.  It is officially time to put on the gardening gloves and get busy outside!  I find that sometimes all of these tasks can feel overwhelming.  There is so much to be done and so much to be planted.  Getting everything completed little by little really does take away the stress.  The best way to tackle this is by setting aside time in advance for the most important chores that need to get done.  After that, the smaller tasks really don't seem that difficult.  It is so much easier to work out in your yard when the least enjoyable parts of garden cleanup are behind you. Trust me on this!

Tuesdays In The GardenI garden in USDA Zone 6a Massachusetts.  Most of the spring chores I perform here can be applied to any zone.  I've noticed almost everything in life can really benefit from a little tidying up! I am entering my fifth year of edible gardening.  This past winter was the first year I attempted growing vegetables outdoors all season long.  I built a hoop house over my raised garden bed.  You can read more about it in my post Starting a Winter Vegetable Garden.  It did better than expected, and I learned so much along the way.  The seeds and bulbs I planted sprouted very slowly, but the garden covers really did keep everything alive and protected.  Since I was very little, I would always help plant flowers here and there.  This is my third year flower gardening with a purpose and a true understanding of what to do.  In the past, I didn't really know what types of flowers worked best for my zone.  I also made mistakes with planting flowers that needed sun in the shade and vice versa.  While I still make missteps here and there, I now have a stronger sense of how to successfully work with what is around me, and incorporate new plants 

Tuesdays in the Garden

Tuesdays In The Garden

I'm excited to announce that I will be linking this post up with other fabulous garden bloggers!  All of us share the same passion for nature with a unique point of view. Tuesdays in the Garden is a fun blog series that we will all be participating in.  This is the very first edition in the series. Looking for some great gardening resources?  We have all teamed up to provide you with just that!  We are all joining forces to bring you a garden related post the first and third Tuesday of each month.  Each one will revolve around a theme providing you with an array of information and a vast amount of great ideas.  We will be sharing everything from garden DIYs to our favorite homegrown recipes.  Every post will feature photos and links for you to click on.  This will connect you to the other five blogs at the bottom of each post!  It's that easy! 

Tuesdays In The Garden-Spring Garden

Getting Ready For Spring

Garden ToolsGarden Tools-I store all my tools in the shed during the winter months.  The first thing I do is give them a small inspection to make sure they are all in working order.  Sharpen any blades that have become dull and give anything dirty a good cleaning.  After this, it is time to bring out the good old wheelbarrow.  In my opinion, the wheelbarrow is truly a gardeners best friend.  It not only helps me pick up and move debris, but it also helps me transport heavy tools instead of having to lug them around.  This is a total life and back saver.  My next step is to go around the yard collecting any downed tree branches and twigs.  This is not a fun step, but it is a necessary step after the winter snowstorms.  You will feel so much better once this step is done!

EuonymusRake Garden Beds-Time to grab the rake and start cleaning out those garden beds.  Keeping leaves and debris covering your plants over the colder months is always a good idea for protection and insulation.  It also provides birds and garden critters with nesting materials.  Make sure when you are raking out your garden beds, you do so gently, as not to disturb spring bulbs that may be starting to emerge.  While doing this, look for any damage that may have occurred during the winter, so you can tend to that next.  I take the leaves and debris collected, and I form a compost pile as well as a burn pile in my backyard.  Most towns around here allow you to burn during the early months of the year as long as you have the required permit to do so.  Pick a day designated to burning ahead of time and mark your calendar!  Pictured is my euonymus shrub before leaf cleanup.

Rhododendron BushPruning-Remove all dead or damaged branches from your shrubs and plants. New England is known for it's harsh winters.  Most of the time my shrubs really take a beating.  Falling ice and snow can really make a mess of a beautiful plant.  This year, the shrubs held up well.  Last year, a good portion of the azalea bushes were severely damaged by ice.  With some extra TLC, and some heavy pruning, it's beginning to look good as new!  It is important to read up on certain plants and shrubs before you prune them.  I learned this the hard way.  Make sure you trim plants during the required season for best growth.  Some do best pruned before new growth.  Others do better being pruned after new growth has finished blooming.  I have really messed up some hydrangeas in the past by pruning them at the wrong time.  You live and you learn! Pictured here is my rhododendron bush.

Shrub Maintenance

Azalea Bush

Cutting damaged parts off of the azalea bush as shown on bottom left

Wheatgrass SeedsSeeds & Sprouts-It is the perfect time to start some seeds!  You can start annuals as well as vegetables indoors before your last frost date.  I am starting peppers, tomatoes and lettuce indoors under grow lights.  When it comes to annuals, I'm starting impatiens, snap dragons and calendula.  If you are itching to get outdoors and plant, now is the time to get poppy seeds, sweet peas and garden peas into the ground.  The cold helps these plants germinate, and as long as the ground isn't frozen, they will begin to grow.  Make sure to soak sweet peas 12-24 hours before planting to give them a jump start.  If you want to enjoy some healthy greens before the lettuce is ready to harvest outdoors, you can try growing sprouts and microgreens inside.  They grow fast, and provide nutrition to salads, sandwiches and smoothies!  If you have animals, you can also grow wheatgrass for chickens and cat grass to hold over your feline friends!  Pictured are some wheatgrass seeds soaking to aid in germination before planting. 

Window BoxWindow Box & Containers-I like to start prepping my window box a few weeks before Easter. I dampen the old soil and add some fresh soil to the mix.  Pansies are a very hardy spring annual, so I like to add some as soon as they arrive at my local garden center.  They can withstand cold temperatures better than most flowers.  If you plant these flowers in containers, make sure to water them often.  Before Easter, I will be adding some vinca vines and violas to my box. Pictured is what my window box looks like today. 

Birds NestFor The Birds-If you enjoy hearing the relaxing sounds of birds chirping in the yard like me, now is the time to clean out the birdhouses.  Get rid of any nests from last season and give them a quick cleaning.  Any hanging metal bird feeders also benefit from a quick scrub.  I also like to clean my squirrel guard that sits below my bird feeder.  It is always a good idea to make sure your bird baths stay bacteria free.  Thoroughly rinse out the bath and allow it to dry, then refill with new water. Every year, the birds love making a nest right on top of the rain gutter. I always giggle because they have many bird houses to choose from, but they like it there.  It is warm, protected from the elements and a nice little comfy spot! I look forward to seeing one form year after year.  It is close to my azalea bush, so the shrub acts as a rest stop for them.  Pictured is the most recent nest formed last week.  And yes, that is dryer lint!

In My Spring Garden

My Spring Garden

Pictured above-tulips, peonies, hyacinths, daylilies, crocuses and the trees all are beginning to bloom. The bird activity has definitely started ramping up, including a group of turkeys that like to explore the neighborhood!

Sit Back And Enjoy!

The number one thing I want to remind everyone to do is to stop and enjoy spring!  Sometimes we can get caught up in all the work we need to do around the yard.  I've definitely done that in the past.  Yes, there are tasks and chores we must do every season.  Once these are done, don't feel the need to fix every little thing you may notice in your yard.  If life gets in the way, and something doesn't get done, don't fret.  We all have spots that need improvement in the yard, but try not to focus on that.  Doing it all at once can be overwhelming.  Reward yourself by just relaxing outside and enjoying all the beautiful flowers you see.  Flowers like crocuses and tulips bloom for such a short amount of time.  It's important to stop and enjoy them when you can.  That has made all the difference in gardening for me.  Get out there and focus on what you have, not what you don't! Remember to designate a certain amount of time to spring yard work.  After that, enjoy all of your hard work. You deserve it! 

Spring Garden

Gardening Girls

Make sure to check out these links for some more great spring gardening tips.  Just click on each picture, and it will take you to each post!  Every article is jam packed with ideas, tips as well as tricks you can take and apply to your very own yard and garden.  We are all from different states as well as gardening zones, so don't forget to stop by and take advantage of the wealth of information this blog hop provides!

What spring flowers are blooming in your gardens?  Do you have a favorite that you look forward to seeing every spring? I'm hoping to add hellebores and snow drops to my yard sometime soon.  I love early blooming flowers that can withstand the colder temperatures.  Always great to see the garden come back to life after a long winter.  Don't forget to check back here for more Tuesdays in the Garden.  You can also follow along on twitter, or post some of your garden pictures using the hashtag #tuesdaysinthegarden. Happy spring everyone, get out in the garden and have some fun!



Spring cleaning doesn't just apply to inside the home.  It is officially time to put on the gardening gloves and get busy outside!  I find that sometimes all of these tasks can feel overwhelming.  There is so much to be done and so much to be planted.  Getting everything completed little by little really does take away the stress.  The best way to tackle this is by setting aside time in advance for the most important chores that need to get done.


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  • Betty Bite
    March 22, 2016 at 9:25 am

    Great posting!! My husband and I just started to clean up outside and one of the things we do every year is clean out the birdhouses. We love to watch the birds and feed them throughout the summer. This posting is a great reminder of all I have left to do. 🙂 Enjoy Spring

    • Thefreckledrose
      April 3, 2016 at 2:23 pm

      Thank you Betty! Thats great! I find it makes a big difference for the birdies 🙂 Happy spring!

  • Pam
    March 22, 2016 at 11:36 am

    Great ideas! I’m planning on doing my pruning this weekend (and it will take me all weekend). It’s actually my least favorite gardening chore, so I try to do it first so it’s not hanging over my head 🙂

    • Thefreckledrose
      April 3, 2016 at 2:45 pm

      Thanks Pam! Same here, it feels so much better once it’s out of the way. It’s much more fun to focus on planting and growing 🙂

  • Kelly Deal
    March 22, 2016 at 1:05 pm

    Wonderful post! I’ve been itching to start my outdoor spring cleanup. I don’t have any blooms popping up, because if I plant bulbs the squirrels will eat them and if the squirrels so happen to miss a bulb the rabbits eat whatever comes up. It’s a never ending battle………, but I do like the little bits of green I’m starting to see!

    • Thefreckledrose
      April 3, 2016 at 2:57 pm

      Thank you Kelly! I am privy to that battle and have dealt with it myself. I’ve been reading about sprinkling cayenne on the bulbs, it may be a fix for that. I’ve yet to try it, but it’s worth a shot 🙂

  • Molly @ Love the Everyday
    March 22, 2016 at 2:57 pm

    We are expecting some more snow here this week, but after that it’s game on. I’m going to clean out the boxes that hang on my deck rails this week and fill them with new soil. Spring is on the horizon!

    • Thefreckledrose
      April 3, 2016 at 3:00 pm

      Yes! It actually snowed here in New England last night. I’m ready for it to melt and go away until next winter! When it’s gone, it’s back to spring cleaning for me. Happy Spring!

  • rusty duck
    March 22, 2016 at 3:04 pm

    I couldn’t agree more with getting the big jobs out of the way early. It’s shifting big shrubs around here. Very hard work, but I keep telling myself I’ll then have all summer to sit back and enjoy watching them grow.. in the right place!

    • Thefreckledrose
      April 3, 2016 at 3:05 pm

      It can be unpleasant, but feels great when you’re finished! 🙂 I’ve shifted around big shrubs in the past, and it’s tons of work! Make sure you reward yourself for all the hard work when you’re done. It will feel great, happy spring to you!

  • Alice
    March 22, 2016 at 4:48 pm

    I love these tips to get ready for spring! I live in an apartment so there’s not too much to do, but I do tend to a little garden outside my tiny patio 😉

    xo, alice / T Y P E N U

    • Thefreckledrose
      April 3, 2016 at 3:08 pm

      Thanks Alice! I bet your patio garden is lovely. I am a big fan of gardening in small spaces. You can do so much, especially when planting vertically! Have you looked into the CedarCraft planter line? They make awesome planters for small spaces & I offer a code for 30% off any purchase located in my sidebar! 🙂 Have a lovely weekend and happy spring!

  • Brittany
    March 22, 2016 at 5:39 pm

    These are really great tips from spring garden prep! I am always so excited to get outside and get to work! You gave me some really great ideas! Thanks for sharing!

    • Thefreckledrose
      April 3, 2016 at 3:10 pm

      Thanks Brittany! Me too, I’m so happy it’s finally spring 🙂

  • angie
    March 22, 2016 at 8:01 pm

    love gardening our early flowers have appeared and we are getting ready to plant a few more. The beauty of them will make the work worthy

    • Thefreckledrose
      April 3, 2016 at 3:12 pm

      That’s awesome Angie! I agree, have fun out there in the garden 🙂

  • Jami
    March 22, 2016 at 8:14 pm

    Yes, we need all the reminders we can get. 🙂 I’ve done some pruning, but more needs to be done and I’ve got some transplanting that needs to happen asap! Your garden is lovely!

    • Thefreckledrose
      April 3, 2016 at 3:13 pm

      Thanks Jami! Lots more work to get done here as well. I’m so happy it’s finally spring and I’m itching to get my hands in the soil again 😀

  • Ramblingwoods
    March 22, 2016 at 9:28 pm

    Wonderful series to learn for a novice like me… I thought I would mention that untreated pet fur is a safe alternative to lint. The threads made of man-made material may get caught on a little wing or foot and may cause damage. The same with yarn or string. This is what I have learned from rehabbers who deal with birds and squirrels …. Michelle

    • Thefreckledrose
      April 3, 2016 at 3:17 pm

      Thank you so much Michelle! Good to know about the pet fur. They actually collected that lint all by themselves. I have no idea how they got it! I didn’t know what it was at first, I was curious as to what blue material it could be. I figured it out with closer inspection! I wouldn’t want to ever hurt or harm the birds in my yard in any way. Thanks for the great advice and happy spring 🙂

  • Kathy
    March 22, 2016 at 11:40 pm

    I love to get ready for spring. Our tomatoes are in the ground!

    • Thefreckledrose
      April 3, 2016 at 3:18 pm

      That’s great Kathy! Wishing you bountiful tomato harvests this summer 🙂 Happy spring!

  • sherry
    March 22, 2016 at 11:48 pm

    Thanks for these tips. I can’t wait to start preparing our garden for planting!

    • Thefreckledrose
      April 3, 2016 at 3:19 pm

      No problem Sherry! Same here, happy spring to you 🙂

  • Michelle Marine
    March 23, 2016 at 8:21 am

    I have never tried a winter garden, but I’m excited to read about yours and maybe try one next year. I love your post and pictures, Angie! Great to have you along for the Tuesdays in the Garden ride! 🙂

    • Thefreckledrose
      April 3, 2016 at 3:21 pm

      Thanks Michelle! I learned a ton and it was really fun 🙂 I had no expectations, and I think that’s the key when trying something new in gardening. Happy to be a part of Tuesdays in the Garden with you 🙂

  • Dom
    March 23, 2016 at 12:03 pm

    Awesome post! I’m dying to get back into the garden. Winters are long here in Canada, so counting down the days til the end of April to get mulching and prepping for May planting!!

    • Thefreckledrose
      April 3, 2016 at 3:37 pm

      Thank you Dom! Me too! We actually just got snow here in New England last night, so I have to wait awhile as well. Happy spring!

  • Shelly
    March 23, 2016 at 12:10 pm

    We’ve been slowly getting all of our spring tasks done. Last weekend I divided my hostas and gifted a few to friends and neighbors. We also were able to get our trees trimmed and the roses trimmed too. We still have more to do but getting a little done here and there sure does take the stress out of it.

    • Thefreckledrose
      April 3, 2016 at 3:39 pm

      Slow and steady is the way to go, rushing is no fun! I have to divide some hostas as well. I wish I was your neighbor 🙂 I always love adding new varieties of hostas to my yard. They are such a hardy plant. Sounds like you have a great schedule & your yard will be all set for spring 🙂

  • Mindy @ Farm Fit Living
    March 23, 2016 at 1:17 pm

    Hi Angie! I also live in 6a but in Kansas. 🙂 So, we are in the same boat. Very good tips. I am impatiently waiting to plant my potatoes. Hopefully, I can get them in tomorrow if we don’t get the rain tonight.

    I also have other spring crops, such as peas, onions, lettuce and spinach. I am glad I found your beautiful blog.

    • Thefreckledrose
      April 3, 2016 at 3:59 pm

      Hey Mindy, my fellow zone twin! I can’t wait to plant potatoes as well. I’m so antsy to get out there and start gardening. We unfortunately dealt with some snow last night, so I might have to wait a bit! Happy planting and wishing you abundant harvests this summer 🙂

  • Quirky Homemaker
    March 23, 2016 at 5:02 pm

    Great list. I have so many things I need to do in my garden! It is definitely time to Spring clean it!

    • Thefreckledrose
      April 3, 2016 at 4:03 pm

      Thanks! Same here, I feel it’s always a never ending list. A little at a time right? Happy spring 🙂

  • Shannon Ketchum
    March 23, 2016 at 10:22 pm

    Awesome tips, thank you so much! Pinning for later 🙂

    • Thefreckledrose
      April 3, 2016 at 4:03 pm

      Thanks so much for pinning Shannon 🙂 Happy spring!

  • Miranda
    March 24, 2016 at 1:29 pm

    Thank you so much for joining us in the link-up! This is such a fun post for me to read 🙂 We moved into a new house and I get to start from SCRATCH with our flowers and such.. and I’m SO EXCITED!!! I am so happy that I’ve found your blog 🙂

    • Thefreckledrose
      April 3, 2016 at 4:06 pm

      Happy to link up Miranda! Oh wow! Congratulations on the new house. I’m so excited for you! It’s always so much fun to start a garden. Feel free to share pictures with me as they grow! I can’t wait to see 🙂

  • Dave
    March 24, 2016 at 1:44 pm

    Great post, Angie!

    It’s such an exciting time of the year. I always get excited about the planting part, this time of year, and don’t think so much about the ‘maintenance’ part–caring for tools, the raking/pruning of damaged shrubs.

    It was good to read your post and get a list of some useful tasks that will help my garden thrive.

    • Thefreckledrose
      April 3, 2016 at 4:10 pm

      Thank you Dave! Same here, I’m ready to get out there and plant. Sometimes waiting is the hardest part! Unfortunately, there is the less glamorous side of gardening that requires hard work and tasks that aren’t that fun. I try to get them done and reward myself with some pretty new plants! Fool proof method for me 🙂

  • Allie
    March 24, 2016 at 2:53 pm

    Great info! Definitely Pinning your post so I can come back to it when I am actually able to start my own garden! =D

    • Thefreckledrose
      April 3, 2016 at 4:11 pm

      Thanks so much for pinning Allie! Happy spring & happy gardening 🙂

  • tanya breese
    March 25, 2016 at 8:37 am

    yay spring!!! i am so excited!

  • Tanya
    March 25, 2016 at 1:39 pm

    Thanks so much for all the ideas! I have a huge garden project the upcoming month, so I pinned your post for reference. 🙂 I must say, I am always afraid of pruning. I’m so scared I will do more harm than good!

    • Thefreckledrose
      April 3, 2016 at 4:13 pm

      Thank you for pinning Tanya! Same here, I do lots of research before a get started. It’s worth the extra time, that way you don’t ruin any beautiful plants (guilty of this) Happy spring!

  • DeniseinVA
    March 25, 2016 at 6:53 pm

    Lots of great info here, love your post. Thanks so much and for sharing it with Today’s Flowers. Happy weekend to you 🙂

    • Thefreckledrose
      April 3, 2016 at 4:36 pm

      Thanks so much Denise! Happy spring 🙂

  • Cath
    March 26, 2016 at 12:40 am

    a terrific post and very pin worthy….I am doing so and then I can read again at leisure. Thanks for sharing at Fun Friday FAvourites.

    • Thefreckledrose
      April 3, 2016 at 4:37 pm

      Thank you Cath! Happy to link up 🙂

  • Mimi
    March 26, 2016 at 6:46 pm

    Angie, spot on! We have 3/4 acre of garden and we’re out there every weekend just tidying and beautifying. It’s not work though…it’s a pleasure. Thanks for sharing at Five Star Frou-Frou this week and Happy Easter! Love, Mimi xxx

    • Thefreckledrose
      April 3, 2016 at 4:38 pm

      Thanks Mimi! Sounds amazing 🙂 It’s better to think of it that way. Happy spring!

  • John Adams
    March 27, 2016 at 1:59 am

    You have reminded me I have to sort our garden out ready for planting. #MySUndayPhoto

  • Amber Bradshaw
    March 27, 2016 at 9:57 am

    Stopping by from the simple Sat blog Hop- love this post. I am sharing this week, beautiful pictures.

    • Thefreckledrose
      April 3, 2016 at 4:39 pm

      Thank you for sharing Amber! Happy spring 🙂

  • Coombe Mill - Fiona
    March 27, 2016 at 10:46 am

    Lovely to see the garden springing into life at this time of year #MySundayPhoto

  • Mrs Tubbs
    March 27, 2016 at 3:24 pm

    Such wonderful photos. It’s great to see spring is on the way 🙂

    • Thefreckledrose
      April 3, 2016 at 4:44 pm

      Thank you! Yes I agree, so happy it’s finally here! 😀

  • Jen McGuinness (@JenMGardens)
    March 28, 2016 at 10:59 am

    What a fun idea! I find it hard to enjoy spring fully because I’m always running around looking at what isn’t perfect. It’s so hard to get out of that mindset!!

    • Thefreckledrose
      April 3, 2016 at 4:46 pm

      I think all us serious gardeners get that way! I’ve been working on keeping it at bay and enjoying what I have 🙂

  • Kati
    March 28, 2016 at 12:49 pm

    Thanks for this great reminder of things to do in the Spring. I am so excited to get me fingers in the dirt, but it’s snowing again today! Thanks for sharing at the Wednesday Showcase.

    • Thefreckledrose
      April 3, 2016 at 4:47 pm

      Yes, it’s snowing again here in New England as well. Soon, we will be out there covered in dirt 🙂 Happy spring!

  • Christine
    March 29, 2016 at 9:55 am

    Loving your pictures you shared! It reminds me of the joy of gardening and not so much of how much work it is. But how fun it can be to get outside and dig in the dirt.

    • Thefreckledrose
      April 3, 2016 at 4:49 pm

      Thank you Christine! We all must remember to sit back and relax sometimes, not easy! Happy spring 🙂

  • Jennifer Corter
    March 29, 2016 at 8:09 pm

    What beautiful flowers! It’s probably a little late, but my little guy and I are starting some seeds tomorrow inside!

    • Thefreckledrose
      April 3, 2016 at 4:50 pm

      Thanks Jennifer! Never too late to start seeds 🙂 Sounds like fun, and soon enough they will be beautiful plants. Happy spring!

  • Kim Cunningham
    March 30, 2016 at 9:06 pm

    I think pruning is the job that scares me the most. I’m always afraid that I’m not doing it correctly. My hydrangea hasn’t bloomed in two summers since I pruned. I definitely need to be taught!

    • Thefreckledrose
      April 3, 2016 at 4:55 pm

      I’m in the same boat with you Kim. Lots of preparation and research happens before I even think of touching a plant. Takes more time, but worth it in the long run! Same thing happened to my hydrangea, they can be difficult to care for. I’m not giving up though, maybe this is our year! 🙂

  • Floral Fridays
    March 31, 2016 at 8:03 am

    Great post!
    Thanks for taking part in the Floral Fridays Foto meme.

  • Tess Ciarloni
    March 31, 2016 at 2:40 pm

    Your garden is already starting to look really pretty! It’s still so cold here, we don’t even have any crocuses blooming yet

    • Thefreckledrose
      April 3, 2016 at 4:57 pm

      Thank you Tess! It actually just snowed here in New England, so I have to wait for some blooms as well. Happy spring 🙂

  • Judith@Lavender Cottage
    April 4, 2016 at 7:56 pm

    I can’t wait until we stop getting snow in my zone 5a Canadian garden and I can get my hands dirty with the spring clean up. Next week looks promising.

    • Thefreckledrose
      April 22, 2016 at 6:12 pm

      Hoping the weather is getting warmer for you Judith!

  • Donna@Gardens Eye View
    April 5, 2016 at 11:45 am

    If we could get this recent snow to melt I could get back to my chores but we are 6-8 inches covered which is killing the daffs…

    • Thefreckledrose
      April 22, 2016 at 6:13 pm

      Hoping the snow has finally melted for you Donna!

  • Madi
    April 6, 2016 at 10:11 am

    great tips, can’t wait to get my garden going!

    • Thefreckledrose
      April 22, 2016 at 6:13 pm

      Thanks Madi! What are you planting this year?