Warwick Valley Gardeners

Keeping Warwick beautiful … one flower at a time

Spring Gardening Tips


  • Choose planting areas based on exposure to sun, shade and wind; consider distance from water source
  • Test soil for pH and type before major planting

Chores and Maintenance:

  • Carefully remove winter mulches from planting beds
  • Dig beds in preparation for spring planting as soon as earth is workable
  • Add compost in 2 to 3 inch layers and work into planting bed soil
  • Remove protective cover from evergreens
  • Reset frost heaved plants
  • Apply horticultural oil sprays to dormant trees and shrubs before buds open and if there is no danger of night frost
  • As ground becomes workable, dethatch lawn; fill in low spots with soil; fertilize established lawns


  • Sow seeds of annuals and vegetables indoors which require 10 to 12 weeks before transplanting
  • Sow radish and lettuce seeds directly into the vegetable garden
  • Plant cold weather vegetables like spinach, peas, lettuce and broccoli as soon as soil is workable
  • Divide and transplant summer-blooming perennials
  • Soak mail order, bare-root plants before planting

Pruning/ Fertilizing:

  • Prune all plant materials to remove any diseased, dead, weak or crossing branches
  • Complete tree pruning before new growth begins
  • Prune late-flowering shrubs such as buddleja and hydrangea paniculata but wait until after flowering on early flowering shrubs such as forsythia, hydrangea macrophylla, rhododendron and syringa
  • Wait to prune evergreens, hedges and other shrubs until late spring into early summer
  • Prune all fruit trees before growth begins
  • Prune hybrid tea roses, floribunda and grandiflora roses, but wait until after flowering on climbers and ramblers
  • Cut back ornamental grasses to new shoots
  • Fertilize deciduous, broad-leaved and needle-leaved evergreens if not fed in the fall
  • Fertilize and lime vegetable garden


  • Begin to transplant pot bound houseplants
  • Continue to inspect for pests and control as needed
  • Cut back leggy houseplants

From NYBG Spring Gardening Chores