Time to force forsythia and other spring blooming shrubs and bushes. You can read about it in this article. In fact, you can stick just about any shrub or tree branch in water and watch the leaves unfurl weeks earlier than they would outside, to bring a feeling of spring indoors.
It's time for the birds and other migratory creatures to start moving north for the summer season. Yes, you remember summer! I am normally fairly oblivious to such things, but even I noticed the Canada geese on the median strip of the highway today.
It's time to look up your last predicted frost date and start seeds inside. I don't do that myself, so if I wanted to start I would definitely need to punch my zip code into the Dave's Garden frost date predictor and find out the probability of a late frost. I would even look at some of these DG articles on the topic.
It's time to prune or take down hardwood trees as Paul Rodman explained in this article.
I've finally taken care of the old spruce tree. You see, the home insurance guy told me last year that we had to cut the spruce down because it was rubbing the roof of our house. It was planted 50 years ago as a cute little spruce tree when the house was built. 50 years later it was a towering gawky spruce tree that was threatening the integrity of the roof and the safety of the house. It was definitely not something that my husband could tackle by himself. I finally got a reasonable estimate, with a discount because it's in the off-season, so away it went!
We also got rid of an unidentified Euonymus. Doesn't Euonymus, yoo-ON-ih-mus, sound like a dinosaur with a long neck? I can just picture a long-necked Euonymus grazing on some of my overgrown maples. The genus name means "good name" in Greek—very helpful, if I only spoke Greek—and it's a large genus, including burning bush, wintercreeper, and a host of shrubs, bushes and small trees with "scarlet," "silver," "two-toned." "evergreen," "gold," or other desirable-sounding characteristics in the name. My Euonymus is plain green, no flowers or berries that I've noticed, deciduous, and the growth habit of an enormous meatball. Goodbye, anonymous Euonymus!
It's time for me to decide what tree I want to plant in front of the house. You see, we had an old Norway maple that was cracked and dying, but on town property, so I couldn't do anything but pull up the billions of seedlings and learn about deep shade gardening. We even called the town to come take a look at it this summer. They said it wasn't dead enough for them to cut down. But for some reason they came and cut it down this winter! And I get to choose what goes in its place! As long as I buy it.
It's time to look at the bones of your garden before it is overgrown with this year's perennial growth. Read what Toni Leland says about it here.
If you haven't started winter sowing seeds in vented recycled containers, there's still lots of time for that, but it's time to get started. You know you need to drink more milk! Read Jill M. Nicolaus' article here. I usually do a little winter sowing but more spring sowing of hardier annuals, like sweet peas or bachelor's buttons.
It's time to get out your mud boots and your gardening gloves and venture outside. It'll be chilly for a while yet; it may even be snowing. Take heart—spring is on the way.
It's time for gardeners to get moving. There's a little more daylight every day—use it.
Thank you Dave's Garden subscribers nutsfordaylily, Melody, and Gymgirl for photos.
(Editor's Note: This article was originally published on February 24, 2010. Your comments are welcome, but please be aware that authors of previously published articles may not be able to respond to your questions.)