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Make Your Garden Grow

Spring planting has never been easier with this month-by-month guide to successful gardening in southwest Missouri.

By Erin Gregory

Mar 2017

Trimming and pruning helps maintain your plants' longevity.
Photo courtesy ShutterstockTrimming and pruning helps maintain your plants' longevity.


Garden Checklist

Kelly McGowan of the MU Extension office provided readers with the following timeline to help prep land for spring gardening.

January
 Gardening catalogs arrive in the mail. Consider trying new varieties of flowers and vegetables, and start thinking about what you want to include in your garden for the season.

February
 Start seeds indoors for slow-growing annuals such as petunias, coleus, salvia and impatiens.
 Start seeds indoors for cool season vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and cabbage.
 Inspect fruit trees for tent caterpillar egg masses, which look like dark brown collars that encircle branch tips. Prune out or scrape off any infested areas.
 Be on the lookout for winter annual weeds such as henbit and chickweed.
 Hand pull or hoe the newly germinated seedlings you find.

March
 Start removing dead foliage from perennial plants.
 Continue to monitor and remove weeds.
 Cut ornamental grasses to the ground.
 Plant your cool season vegetables outdoors.
 Start seeds indoors for tomatoes and slow germinating warm season vegetables such as peppers and eggplants.
 Over-seed thin or bare spots in lawns.

April
 Plant new trees and shrubs.
 Continue to monitor and remove weeds.
 Put away hummingbird feeders.
 Don’t remove spring bulb foliage; allow it to die back naturally, instead.

May
 Continue to monitor and remove weeds.
 In mid- to late May, scale insect crawlers are active. Treat infested euonymus and other plants at this time.
 Plant warm season annuals and vegetables outdoors.