Garden Tips for Early Spring

Dated: February 25 2021

Views: 300

Garden Tips for Early Spring


By Corbett Jordan, Smoke Rise Agents

My mother developed a passion for gardening when I was in my mid-teens. Prior to that, we had a lawn that we kept cut and bushes that were obligatorily trimmed as they grew out of control. But one day, seemingly out of the blue, gardening became a passion. She had beautiful gardens of snapdragons, phlox and wave petunias full of vibrant color and buzzing bees.

As I look at my yard, where we keep the grass cut and obligatorily trim the shrubs, I know there must be something more that I can do to prep my yard for a beautiful spring.

I figured the best thing is to go straight to the source. So, I reached out for advice from our wise and green-thumbed neighbors, certified arborist Lyle Collins, owner of Southern Trillium, and Master Gardener, Deb Halley.

Here are top tips on what you can do for your yard in early spring:



  1. The first step is to make a plan. Take a close look at your yard and see if there are ways to improve the bones of the space. Plan for your projects for spring and summer.

  2. Applying a first round of a pre-emergent, can help your lawn and landscape reduce the annual weeds, such as chickweed from being established. Always read and follow the label for instructions on how to apply. 

  3. PRUNE! It is time to perform rejuvenation pruning for the summer flowering plants, like daisies, phlox and lambs ear.  

  4. Ornamental grasses should also be cut back before new growth appears. Don’t prune spring flowering plants, such as azaleas or mop head hydrangeas. These may have buds for flowering.

  5. While the branches are still bare is a good time to have your trees checked for rot or decay. If there are signs of ivy growth on the trees, you will need to kill the ivy vine near the base of the tree.

As a reminder, Collins warns us-  do not commit Crape Murder. Even though many landscapers, untrained tree professionals, and innocent homeowners continue this practice, crape myrtles are trees and do not need major pruning. If the tree is too large for the space, consider removing it and replacing with an appropriately sized tree or shrub.

However, if you are like me and are not sure about what blooms and when, a good place to start is with Walter Reeves and his monthly gardening tips blog. 

Ealy March is a good time to divide overgrown clumps of hostas and start caladium bulbs in pots inside. Halley notes to look for early hosta leaves unfurling above the ground to divide and transplant. And reminds us that caladiums like it warm, so wait until May to move them to your garden.

Looking ahead to April and May, you can start to think about planting the tomatoes, peppers and eggplants. But, wait until after the 15th for the soil to be warm. Haley advises to mulch around each plant with newspaper and then cover with pine straw or other heavier mulch to keep soil-borne disease and weeds down. For summer long color, begonias, coleus, geraniums, vinca, and my mother's favorite, petunias can all be planted in early May.



For more garden inspiration, check out my favorite Georgia gardens.

The Gibbs Gardens, about one hour north of Atlanta opens with the daffodils. The grounds are composed of 16 gardens including three main attractions – Manor House Gardens, Japanese and Waterlily Gardens.

The Woodlands in Decatur is over seven acres of tranquility in the city. While there you can see the Georgia Piedmont Native Garden or be inspired by the Morse Family Heritage Garden. The Woodlands is open seven days a week during daylight hours, and you are just in time to catch the camellias that bloom from November through March.

As a Marietta native, The Chattahoochee Nature Center will always rank high on my list. We spent countless hours there as kids, walking the wooded trails and exploring the boardwalk by the river. The Nature Center has expanded since my childhood, however, I still recognize some of my favorite trails.

And last, but not least, I would certainly offend my Atlanta heritage if I did not include The Atlanta Botanical Gardens or Callaway Gardens. Inspiration for all seasons can be most days of the week.

Until my inner gardener kicks in and I can create my own yard masterpiece, I will be following these words of wisdom!


For more information on the health of your trees or to find a professional to evaluate,  find a certified Arborist at Trees Are Good and at Georgia Arborist

You may be close to a Georgia Garden Group. To get involved, check The Garden Club of Georgia to see the district where you live.


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Corbett Jordan

Corbett Jordan joined Smoke Rise Agents Team in the Spring of 2017 as a new agent. In less than a year she created an extremely successful business winning the Pinnacle Award - 2017 Top New Realtor in....

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