Early Spring Lawn & Garden Care

The “itch” to get outside and get things rolling in the yard and garden is hard to suppress. Although it’s best to take it slowly, there are a couple of things one can accomplish in the yard in the spring before we can do most of our planting.

Please note that these tasks will be in stages due to varying weather patterns. For example, pruning dead branches or to shape your tree before budding can be done anytime late winter to early spring as well as cleaning tools and containers. You will have to wait until warmer temps for planting bulbs, clearing dead perennial foliage and remove protective mulching, seed grass, or applying weed killers.


1. Decorate outside with the first blooming plants, frost-tolerant pansies!

2. Clean and sanitize your outdoor containers, bird baths, etc. Check out brand new products in store if you need something new!

3. Prune off dead/damaged branches on shrubs and trees. Late winter/early spring is the best time to prune trees, before their buds are formed. Refer to our pruning guide in regards to shrubs and trees.

4. Clean debris from veggie garden and top dress the soil with compost at least two weeks before you plant. Avoid compaction of the soil by designating walkways and avoiding walking around when soil is wet.

5. Mid March to Mid April, depending on weather, is the best time to put down new grass seed or ground covers like clover. Wait just before or during the time when day temps are 60F+ consistently before spreading seed. Most seeds, including grass won’t germinate until the soil is 55F+. We carry grass seed locally made to survive and thrive for MN weather.

Please note, if you want to do a weed killer in the same area you want new grass, you will have to wait to over-seed grass until summer or fall. If seeding is more important – forgo the crabgrass or weed killer and just use a lawn food

Apply crabgrass and weed pre-emergents during the same ideal time to seed grass. Most products last 6-8 weeks so it’s timing the application with the weather or you may need to reapply. Weeds germinate when soil is 55F. There are many turf products, likes Maxlawn Weed and Feed, that contain fertilizer as well as weed killers so you can accomplish both tasks if you have weeds throughout your lawn. Our staff can help you decide what is best depending on what you want to accomplish!

If you don’t mind weeds, use a lawn fertilizer around the time you have to mow for the first time.

6. Clean up dead perennial matter and protective mulch around the time you see the perennial emerging. Keep the mulch nearby just in case we get freezing weather. Beneficial insects will be in their dormant state in leaf litter and dead perennial matter. Wait to clean up dead plant material as late as possible in the spring. Ideally when the weather is consistently 60F during the day, it is safe to clean it up.



Summer blooming bulbs, potatoes, strawberries and onion plants.

Plant when the soil has warmed to above 40F and the soil isn’t soggy.

Usually early April through mid May depending on the spring weather. The soil should be rich and well-draining to avoid bulb rot if cooler temps come back. Wait until late April/early May for blooming bulbs if you’d like to be on the safer side.

Cool Season Hardy and Semi-Hardy Vegetables:

list of cold season hardy and semi-hardy veggie crops