Keep updating your garden journal. Take pictures of your garden. Sketch individual blooms, trees, whatever catches your eye. Sketching in your garden is a wonderful way to enjoy the outdoors while staying safer at home.
Plant annuals and sow cosmos, marigolds, and zinnias.
Plant and tend to your vegetable gardens.
Pruning and Cleaning Up
You can prune spring flowering shrubs after they finish blooming.
This is a good time to look carefully at your trees and shrubs to see how healthy they are and prune out deadwood removing the lower canes from shrubs.
Don't trim maples and birches which are pruned in August.
Fertilize and Mulch
Pine needles, rotted sawdust, straw, and leaves make great mulch.
Mulching flowerbeds improves soil texture.
Stake or support tall growing perennials or ones that might flop over.
Divide daffodils if they are large and have few blooms. You can dig them up with a garden fork 6 weeks after they bloom, remove the dirt with a hose or in a pail of water, dry the bulbs in a mesh bag in a cool dry place, then replant in October.
Mulch your garden beds and keep your compost pile turned.
Keep bird feeders and birdbaths clean. Let feeders dry completely before refilling.
Remember to clean, repair and sharpen tools.
Water plants if necessary.
Update your garden journal, or, if you haven't started a garden journal, start one. Record what and where you've planted and keep it up to date. Keep a record of the weather. Take pictures. Sketch out your garden. Write down the seeds and bulbs you ordered.
Deadhead rhododendron by hand to improve blooms for next year. Be careful not to injure the new leaf shoots under the blooms.
Keep an eye out for the "kissing bug, " which is about the size of a penny and has a needle like mouthpart under a cone shaped head. This bug carries Chagas disease so don't touch it or let it in the house. Here's a link to more information onKissing Bug.
Keep your tools clean and clean your tools as you move from plant to plant.
Wear gloves for all of your gardening and yard chores.
Protect your skin from sun, dirt, bugs, and poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac
Beware of Giant Hogweed - It looks like a giant Queen Anne's Lace as it grows. It is highly toxic! Do NOT touch, pull, brush against, or weed-whack this plant. Do NOT handle this plant. Do NOT try to remove this plant yourself. Direct contact with this plant sensitizes the skin to the sun and leaves 3rd degree burns. If you see or suspect Giant Hogweed take digital photos of the leaf, stem, and flower and contact your local Virginia Cooperative Extension Office. (photo Robert Videki, Doronicum Kft.)