The temperatures are in the mid-teens, the sun is shining, and the signs of spring are starting to appear everywhere. For those who are looking to get out and start working on the yard or the garden, though, patience is key. This advice comes from Sheri Roberts, a professional agrologist and a member of the Weyburn Horticultural Society. 

Roberts explained the ground is still wet, and while the sun may be shining down, the ground itself hasn’t completely thawed yet. This would mean pulling up the grass as it is starting to come out of dormancy. So, what can those who are eager to get out into the garden do? 

“One thing that you could do is if you have flowering shrubs that they flower in the middle of summer – not your lilacs, not your forsythia, not your spring flowering bushes, but your ones like potentillas or spireas – those you could actually go out and prune now,” Roberts said. For those that do flower in the spring, you would need to wait before you can start working on those.  

“Anything that flowers in the spring, you have to prune that right after it gets done flowering,” Roberts added. “A lot of people prune their lilacs and they can’t figure out why I never get any lilac flowers in the springtime. Well, you’re pruning away the flower buds. Any shrub that flowers in the springtime, and trees als, like flowering crabs and apples and all that, you don’t want to be pruning them now. You have to wait until after they get done flowering. Then you go in and you can prune those.” 

Forsythia can also be a good indicator of when it is time to start working on the flower beds in the yard, Roberts continued. She noted there is one in a prominent location in Weyburn, near the intersection of Coteau Avenue and 3rd Street. She said when its yellow flowers emerge, that will be a good time to get down some pre-emergent products such as corn gluten. 

“When that forsythia is in bloom, that’s your indicator to go get that corn gluten and put it down, and that will help in your lawns to keep certain weeds from coming up and germinating too.” 

Roberts noted the last spring frost is generally around May 15th, so once the frost is out of the ground, and the pre-emergent is down, then it could be a good time to get started on the garden.