Here in central Pennsylvania it's too early to plant annuals. You should wait until the danger of frost is gone. The safe bet is Memorial Day, but I can usually get away with planting annuals around May 15. Even though May 15 seems like a long time from now, there are still some things you can do to get your yard ready.
1. Cut away any dead parts of your perennials. This weekend I did that with my sedum, black-eyed susans, and yarrow. It's important that you make sure sure you can see some new growth before you do this. You should not do this to shrub-like plants like lavender or thyme. Wait until the middle of May to trim these plants back.
|You can see the green, new growth. I've cut back most of the dead, woody stalks,|
but I've left a little bit there.
|Bachelor button is looking good!|
2. Cut off your ornamental grasses. I recently read a tip to tape around the grass or use bungee cords around the grass to make this process a little more neat.
|Oops! I see a weed I need to pull under the grass. Ugh!|
4. Prepare soil. I have a small vegetable garden that is weed infested I sprayed Round-Up in that area and in a week or two I'll turn the ground over and add some compost.
|Weed infested vegetable garden. :-)|
|New growth on a hydrangea. I was worried that it may have died at the end of last summer.|
|A tiny yellow blossom on dwarf forsythia.|