Inland Northwest, High Desert
In the warmer areas of our region, the roses are budding out. If the weather forecast says you probably won\'t have more hard freezes, go ahead and start pruning. Prune canes up to the fourth bud (sometimes higher, if it\'s a large bush), leaving plenty of cane. That way, if Mother Nature throws out one more hard freeze, you can always prune back more.
Sweet peas and edible peas should be in the ground where it's thawed now. Bush forms of other types grow well in containers. By growing them in containers, you can move them to the shade if spring warms faster than anticipated.
Make Plant Markers
Here\'s a plant marker that won\'t rot or run: Use a fine-tipped indelible marker to write on plastic spoons or forks for a clear label that you can read in the rain. Write the name of the variety and the date you planted it on the handle, and stick the business end in the ground where you planted.
Weed Out Buttercups
Bur buttercups look like a sweet little mossy ground cover. But soon after their tiny yellow flowers appear, they produce prickly seedpod balls that can puncture mower tires, puppy paws, and your toes. It's too cool yet to use spray herbicides, and pre-emergent herbicides aren't labeled for bur buttercup, so the best defense is to hoe them out.
Set Up Leaky Hoses
In case of a dry summer, plant flowers in clusters so that watering can be more efficient, or use leaky hoses to drip only as much water as you need right near the plants. Put your drip hoses on a timer to take care of the garden while you\'re at work or on vacation.