Start Cole Crops
If you haven\'t already done so, start cole crops, such as broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage, indoors under lights. These cool-loving crops will grow 6 weeks indoors before being transplanted outdoors 2 weeks before your last frost date. Keep seedlings moist and well fed to have the sturdiest plants possible to transplant.
Cyclamen are beautiful houseplants that can flower for weeks indoors this time of year, but they are subject to some problems. Spider mites love them and, if severe, may require you to spray plants with insecticidal soap. Also, overwatering causes root rot, and the plant will quickly die. Luckily, cyclamen can be cut back to the soil line and will resprout new shoots in no time.
Cut Pussy Willows
Now is the time of year to search swamps and wet areas for the first sign of spring - the pussy willow. Buds are swelling with the warmer weather. Take 2-foot cuttings from the bush, trying not to deform it by taking too many cuttings in one location. Bring them indoors and place them in a cool room in water.
When the snows subside, it's time to begin raking the lawn to remove the winter debris of old leaves, sand, and branches. Raking with a lawn rake also removes old grass and helps aerate the soil, letting spring rains, and later fertilizer, penetrate to the roots for a healthier lawn.
Annual flowers such as geraniums, petunias, and marigolds should be started indoors now to be transplanted outdoors in May. Even though you can buy these plants as transplants in garden centers in spring, starting your own seeds lets you choose the varieties to grow and is more economical if you need a lot of these flowers. Keep seedlings well watered and fertilized until it\'s time to move them outdoors.