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Have your soil tested if not done within the last 2-3 years. Contact your local Cooperative Extension office (blue pages of phone book) for more information about this service.

Look for early blooming bulbs in the landscape such as Galanthus (snowdrops),  Dutch Iris, Crocus, Scilla (squill), Leucojum (snowflake) , and Chionodoxa (glory-of-the-snow).  Later in the month Daffodils and Narcissus come into bloom.

Woody landscape plants in bloom include Cornus mas (Corneliancherry dogwood), Hamamelis spp. (witchhazel), Forsythia spp., Magnolia stellata (Star Magnolia), Chaenomeles speciosa (common flowering quince) and Cercis canadensis (Eastern redbud).

Prepare the vegetable garden for cool-season crops like spinach, lettuce, peas, leeks, garlic, radishes, and turnips.

Best time to transplant or plant broadleaf and needled evergreens.

Rake debris from the yard prior to fertilization, liming and seed bed preparation. 

Apply lawn fertilizers based on soil test results and use a 50% slow release nitrogen formulation.  Do not apply more than 1 lb. of actual nitrogen per 1000 square feet.

If needed, lime applications can be applied at the same time as lawn fertilization.

New sodding or seeding can be done; although, the best time is in the fall.

Tree fruit can still be pruned.

If Plants Could Talk features gardening tips from local university experts, successful farmers, master gardeners, and many other plant experts. Topics include new and interesting plant varieties, safe and effective pest control, step-by-step cultural tips for landscape and garden, and visits to local farms, arboretums, and backyard gardens.

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This Month's Feature
Plant Talk
Plant Talk
Bill Hlubik's weekly article for 5/22/2008
Ramapo Tomato
Links to get Ramapo Tomato seeds.
 How to Test Your Soil
How to Test Your Soil
View this slideshow and find out how you can have your soil tested.

 Tree Planting
Tree Planting Slideshow
A step by step presentation on how to successfully add a tree to your landscape.
 Tomato Seedlings
Starting Vegetable Seeds Indoors
RCE fact sheet that shows how to get an early jump on your vegetables.