- Work compost and organic matter into your garden beds.
- Plant cool-season annuals such as pansies, dianthus (pinks), alyssum, dusty miller, stock, ornamental kale and cabbage, etc.
- As soon as the soil is workable, plant cool-season crops that are not affected by frost, such as cabbage, kale, peas, spinach, collards, kohlrabi, radish, turnip, broccoli, leek, rhubarb, Brussels sprouts, horseradish, onions, etc.
- Protect cool-season crops from frost damage by covering them with row cover fabric.
- Start seeds indoors for warm season crops such as cantaloupe, cucumber, watermelon, etc. Remember to follow directions on packets.
- Mulch roses using pine bark.
- Apply an organic slow-releasing rose fertilizer to roses, water after fertilizing.
- Avoid pruning oaks and elms between April and July.
- Buy trees, shrubs, perennials and grasses hardy to zone 5.
- Remove dead foliage from perennials, groundcovers and shrubs.
- Apply 2 inches of natural hardwood mulch to garden beds. Make sure the mulch is not piled up against the tree trunks.
- Harden off transplants, take them out during sunny warm days and bring them back indoors before the temperature drops.
- Allow new growth to establish before removing winter mulch protection.
Ana graduated with an Associate’s Degree in Ornamental Horticulture from the College of DuPage. She continued her studies in Horticulture through the outreach program at the University of Illinois. In 2014 Ana completed the Horticultural Therapy Certificate Program through the Chicago Botanical Garden.