Inside: Daylight Savings Time begins March 12 — spring forward one hour.
Deep clean carpets and rugs. Rent or buy a carpet cleaner. If you have wool rugs or carpet, or any that are valuable, hire a professional for cleaning.
Take advantage of any warm days to open a few windows for airing and water a few plants outdoors.
Continue fertilizing houseplants.
Clean ceiling fans. Stand on a sturdy ladder and wipe the fans with a soft cloth dampened with household cleaner or use a Swiffer cleaner.
Vacuum and steam clean curtains or hand wash delicate curtains and line dry or have them dry cleaned. If you replace heavier curtains with lighter ones as the weather gets warmer, it is especially important to remove dust and dirt before putting the curtains in storage. Blinds and shades should also be cleaned. Don’t forget to wash windows before rehanging curtains.
Restock cleaning supplies — sponges, scrub brushes and rubber gloves — as you use them.
Give your car a good cleaning. Wash off all the months of winter grime and don’t forget to clean the upholstery. Do it yourself or have it done professionally — schedule a tune up at the same time.
Outside: Welcome spring on the 20th of this month.
Weather permitting, rake the lawn and clear away any fallen branches or other debris left behind from winter.
Work generous amounts of well compost materials or manure into garden beds to prepare it for planting. Use a shovel to dig up and turn over the soil so air goes deep into the soil. Leave them turned over for a couple weeks before you rake the soil and water. Plant when the temperature of the soil warms up.
Contact the Extension Office to see about having a soil sample and analysis done.
This is one of the best months to move any trees, shrubs or perennials. Set out bare-root plants and perennial vegetables such as asparagus, horseradish and rhubarb.
Install any new irrigation systems early, before root and top growth get in the way.
Make compost using last fall’s leaves. Alternate layers of green matter with dry leaves, straw or sawdust. Turn the pile and keep it damp; you should have finished compost in a few weeks.
Hoe weeds now, while they’re young and shallow rooted. If weeds germinate between the time you prepare a flowerbed and plant, hoe them off lightly without disturbing more than the top 1/2-inch of soil. If you hoe more deeply or till, you’ll bring up a fresh batch of weed seeds.
Don’t be quick to prune, but do have a plan. Prune out all dead wood. Prune no more than one-third of branches at any one time. Prune flowering shrubs for shape after they have bloomed.
Around Easter remove the tree wrap you applied to young trees last fall and store it away.
Susan Woody has been a home and garden writer for more than 20 years and is a master gardener.