New Tools, Tricks and Tips for Your Home Garden

Spring has sprung in Chicagoland. (Or so they say, despite super chilly mornings and breezy afternoons, too).

And although our winter outerwear is still very much within arm’s reach, it’s the month to get out back (or front) and begin weeding, planting, soiling and tooling around the plot (or plethora) of land you love to call home.

Have Sheers, Will Prune: This is the perfect time of year to have a pair of by-pass pruning sheers. Corona brand are a favorite of guru Hunter Kaiser, a Chicago gardener who has an eye for landscaping. As flowers slowly bloom, you will have plenty of stray branches to bring inside and put in a vase of tepid water. Springy inside and out.

Girl (or Guy) and His Goat (Gloves): It can still be chilly, so it’s wise to work in a pair of goat-skin gloves. They hold a little warmth against the chill remaining in the soil and keep blisters at bay.

Quick, Take a Pic: This time of year, the trick is to remember where you planted bulbs and perennials so you don’t dig them up, explains life-long gardener Marta Granat. “I take pictures of my garden at every stage so I know where things are located and I don’t undo any of the work I have already done,” she says. If you’re diligent about this, you can place your annuals in the same spot every year, which is a cheap and bright way to enhance your garden.

Spring Clean: If you haven’t already, it’s time to say see-ya to winter debris. Grab a trash bag and get ready to ransack your garden and let crocuses, daffodils, muscari and tulips shine.

Fake the Light: If you have a shaded area, stick with white (or very bright) flowers and accent with chartreuse green and other leafy, textured foliage. “At night, this combination will actually look like tiny lights—it’s stunning,” says Granat.

Need gardening advice? Visit our Better List for great gardening and landscaping resources.