Questions for a Cold, Wet Spring: "Dr. Z's" Tip of the Week

I've compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions in the Garden Shop this week!    As usual, most of the questions at the start of the year concern lawns.
Can I clean up my lawn now?  Yes, if the soil has dried out for the reasons we discussed in earlier blog posts.
Can I apply lime now?  Yes, lime can actually be applied any time of the year so long as the soil is not frozen. It can also be applied to garden beds and vegetable gardens now as well.
Can I fertilize my lawn now?  Yes, both organic or chemical products can be used now, but we strongly discourage any chemical products.  Use organics!  Call or stop in for specific recommendations.
Can I apply crabgrass preventers to the lawn now?  Yes, both organic or chemical products can be used now, but again, we don't recommend chemicals for this. Organics are a far better choice.
Can I seed my lawn now?  Yes, but if you seed now it probably will not germinate for a while.  The soil and night time air temperatures are still too cold to promote germination.  However, the seed will lie there "dormant" until the right temperatures arrive.  It's probably better to wait closer to the end of the month to seed when conditions will be more favorable.  Call me or stop in for a seed recommendation for your lawn.
Can I kill weeds in the lawn now?  Not really.  Weeds need to be actively growing for a weed killer work at it's best.  Because of the usually cold weather, weeds have not really been growing much.  Again, wait until the end of the month.
Should I prune out the areas on my evergreens that are brown?  Not yet.  Wait at least a month longer as those areas may still leaf out.  It was an extreme winter and plants are having harder time than normal recovering from it.
Can roses be pruned now?  That depends.  Wait until the emerging leaf buds can be seen.  So it depends if they are located in a warm area or in a lingering cold area.  Prune out the dead canes and cut the healthy stems at an outwardly pointing bud, so as to promote outward growth for improved air flow.
Can I prune my rhododendrons and azaleas now?  No.  This seasons' blooms will be cut off since these buds have been formed on last years' wood.  Prune these shrubs right after they bloom this year.
Can horticultural (dormant) oil be sprayed now?  Yes.  Chose a day when the temperature will be above 45 degrees and it will not go below freezing that night.
Can I just scatter wildflower seeds over the area where I want wildflowers?  It's better to prepare the area as if it were a new lawn being seeded.  This would be giving the wildflower seed the best chance for success, as opposed to just scattering it over an area.