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Planting your beautiful Chicago garden

It’s time to begin planting your beautiful Chicago garden. The soil in your flower and vegetable beds is workable now. If you have amended the soil with needed sand and compost, it’s time to begin planting, but take care of your lawn first.

Planting a garden
Photo by David McNew/Getty Images

After you remove fallen branches and other debris from your lawn, it’s important to rake it thoroughly. Opinions differ about aerating and dethatching so you’re free to decide if your lawn will benefit from these tasks. The raking is important though.

The next step is to spread weed and feed on your lawn. Some gardeners mix in about two or three cups of powdered detergent with the weed and feed because it promotes healthy grass. Wait about two weeks and spread grass seed over the entire lawn. It will fill in large and tiny bare spots and make your lawn look thick and luxurious.

It’s now time to plant beets, broccoli, carrots, onion sets, parsnips, peas and spinach in your vegetable beds. These delicious early vegetables like cool spring weather, and frost will not disturb them. Cover the seeds with a little mulch to discourage birds from eating the seeds. After about two weeks plant cabbage, cauliflower, lettuce and radishes and again cover the seeds with mulch.

Early spring flowers can also be planted now. Besides the perky flowering spring bulbs that are popping up everywhere, there are annuals you can plant now. Pansy and sweet pea beautify bare spots or containers. Perennials like hellebore, hydrangea, azalea and peony produce stunning flowers that return every spring. If enjoy the scent of lilac in your garden and throughout your home, plant lilac bushes near your windows. Then, all you have to do is open your windows to fill the house with the fresh scent of lilac.

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