Rudyard Kipling once wrote, “Gardens are not made by singing ‘Oh, how beautiful,’ and sitting in the shade.” To be fair, this hobby we call gardening can be downright hard work sometimes, but what joy to see a garden flourish and know that you played some small part in refining its beauty. With spring officially here, it’s time to enjoy working the soil once again. As you start gardening for the year, here are a few ways to make the most of spring gardening.

First, if you haven’t yet taken steps to eradicate moss in your lawn, it’s never too late to start—and it’s a great way to begin the year in lawn care. Last month I wrote about applying ferrous sulfate to kill moss, fast-acting lime to sweeten the soil and discourage moss regrowth, and fertilizer to help green up the grass for spring. If weather derailed your plans last month, take advantage of the more frequent sunny days we’re enjoying, stop by Vander Giessen’s for our 3-Step Moss Control Program, and reclaim your lawn.

As you get out on your lawn once again, you may notice your turf is dotted with blotchy brown or pink-tinged patches. Fungus problems are common following cool, wet winters, but don’t fret: for many common lawn diseases, sunny weather and a dose of nitrogen-rich lawn fertilizer will be all your turf needs to green up once again. If you find that fertilizer doesn’t do the trick, a lawn fungicide like Scotts DiseaseEx can help clear up any lingering fungus issues.

Second, March is the ideal time to fertilize many of the shrubs around your yard. With rhododendrons and azaleas coming into bloom later this spring, encourage vibrant, long-lasting flowers and healthy new growth with a dose of fertilizer specifically formulated for acid-loving plants. Many of your other shrubs will benefit from feeding as well, and a sprinkling of Jack’s Classicote slow-release fertilizer from Vander Giessen’s around the base of your plants is the perfect way to ensure they’re fed consistently for three to four months.

Third, it’s time to start planting! Never mind the overnight frosts we continue to get, it’s now safe to start planting just about any of the shrubs and trees you’ve been waiting for, along with a wide selection of perennials.

When I’m looking for exciting new plants, I often look for multi-season interest. Whether it’s unusual foliage or striking fall color, it’s always a bonus in my book if a flowering shrub looks good for more than just the few weeks it’s in bloom in the spring or summer. Bloomerang lilacs from Proven Winners do just that! While most lilacs strut their stuff one for just a few weeks in spring, Bloomerang lilacs are rebloomers, meaning you’ll get a second wave of flowers in summer, continuing to bloom into autumn.

Growing just four to six feet tall and wide, Bloomerang Dark Purple is a compact lilac as well, so it will fit in just about any size yard. And if that’s too big, Bloomerang comes in a dwarf size as well, topping out at just about three feet tall and wide. Check out Bloomerang lilacs at Vander Giessen Nursery this spring and enjoy the multi-season interest of fragrant lilac flowers in spring, summer, and fall.

Finally, have fun. After the drab tones of January and February, the colorful blooms of early spring are beginning—and their bright hues are hard to ignore. Embrace the wonder of bulbs bursting into bloom, forsythia’s golden tones lighting up the landscape, or the powerful fragrance of spring-blooming daphne. Spring is a wonderful time filled with promise, so make the most of it this month!