Clear the clutter: Throughout the fall and winter, your garden can be exposed to the elements and a collection of broken branches, leaves and leftover weeds can cover the flower beds. Your spring bulbs and plants should be popping out of the ground any day now, so the sooner you clean out the beds, the less chance you have of stepping on the growing plants and damaging them. Turn over the soil and clear away any unwanted pests such as slugs, snails or aphids and treat any infestations you may find.
Trim trees and bushes: To prep for spring, trim off any broken or dead branches on shrubs and trees. This will clear the way for new foliage. Any shrubs that flower late June to fall can also be pruned. Some of the included shrubs are Butterfly Bush, Rose of Sharon and summer blooming Spireas as the flowers will bloom on branches that are grown in the current season. Any grasses left up for the winter can also be trimmed to within a few inches of the ground. They will begin growing when they are ready.
Fertilize: Once the ground thaws apply granular fertilizer around shrubs and perennials. This will help your plants get the most out of the soil.
Divide perennials: Right before new growth begins is an ideal time to dig and divide most perennial flowers – unless you already did so in late fall. Replant the divided plants and water well in their new home. The exception to dividing would be early season perennials that are already blooming. These are best divided after they are done blooming or in early fall.
Mulch: Mulch can do many wonderful things for your garden: it conserves water, cools plant roots, feeds the soil and smothers weeds. Wait until the soil warms up and dries out a bit, before replenishing your mulch. Be sure to keep it away from the stems and crowns of your plants to give them a chance to grow.