Top Ten Gardening Questions For Spring

We get asked questions a lot and we love to help! Here are the top ten questions we’ve been asked about the most this spring. We have handouts and booklets on most common gardening topics, so stop by for more information or browse this blog.

When can I plant?

As long as the ground is not frozen and the soil isn’t too wet, you can plant. An easy way to tell if your soil is wet is to squeeze a handful. If it sticks together in a clump, it’s too wet. If it crumbles easily, dig away!

What should I prune?

You can and should do dormant pruning now on trees, shrubs and roses. However, do NOT prune plants that bloom before Memorial Day until after they have flowered, as these plants have flower buds on them now. For more details, ask for our pruning handout and for roses check out our blog post.

What about rabbits?

Rabbits are hungry in spring and soon baby bunnies will be out and about. The Growing Place carries liquid and granular rabbit repellants. They are all effective, but change your product every two or three years as they will get used to it and start to ignore it. A circle of chicken wire around your plants will keep hungry rabbits at bay.

How cold can ‘cold hardy plants’ go?

All of the plants we have for sale now have been hardened off and can be planted. If nighttime temperatures fall into the teens, bring in or cover your plants, as you may see evidence of frost damage if they are left outdoors. Our average frost free date is May 15, but that means there’s a 50/50 chance of frost.

What do I cut back and clean out in the spring?

Most perennials and ornamental grasses can be cut to the ground in the spring. Cut Russian sage, butterfly bush, and blue mist shrub back to 6 to 8 inches, leaving some woody stems for new shoots. Leaves and stems may be raked out of beds, but leave some for nesting materials for birds. Now is a great time to start a compost pile!

How do I give my lawn a good start?

Many people are seeing dead patches or thin spots in their lawns after last year’s drought. Spring is a great time to overseed, slit seed, fix dead patches, apply pre-emergent weed killer and fertilize turf. Check out details on our blog.

When do I start seeds?

Now! You can start vegetables, herbs and flowers from seed indoors. The Growing Place carries Botanical Interests and Seed Savers Exchange organic seeds and seed starting supplies.

When can I plant vegetables?

Cold tolerant vegetables like peas, lettuce and cabbage can be planted as soon as the soil is workable. However, warm weather crops like tomatoes, peppers and eggplant need to wait until the soil is 60 degrees, about mid to late May, or their growth will be stunted.

When should I treat for insects and fungal diseases?

Less is best. Never treat a pest or disease without knowing what it is and how to solve the problem. Ask us! Bring samples in a sealed bag with your name and phone number or bring in printed pictures. Scale insects can be treated with a spray of dormant oil once temperatures are consistently above 40 degrees. You can use a dormant oil spray on magnolia scale, cottony maple scale, euonymous scale and others.

I’m replacing an ash tree, what do you recommend?

There are many options for shade trees that thrive in our area. Assess your site before you choose a tree. How much sun does the area receive? Is it wet, dry, or in between? There are oaks, maples, elms and more that make wonderful shade trees and grow fairly quickly. We also have select varieties of bare root trees available this spring that will start growing right away. Talk to our Tree & Shrub staff for their recommendations.

Aurora Location

2000 Montgomery Road,

Aurora, IL 60504

Phone. 630-820-8088

Naperville Location

25w471 Plank Road,

Naperville, IL 60563

Phone. 630-355-4000

Spring Hours

March 30-June 30

Monday-Friday: 9am-7pm

Saturday: 9am-5pm

Sunday: 11am-5pm

Memorial Day Hours

Monday, May 27


Growing for the future with
right plantsĀ in right places.