On dry days remove winter debris from lawn and garden beds. Check for broken branches (prune immediately) or plants damaged by snow loads or rodents. Remove burlap screens erected to protect plants from wind or road salt spray.
Consider a soil test of your entire yard or specific garden areas if you have not had one before. Consult the results of the test before adding amendments to your soil. Soil temperature must be 50 degrees for a proper reading. Tests can also be performed in the fall. Contact Plant Information at the Chicago Botanic Garden at (847) 835-0972 for a complete listing of soil-testing agencies.
To avoid compacting garden soil, wait until it has dried out before tilling, planting, or even walking in the garden beds. Mix in 6 inches or more of compost or leaf mold to lighten heavy soil.