Inland Northwest, High Desert
Crabgrass pregermination herbicides, organic and chemical, are on sale now. This type of herbicide will prevent last year's crabgrass seeds from sprouting. If you have a protected area where the crabgrass survived, pull it and reseed with lawn grass.
For early spring color, plant pansies. They\'ll bloom for quite a long time, until the heat of summer beats them back. But don\'t pull them out. When the early fall\'s cool temperatures arrive, the cheery pansy faces will spring back up and last until a hard freeze.
Greens such as Swiss chard, spinach, and lettuce and other spring crops such as radishes and peas should all go in the ground even when the soil temperature is still in the 30oFs. Try newer, more colorful varieties such as 'Bright Lights' Swiss chard, which makes for a colorful and nutritious stir-fry.
Plant Trees and Shrubs
If the ground is workable, plant trees and shrubs now. Dig a wide hole, don\'t use soil amendments unless the native soil is very poor, and water well. Don\'t stake trees unless you live in an area with constant winds. Trees grow best with a little movement to stimulate their growth.
Plant for Others
When you plan your vegetable garden this year, plan to plant one extra row for those less fortunate. The Garden Writers of America encourage you to take part in "Plant a Row for the Hungry." When the crop from that one row is ready, harvest it and take it to the nearest soup kitchen or food shelf.