Things to do inside and outside the house this month:
• Take photos of your garden monthly. They will help you identify areas that need new plants or a new design.
• Finish seeding and sodding new lawns or bare spots as soon as possible to allow grass to establish before summer.
• Use containers to grow herbs and vegetables on sunny patios or decks. Choose selected varieties for containers.
• Wait until mid-May to plant tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and summer flowers such as impatiens, marigolds and cannas. The ground will have warmed up and frost will no longer be a danger.
• It is best to wait until early fall to divide or move perennials. If you can’t wait, move them with as big a dirt ball as possible around the roots.
• Remove spent flowers from peonies, irises and other spring-flowering perennials. Do the same with the lilacs.
• Prune lilacs, weigelas, forsythias and other spring flowering shrubs after the flowers have faded.
• Pull weeds after a rain when they pull out most easily. Be persistent in controlling Canada thistle and other tough weeds.
• Make sure gutters are free of debris and surface water drains away from the foundation.
• Check outdoor faucets for drips and cracked handles.
• Check outdoor electrical outlets to make sure they are tight and cover gaskets are loose.
• Clean gas grills and inspect for loose or corroded connections and hoses. Use a brush to clean the cobwebs from the venturi tubes. Make sure the gas ports are not clogged with grease and dirt.
• During spring rains, check the attic for signs of leaks, especially around chimneys and vents.
• Vacuum dust from heater vents.
• Check and clean the dryer vent, kitchen exhaust filters and window fans.
• Check that wooden supports in the basement and crawl space are not damaged by humidity or pests.
• Clean or replace furnace filters. Check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
• Check your credit report. Because you can get a free copy from each of the major agencies once a year, visit AnnualCreditReport.com or call 1-877-322-8228 and choose just one. In four months, repeat the process with another agency, and four months later, the third agency.