Whether you are chomping at the bit to get garden work done or not, on these pretty days, here are a few tips to help out when things start sprouting.

Remember this tip when planting seeds: “The smaller seeds plant shallow. The bigger seeds plant deeper. If you forget this simple rule,your seeds will all be sleepers!”

If you have a wood-burning fireplace, save some of the ashes in a covered container. In early spring, mix four dry gallons of ash with a cup Epsom salts and sprinkle one pound of the dry mixture per 100 square feet of soil around awakening bulbs.

Do this only once a year, however, wood ash contains 35 percent calcium, phosphorous and potassium. Epsom salts are high in sulfur and magnesium, which are rapidly utilized by plants.

Use fish emulsion and kelp as natural organic fertilizers to promote healthy soil and plants. They are available in liquid or powder and can be bought at most places that sell plants.

To get a handle on grasshoppers, use white, non self-rising flour for sprinkling on plants plagued by grasshoppers.

When tomatoes, eggplants and peppers begin to bloom, mix up this potent potion to encourage prolific, healthy fruiting. Mix two tablespoons Epsom salts in one gallon of water then pour this onto the soil surrounding plants. The magnesium and sulfur in the Epsom salts are macronutrients that foster fruiting.

Still have leaves lying around your place? Then rake them up and run them through a shredder or run your lawnmower over them. Or, you can dump them in a trash can and use your weed whacker to shred them. Now you can top your beds with these shredded leaves and don’t worry, they won’t change the pH of the soil.