By Phran Novelli

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – This is a great spring if you’re a procrastinator – for once, you’re not late.

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Usually you forget to prune the roses when the forsythia starts to bloom, or to sprinkle corn gluten meal to reduce the weeds in your lawn and garden beds because by the time it’s been nice out for a few weeks, you got distracted by the weather and the flowers and the Phillies and missed your chance. But this year, you still have time, because plants are emerging and blooming at least three weeks late – everything’s behind schedule.

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While it’s too early to plant very much, it’s the perfect time to clean up outside. Those tumbleweeds and tan sticks that last year’s perennials turned into were nice cover in the garden over the winter, but you don’t need them now. So put on your gloves and pull away the spent stems and sticks, clear off layers of leftover leaves, and put them in an out of the way place to turn into a nice little pile of compost over the coming months.

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As you get near the center of each plant and gently pull away the dead detritus of last year’s garden, you’ll start to see shoots of fresh green growth! And suddenly, summertime doesn’t seem quite so far away.