Wait until after the first good rain and a few 60 degree afternoons, walk your yard and gardens look for damage from mice or voles, this will be evidenced by trails in the grass. Check your gardens, look for signs of life in your perennial beds. Clean out all of the dead foliage but be careful not to damage the roots or pull them out of the ground by mistake. You now can prune unruly shrubs to shape. Don’t prune lilacs or viburnum varieties or azaleas as you will remove many of your spring flower buds. Don’t attempt any work on your grass until the lawn is standing up and springs back after you walk on it. Fertilizing should be done when temperatures are consistently in the 60’s. Don’t prune oak, maple or fruit trees in the spring, open wounds promote insect and disease issues. Most importantly, just enjoy the time outside and don’t rush work in your yard.Let your yard wake up naturally and don’t run power equipment like mowers or power rakes until it is completely dry. These are some of the things you can start doing now. Spring bulbs are a few weeks away yet. Annual and perennial planting needs to wait until fear of frost has passed, mid to late May for most of Minnesota and western Wisconsin. All of these things are a great way to keep your sanity in this crazy time.