Mild weather has blurred the line between winter and spring in some regions but don't let that lull you into complacency about your garden.

Experts say now is the time to whip your landscape into shape, before spring planting comes roaring in."We're already quite busy," said Andrew Pierce, director of horticulture at Hudson Gardens in Denver. "There's always something to do outside."

We asked some garden experts to list the top 10 chores you should be doing now. Here's what they said:

One: Let the blooming of your early bulbs, such as crocus, signal you into action in the perennial beds. Denver Botanic Gardens horticulture director Rob Proctor said he's busily cutting back his plants, many of which are already poking green foliage through the earth.

If we get another extended warm spell, you may want to divide some of your overgrown perennials, replanting them elsewhere in your yard or doling them out to friends and neighbors.

Two: Since you're out cutting back perennials anyway, you might as well take care of any winterkill on your trees and shrubs. Without leaves, any problems on the plants will be easily corrected.

It's also time to shear any ornamental grasses you left untouched last fall for winter interest down to 4 to 6 inches.

Now, however, is not the time for major garden pruning -- perhaps just a bit of shaping to open the plant up for optimum sunlight exposure. The only plants that can take heavy early pruning are the summer-flowering shrubs, such as viburnum, goldenrain tree and Japanese barberry, and the long-blooming butterfly bush and beautyberry, Pierce said.

Don't cut back any spring-flowering shrubs, such as mock orange, forsythia, azalea or clematis, until they've finished blooming. Late April is fine for trimming back roses.

Three: This year, spring watering is a must. Any day when temperatures are at least 40 degrees, give your lawn, trees and flowers a deep watering.

"This has been an incredibly mild winter, and the recent winds have dried things out even more," said Carl Wilson, Colorado State University Cooperative Extension agent in Denver.

To make sure you're soaking your landscape deeply enough, Wilson recommends using a slim garden trowel to extract a plug of turf several inches deep. To effectively water the root zone, the soil should be wet at least 4 to 6 inches deep. The same method can be used to check moisture in flower beds.

"People get tired of these reminders about watering this time of year, but it is absolutely critical," Wilson said.

Four: After they finish blooming, fertilize all your early-blooming bulbs such as crocus, snow iris, snowdrops, squills and winter aconite. Proctor said a foliar (topical) feeding is fine or use a fertilizer formulated for bulbs. A good substitute is leftover tomato fertilizer, such as Miracle Gro for tomatoes, which is high in potash.

Five: Unless your planting areas are frozen or extremely wet, you can begin bed preparation now, Pierce said. If you planted a winter crop, such as rye, turn it into the soil. Amendments, such as peat moss, compost or other organic material, also can be worked into the beds.

Check for drainage. If you have drainage problems, consider adding a French drain, which is an aerated pipe laid underground to divert water.

Six: Weeding is among the worst of chores, but experts say you aren't off the hook in late winter and early spring. In fact, this is one of the best times to nip in the bud, so to speak, all that clover, henbit, shepherd's purse and lawn grass that infiltrated your flower beds. Just make sure to do this when the ground isn't frozen, Proctor said.

Seven: Core-aerate your lawn. This is one of the most important things you can do for your turf, particularly if you've had compaction over the winter or didn't aerate last fall, Wilson said.

To really beef up your lawn, seed it with high-quality grass seed after aeration and continue to water lightly but frequently to germinate.

Eight: Speaking of seeding, this is a good time to scatter seeds of annuals such as California poppy, larkspur and love-in-a-mist. Proctor said the seeds will nestle in the cracks in the soil and germinate better in cool weather. "Freezing temperatures won't hurt them a bit," he said.

Nine: Even though this winter's warm temperatures have fooled many plants, such as day lilies and anemones, into sending up shoots ahead of time, don't remove your winter mulch too early, Wilson said. The mulch may not protect green foliage from getting nipped by frost, but it will continue to hold in moisture and keep the soil cool.

Ten: Don't rush the planting season. Unless you're planting cold-hardy pansies and violas or sowing cool-season vegetables (spinach, lettuces, radishes, cauliflower), it's better to wait until the last danger of frost has passed.