Seasonal To Do Lists

Spring—Into Action!
  • March is a great month for trimming and tidying your garden.
  • Ornamental grasses may be cut back 4-6” from the ground.
  • Roses would need a good trimming and this is the time before they bud.
  • Consult a rose book for pruning methods of your type of rose bush.  Different types of rose bushes require different methods of pruning.
  • Many trees and shrubs may be pruned in March as well.  Fruit trees, evergreens, many deciduous trees, raspberry bushes, grapevines and more may be trimmed and shaped before new growth emerges
  • Perennial beds.  You may cut back the plants you left standing for winter interest now and others that may have been left as well.  Cut back to the ground but be careful of any new growth you may see at the ground level.
  • Get a jump on edging your beds and weeding the gardens now.  It will really help to get these under control before the really warm weather comes and the weeds come back in full force.
  • Divide and transplant summer and fall blooming perennials.
  • Plant trees, shrubs, and perennials.
  • Add a layer on fresh compost to flowerbeds.
  • Plant annuals, frost sensitive perennials and container planters. (Plant after Mother’s Day—general date used to plant and no worry of frost).
  • You may also start to water trees and shrubs that were newly planted the previous fall season.  Any new trees and shrubs planted need extra water for a full year to get established and grow a sturdy healthy root system. When you see new growth emerging, start watering. Slow steady watering is best.  A slow trickle or soaker hose is best to water well and deeply.
  • Check all your garden tools!  Sharpen and replace or fix before the really busy season begins!

 

Summer—Into the Sun!
  • Weed and water all plants (deeply and slowly—soaker hose is best) as needed throughout the summer.  Morning watering is best and late afternoon is acceptable, as long as the plants have time to dry before nightfall.  The dampness can attract pests and fungus.
  • Deeply rooted plants need about 1” of deep watering per week while shallow rooted plants need watering each day on the hottest days.
  • Deadhead spent flowers to encourage more blooms.
  • Cut back daffodil foliage after they have yellowed.
  • Stake tall flowers if you have not done so.
  • Pinch back asters, dahlias, cosmos, zinnias, salvias, mums to name a few, to increase flowering and create a fuller plant.

 

Fall—Into the Color!
  • Plants are beginning to slow down and die back to return to the earth for a rest.
  • Weed and water well.  Watering now should be done until the first hard freeze.  It’s a great advantage for the evergreens, and all woody plants, to make sure they have a reserve supply of moisture before the ground freezes.
  • Cover ponds and water gardens with netting to keep the falling leaves out.
  • Plant shrubs, trees and water deeply.
  • Sow grass seed to fill in bare spots.  Fertilize lawn.  Fertilize perennials and shrubs.
  • Divide perennials—such as hosta, coreopsis, perennial geranium, daylilies and bulbs.
  • Pull spent annuals.
  • Plant new bulbs for next years garden fun.
  • Mulch plants where needed—this will keep the ground from freezing too deep and protect the roots.
  • Rake leaves.  Better yet, mow them into pieces and throw back into the garden for an extra great compost additive to the soil.
  • Wrap bushes or trees vulnerable to deer or cold with burlap.

 

Winter—Into the Cold!
  • Clean up perennials you left standing for winter interest that are now ready to be cut back.
  •  “Fluff” your mulch with an iron rake.  This will help with mulch compacting over the winter months.
  •  Prune deciduous trees and shrubs.  Pruning now allows you see better what needs to be pruned (branches crossing or scraping against one another), and if there is a need for some shaping.
  •  Make sure all heavy leaves are removed from garden beds before heavy snow begins.
  •  Oil and care for your tools for next year.
  •  Sit and enjoy and relax and dream of the spring!