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To do list for your landscape

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January

  • Continue to monitor trees and shrubs for deer or rodent damage.  Apply repellant as needed.
  • Continue to monitor and remove snow from evergreens and ornamentals.

 

February

  • Get lawn mowers and other power tools serviced before the spring rush.
  • Clean and sharpen shovels and pruning tools.
  • Choose and order seeds for early starting.
  • Check shrubs and trees for winter injury/storm damage and remove using proper pruning techniques.
  • Winter is a great time to reassess the “bones” of the garden and decide what needs to be changed or updated.  Have a master landscape plan drawn up.
  • Finalize contracts for landscape maintenance.

 

March

  • As the snow melts, begin general spring clean up: remove any leaves, branches and debris from planting beds and lawn area; edge garden beds and walkways; and freshen up garden beds with a new layer of mulch.
  • Check for frost heaving of perennials, and push them back into the soil.
  • Cut back ornamental grasses and perennials before signs of new growth.
  • Apply a dormant oil spray to ornamental and fruit trees before they leaf out and when the temperature is above 40 degrees.
  • Fertilize woody plants (trees and shrubs) before they begin to leaf out.
  • Prune summer flowering shrubs (ie. Spirea, Hydrangea).

 

April

  • Apply a pre-emergent crab grass control to lawn.
  • Prune dead wood from roses.
  • Plant new trees, shrubs, perennials and cold tolerant annuals (ie. Pansies).
  • Divide and transplant perennials.
  • Begin cutting lawn.
  • Implement any desired changes or additions to the garden such a new patio, pergola or water feature now so you can enjoy them all season long.

 

May

  • Prune spring -flowering shrubs, such as Forsythia and Lilac, right after flowering to improve shape and control growth.  Pruning too late will remove next year’s flowers.
  • Plant annuals for seasonal color after the threat of frost has passed.
  • Cut back spring  bulb flower stalks but leave the foliage.  If yellowing Daffodil leaves bother you, gather a handful and tie in a knot.
  • Work compost into garden beds and remove weeds as you go.
  • Apply first application of fertilizer to lawn.
  • Apply grub control to lawn if needed.

 

June

  • Water trees, shrubs, perennials and lawn, as needed.  An inch a week is recommended, more may be necessary during periods of drought.
  • Check ornamentals for pest and disease issues, treat as needed.  
  • Remove the foliage as it yellows and dies from spring flowering bulbs.
  • Continue weeding garden beds.
  • Prune evergreen shrubs early in the month to give them time to recover and send out new growth before autumn.
  • Deadhead perennials to extend flowering time.

 

July

  • Deadhead annuals and perennials regularly to keep them looking their best.
  • Touch up mulch in garden beds if it is getting thin in places.  Mulch protects roots, holds in moisture and helps keep weeds at bay.
  • Continue mowing turf.
  • Continue weeding.

 

August

  • Reduce fertilizer applications to allow perennials, shrubs and trees ample time to harden off before the cold weather.
  • Continue to water during dry spells.
  • Continue deadheading annuals and perennials to keep blooms coming.
  • Continue mowing turf.
  • Apply fertilizer to lawn.

 

September

  • Plant new trees, shrubs and perennials.
  • Plant annuals (ie. Mums, cabbages and kale) for fall color.
  • Core aerate and overseed lawn.
  • Continue to water the garden during dry spells.  Consistent watering in fall helps plants prepare for winter.
  • Pull weeds before they set seed to prevent even more weeds next spring.

 

October

  • Tidy up perennial garden.  If desired, leave some plants for winter interest.
  • Begin fall clean-up.  Keep leaves from accumulating on turf, wet leaves can smother grass.
  • Plant spring bulbs.
  • Plant trees, shrubs and perennials.
  • Remove faded annuals and vegetables.
  • Continue watering newly planted trees and shrubs.

 

November

  • Store garden tools, hoses and furniture before snow flies.
  • Continue fall clean-up and bulb planting.
  • Prepare roses for winter before ground freezes.  Mound dirt up over the base and cover with mulch.

 

December

  • If rabbits or deer are a problem in your garden, protect the plant by caging it with chicken wire.  Wrap it around the plant bases and higher up the tree or shrub than you expect the snow to reach.
  • Remove wet/heavy snow from evergreens and ornamentals.  Wet snow can injure or break evergreen branches.  Use a broom to gently sweep snow off the bent limbs, allowing them to rebound to their natural shape.  Do not chip at ice, it can break off the limb or foliage.