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What To Do This Month in the Garden

January
  1. Clean and sharpen garden tools, lawn mower blade.
  2. Check perennials for frost heave; tamp and mulch if needed.
  3. Remove late-falling leaves.
  4. Remove snow from evergreen branches.
  5. Water stressed foundation shrubs and plants if little rain.
February
  1. Remove leaves and debris from perennial beds and shrub borders.
  2. Apply thin layer of compost to shrubs after slow-release fertilizer.
  3. Prune roses, evergreens and summer-blooming shrubs.
  4. Cut back ornamental grasses, like liriope, to 1/4 height.
  5. Remove suckers and crossing branches from crape myrtles.
March
  1. Amend soil if needed. (Do a Soil Test first!)
  2. Divide and transplant perennials.
  3. Plant strawberries, roses, vines and ground covers.
  4. Patch bare spots and plant cool season grass seed.
  5. Prune summer-blooming shrubs.
June
  • Dig, divide and replant crowded spring-flowering bulbs.
  • Mulch trees and shrubs (1″-3″ deep); keep mulch away from trunks.
  • Look for brown patch in lawn and treat.
  • Fertilize spring-flowering shrubs after blooming, if needed.
  • Look for pests and disease; treat as needed.
July
  1. Deadhead summer-blooming plants.
  2. Remove water sprouts and suckers from the base of crape myrtles and fruit trees.
  3. Monitor soil moisture, especially around shallow-rooted trees and shrubs.
  4. Water plants and lawns deeply if less than 1″ rain per week.
  5. Inspect plants for pests and disease; treat as needed.
August
  1. Keep lawn at 3″ height; leave grass clippings.
  2. Water plants and lawns deeply if less than 1″ rain per week.
  3. Cut back aggressive vines (especially ivy) that are overgrown.
  4. Continue to weed and deadhead flowering plants.
  5. Inspect plants for fungal problems, pests and other disease; treat as needed.
September
  1. Add compost to gardens before fall planting.
  2. Plant cool-season vegetables (broccoli, kale, cabbage, lettuce, arugula, spinach, cauliflower).
  3. Aerate, fertilize and over-seed cool-season lawns, or start new cool-season lawn from seed.
  4. Divide perennials like hostas, liriope and daylilies, if needed.
  5. Fall is the best time to plant most trees and shrubs!
October
  1. Continue to divide and transplant perennials.
  2. Plant spring-blooming bulbs at the end of the month.
  3. Plant shrubs and trees.
  4. Cut peonies, phlox and other herbaceous perennials to the ground at first frost.
  5. Pull up and compost frost-damaged annuals.
November
  1. Replenish mulch (2″-3″ deep) around tender plants.
  2. Keep leaves off the lawn to prevent smothering the grass. Leaves may be mulched and used around trees and shrubs.
  3. Plant shrubs and trees.
  4. Continue watering if less than 1″ rain per week.
  5. Store pesticides and herbicides safely.
December
  1. Continue leaf removal and mulch them if possible.
  2. Prune tall flowering perennials after flowers die. May leave the seed heads for the birds.
  3. Remember to water foundation plants if needed.
  4. Drain and store hoses at the end of the month.
  5. Remove snow from branches before freezing, to prevent breakage.