Free Landscape Maintenance Tips


JANUARY

- Check to make sure the mulch is still covering plants that are exposed to the south and southwest.
- Comprehensive pruning should be done on all trees and shrubs (except maples) for correction, height, damage, or shape.
- Deep water trees, shrubs, and roses as needed.

FEBRUARY

- Use dormant oils to control scale or aspen black spot.
- Thin old, overgrown deciduous shrubs before they start to bud out or bloom.
- Gently brush the snow off trees and shrubs.

MARCH

- If you didn’t rake leaves or remove old fruit from fruit and deciduous trees in the fall, do so now.
- Check evergreen for browning and deciduous trees for buds that have died. Prune, don’t shear deciduous trees.
- Deep water trees and shrubs as needed.

APRIL

- Cut back perennials (except evergreen perennials-plants that stay green all year) from last year. With a sharp pair of scissors, remove dead plant material.
- Prepare to activate the sprinkler system.
- Aerate and fertilize the lawn.

MAY

- Mulch around flower and shrub beds to conserve moisture and keep down weeds.
- Mow lawn to no less than 2″ and never dut any more than one-third of the growth.
- Water plants, trees, shrubs and lawn infrequently, but thoroughly.
- After the 15th, put out annuals and perennials that have been overwintered indoors in pots.

JUNE

- Continue to plant summer flowering bulbs, like cannas, dahlias, and gladioili (plant a few gladioli each week for continuous blooms throughout the summer).
- Fertilize annuals and perennials with nitrogen-based fertilizer.
- Check drip and lawn system. Remove any emitters that are overwatering, add emitters to areas where the soil is dry.

JULY

- Mow the lawn to no less than 2-1/2 ” in height, never cutting more than one-third of the growth.
- Do not use high nitrogen fertilizer on trees from the middle of July through February of next season.
- Make sure the garden is well-mulched to protect plants during the heat of the day.

AUGUST

- Make sure trees and shrubs get enough water during August.
- Pay particular attention to good watering practices this month. Stressed areas in the full sun, or on south or western slopes may need extra watering.
- Weed your garden frequently. Watch to see that weeds do not grow so large that they flower and drop seeds (causing more weeds!).

SEPTEMBER

- Plant new perennials.
- Plant or transplant evergreens before the weather turns cool.
- Begin paying attention to the weather forecasts for predictions of early frosts. Cover plants if necessary.
- Water as needed. Be sure to check the ground so you don’t overwater.

OCTOBER

- Plant hardy bulbs for spring blooming.
- Remove leaves and plant material. Put them in a “hot” compost pile (hotter than normal) or discard.
- Winterize the irrigation system.

NOVEMBER

- Mulch young or newly planted trees and shrubs. Wait until the end of the month when the ground is frozen.
- Purchase spring bulbs for forcing and indoor winter blooming.
- Cut back perennials from last year so they will bloom better.

DECEMBER

- Add lighting to your landscape.
- Reduce watering of plants as the days become shorter. Plants can be overwatered if you are watering as much as you do in late spring, summer and early fall.
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