Monthly Tips

January

  • Inspect stored bulbs and discard the bad ones
  • Clean and sharpen garden tools
  • Plan gardens for this year
  • Try forcing some spring-flowering bulbs
  • Order seeds
  • Start geraniums and begonia seeds
  • Inspect and treat house plants for white fly, spider mites, and aphids

February

  • Plant your geranium seed indoors
  • Take stem cuttings of your geraniums and fuchsias
  • Plant impatiens, peppers, egg plants indoors
  • Prune shade and fruit trees except maple and birch
  • Visit your local greenhouse

March

  • Start your tomatoes indoors (late march early april)
  • Order summer-flowering bulbs
  • Cut down ornamental grasses
  • Prune summer-flowering shrubs (eg Hydrangea)
  • Plant flower & vegetable seeds indoors
  • Prune fruit trees & grape vines
  • Start summer flowers and tender perennials (tuberous begonias, canas, calas and caladiums in pots)
  • Apply dormant spray (non-freezing temperatures, before buds open)
  • Loosen packed mulch and press back frost heaved perennials
  • Check and repair garden tools
  • Cut some spring flowering shrub branches for forcing inside

April

  • Prepare annual beds and add compost to perennial borders
  • Remove rose protection and move dormant shrubs
  • Plant cold weather vegetable seeds in the garden
  • Repair lawn with compost, seed, rake & fertilize (late April early May)
  • Plant shrubs, trees, hedges
  • Remove rose mulch a little at a time, prune
  • Plant early vegetables (peas, onions, radish, beets)
  • Treat birches against leaf miner
  • Plant larkspur and calendulas outdoors
  • Check out garden shows
  • Cut lawn only if necessary
  • Open pond
  • Begin to move ornamental grasses and perennials

May

  • Harden off your seedlings
  • Treat for slugs, aphids, and Blackspot if necessary
  • Deadhead tulips and daffodils, leaving the foliage to die back naturally
  • Plant trees and shrubs
  • Plant tender summer-flowering bulbs (glads, canas, dahlias)
  • Transfer bedding annuals to outdoor cold frame to harden
  • Check trees for tent caterpillars & other insects
  • Prune shrubs & trees after flowering - stake and tie as required
  • Find average last date for frost and add two weeks to transplant tender flowers (petunias etc.)
  • Begin to remove weeds
  • Take notes and photos of bulb plantings for later changes
  • Deadhead faded tulips and daffodils (leave foliage to feed the bulb)
  • Weed gardens, and apply mulch
  • Cage peonies

June

  • Plant annuals and tender perennials
  • Thin vegetable seedlings and weed
  • Deadhead flowers after blooming
  • Pinch back mums, snapdragons, asters, dahlia and other late bloomers
  • Prune evergreens & hedges if necessary
  • Use grass clippings & compost on garden to conserve moisture & control weeds
  • Thin out crowded vegetables & annuals
  • Irrigate lawns & gardens as required
  • Stake/cage dahlias, tomatoes, gladiolas
  • Seed directly fast growers such as calendula, cosmos, lavatera, marigolds
  • Prepare cuttings of shrubs for propagation
  • Prune shrubs and trees after flowering
  • Seed flowering kale outdoors
  • Weed and water as necessary

July

  • Prune spring-flowering shrubs after they are finished blooming
  • Stake plants that tend to fall over (Delphiniums, Euphorbia, tall Sedums) and pinch back as necessary
  • Fertilize vegetables and annuals
  • Raise cutting height of mower blade
  • Pinch back annuals to make bushier
  • Cut out raspberry canes & narrow rows to 40 cm
  • Mow lawn, weed, water as necessary
  • Trim back strawberry plants after fruiting
  • Transplant kale
  • Turn compost
  • Deadhead and trim perennials as necessary

August

  • Plant fall vegetable seeds
  • Order spring-flowering bulbs
  • Trim and divide irises
  • Make a garden structure
  • Divide and move peonies and oriental poppies
  • Prune climbing roses
  • Order flowering bulbs for fall (try colchicum for next fall)
  • Spray shrubs & perennials for powdery mildew control
  • Water and weed as necessary
  • Plant fall-flowering perennials
  • Dry flowers and herbs

September

  • Trim and divide perennials
  • Prepare and seed new lawns
  • Plant evergreens
  • Plant spring-flowering bulbs
  • Prepare & seed new lawns
  • Plant shrubs & evergreens
  • Renovate perennial border
  • Take cuttings from geraniums & coleus
  • Bring in houseplants before its too cold
  • Fertilize and aerate lawns as required
  • Water well all evergreens

October

  • Dig, dry and store summer-flowering bulbs
  • Rake leaves from lawn
  • Prepare and dig new garden beds
  • Put ponds to bed
  • Cut off dead foliage
  • Plant spring flowering bulbs (tulips, daffodils, crocus)
  • Dig and store dahlias, gladiolus, tuberous begonias, canas
  • Plant amaryllis for Christmas bloom
  • Remove and distribute almost finished compost and gather leaves and add to compost pile
  • Seed new lawns

November

  • Fertilize lawn
  • Make sure evergreens are well watered for winter
  • Protect young trees from rodents
  • Plant some spring bulbs for forcing

December

  • Watch for bugs on houseplants (white flies, spider mites, and aphids)
  • Protect your rose bushes
  • Apply mulch
  • Cut branches for winter decorations
  • Order seed catalogues