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