Your Year-Round Maintenance Schedule

Posted on: Wednesday, Jan 03, 2018

January

  • Spread winter mulch in beds
  • Go through your garden and inspect for winter damage
  • Prune damaged branches and dead wood on woody shrubs and trees (test for dead branches by scratching bark and looking for green)
  • Do some formative pruning on Summer or Fall flowering woody shrubs (butterfly bush, itea, spiraea)
  • Fertilize acid-loving shrubs, if not already done in Fall
  • Water evergreen and broad-leaf evergreen shrubs during warm spells

February

  • Contact Gurley’s Azalea Garden to get on the schedule for Spring/Summer Annual Color installation
  • Plant seeds indoors that need 10-12 weeks before transplanting
  • Continue looking for plant damage and pruning dead wood
  • LIGHTLY prune the ends of spring-flowering shrubs to "force" them
  • Prune deciduous trees, EXCEPT river birch, flowering cherries, maple trees
  • Formative Pruning needed on summer-flowering shrubs; Regenerative Pruning on shrubs with colorful branches, such as red or yellow twig dogwood
  • Apply Weed Pre-emergent

March

*Know the last spring frost date for your area*

  • Beware of frosts after thaw; make sure any unprotected plants are mulched
  • Plant seeds indoors that need 8-10 weeks before transplant
  • Continue pruning deciduous trees, Regenerative prune shrubs and vines that flower on new wood/ have colorful branches
  • DON'T prune spring-flowering shrubs except to correct problems (this will be done after they've bloomed)
  • Transplant un-established shrubs before they bud out
  • Cut back ornamental grasses
  • Fertilize early-flowering bulbs
  • Plant Annual Seeds*
  • Apply Weed Pre-emergent if not done already in February

April

  • Begin digging/prepping new beds
  • Remove all winter mulches and composts
  • Start weeding, where necessary
  • Water all new plantings frequently (2-3x/week) and thoroughly (30+ min)
  • Replant shrubs, trees and perennials that have "heaved" out of the soil
  • Finish all transplants (best if done before buds have pushed out)
  • Finish cutting back ornamental grasses
  • Formative Prune all summer and fall blooming shrubs
  • Cut dead wood out of hydrangeas, cut all live branches back to 2 buds
  • Transplant and divide summer and fall blooming perennials
  • Re-mulch all beds
  • Plant Annual Seeds*
  • Add compost to perennial beds
  • Repair lawn patches that need seed/sod

May

  • Weed all beds thoroughly
  • Deadhead spring flowers, prune when done flowering
  • All winter mulch/compost/branches should be removed by now
  • Beds should be re-mulched
  • Keep watering new and transplanted shrubs (2-3x/week)
  • Prune back spring-flowering shrubs after they've finished blooming (forsythia, lilac, azalea) and any dead wood
  • Continuously prune clematis to cut out dead/weak growth
  • In flowering trees, remove dead wood only
  • Prune/hedge evergreens
  • Plant potted roses, fertilize
  • Finish dividing spring and fall blooming perennials
  • Stake peonies, delphiniums, and garden phlox early
  • Repair lawn patches, seed/sod

June

  • Heavily and thoroughly water new plants and transplants, preferably early in the morning, and make sure they are well mulched (to retain water during heat/dry spells)
  • Water all plants heavily and infrequently when not in extreme heat or drought conditions, to build drought resistance
  • Weed as necessary- for a plant to be truly healthy, it must be weed-free!
  • Throw healthy grass clippings into compost pile
  • Prune spring-flowering shrubs, deadhead shrubs like laurels, azalea, lilacs (when done flowering) and shrub roses (to encourage continued blooms)
  • Spray roses to prevent fungus; fertilize
  • Continue planting shrubs, trees and perennials (especially containers)
  • Prune evergreens
  • Pinch back mums when they've grown 4-6"

July

  • Turn compost pile
  • Continue weeding
  • Water during extreme heat/drought
  • Continue deadheading roses and flowering perennials to encourage new blooms
  • Deadhead spring blooms, if not already done
  • Prune woody vines after blooming
  • Prune birch, flowering cherries, and maples
  • Cut back spring perennials and/or damaged and spent ones
  • Begin to dig and divide spring-blooming perennials (iris, some early flowering daylilies)

August

  • Continue weeding, watering during dry spells
  • Stop pruning trees and shrubs
  • Don't fertilize after mid-August
  • Continue dead-heading flowers to prolong bloom time
  • Add fall perennials to garden
  • Seed new lawns after August 15th. Best time of year to seed is generally around this time

September

  • Water during dry spells
  • Plant roses, trees, shrubs and perennials- water heavily once a week
  • Mow lawn frequently, fertilize, plant grass seed until soil cools
  • De-thatch and aerate lawn
  • Cut back spent perennials
  • Divide perennials and peonies
  • Uproot annuals, throw them into compost pile
  • This is the best time of year to seed new lawns, warm days and cool nights facilitate rapid weed free turf establishment

October

  • Contact Gurley’s Azalea Garden to get on the schedule for Fall/ Winter Annual Color installation
  • Have soil pH tested, make necessary amendments. Send samples to Waypoint Analytical on 2790 Whitten Rd, Memphis, TN
  • Add leaves to compost pile
  • Transplant established trees and shrubs after defoliated
  • Best time of year to seed new lawns, warm days and cool nights facilitate rapid weed free turf establishment.
  • Seed until frost; discontinue after frost
  • Plant all trees, shrubs, perennials
  • Clean up perennials beds after frosts (cut back, clean up what has died down)
  • Plant hardy spring-flowering bulbs
  • Dig and store summer-flowering bulbs and tubers

November

  • Adjust soil pH
  • Rake leaves off lawn before snow
  • Spray broad-leaf evergreens with Wilt-Pruf for Winter protection, water on warm days
  • Fertilize trees and shrubs (that have been planted for at least a year) when dormant
  • Finish cutting back perennials; mulch perennial garden after ground has frozen
  • Plant daffodil bulbs until ground freezes
  • Transplant established trees and shrubs after defoliated
  • Water broadleaf evergreens on warm days

December

  • Apply winter mulches after ground freezes
  • Bring in clay and cement pots and statues if extreme temperatures are to occur
  • Water evergreens, especially newly planted ones, when ground is not frozen or during warm spells
  • Make sure all broad-leaf evergreens have been sprayed (Wilt-Pruf)
  • Plan your garden for next year