GARDEN CALENDAR MONTH BY MONTH
|BY BRUCE ZIMMERMAN
the year in our garden
is something we all do not do or take enough time to do. What
was right , what did not work and how are you going to correct or
improve on the situation. This sounds like work and it is. First
make a list then prioritize the list by seasonal timing, money,
and what drives you crazy.
Remember a weed in any plant in the wrong place.
flower and vegetable seeds
Begonias are started now in a fine soilless mix such as Peter's
Professional Mix. You can find this or similar products at your
local garden center. For easy handling purchase pelletized seed
and place them on the surface of the growing medium and then
gently water in. Do not cover the seed and place in a bright area
with a constant 70 degree temperature. Mist regularly to prevent
drying out. A weekly half strength 20-20-20 fertilizer is used
after plants are well up. Fibrous Begonias are best started under
artificial lights running 14 to 18 hours per day until sizable
plants are produced and can be moved to bright indirectly lit
windows until spring planting.
of prepared bulbs (Paper whites, Amaryllis)
your summer bulbs in storage for dry and wet rot. wet rot will
result in a stinky mushy mess. One bulb in this condition will
allow the spread of the root throughout the rest of your bulbs.
Dry rot is just as devastating but the bulbs become light weight
and dry. Remove infected bulbs and redust with a soil and bulb
dust. For proper summer bulb storage information go to http://www.brucezimmerman.com/articles/summer_
heavy snow loads from evergreens
flowering branches from deciduous flowering shrubs. Select branches
from your Spiraea, Forsythia, Flowering Almond, Deutzia, Flowering Quince
and Red Bud. Select branches that are least 1 foot long with many large
Place frozen branches in a bucket of cool water in a 60°F location with indirect light
for 24 hours. Then transfer the, into warmer water(60-70°F) and
under water make a vertical slit 2 to 3 inches up the stem. Check the branches frequently; they will need
regular misting to prevent buds from drying out. BRANCHES WILL BLOOM AT DIFFERENT TIMES.
and Fuchsia cuttings
|Fibrous Begonias and
Geraniums. The partial shade loving
Fibrous Begonias are started in a fine soilless mix such as Peter's Professional Mix. You can find this at your local garden center.
For easy handling purchase pelletized seed and place them on the surface of the
growing medium and gently water in. Do not cover the seed and place in a bright
area with a constant 70 degree temperature. Mist regularly to prevent drying out.
A weekly half strength 20-20-20 fertilizer is used after plants are well up.
Fibrous Begonias are best started under artificial lights running 14 to 18 hours per
day until sizable plants are produced and can be moved to bright indirectly
it windows until spring planting.
should be brought out of cold storage
your garden maps. What you do not have a map of your garden! Now
is the time to start one. The map is in your head but no one can
read your mind. Sit down and do a rough map indicating what you
can remember. In the coming growing season as you are pausing to
smell the roses refine the
sowing time. The time to start sowing seeds is nigh. Visit your
local garden center and pick up seed trays, damp off, soilless
seeding mix, seeds, watering can, mister, labels and a waterproof
marker. Remember to follow the instructions on the seed package as
some seeds require light to germinate while others may require
darkness or a certain day length. They may also require special
day and night temperatures.
snow mould. In the northeast snow mould is a problem. The easiest
way to combat snow mould is as soon as the snow goes take a leaf
rake and gently rake the infected areas. This usually eliminates
the problem but you may have to over seed the area later in the
spring. These areas are usually where the grass has been left too
long or where the snow has been piled up along sidewalks and
tomatoes. Start seeding tomatoes now for planting out on May 24th
weekend. For indeterminate tomatoes start them one week later
because they have a tendency to stretch becoming difficult to
Tuberous Begonias–Cannas, Caladiums, Dahlias
summer flowering bulbs.
Canna Lilies are started horizontally in a tray or pot each piece
of tuber should have three eyes. Tuberous Begonia corms are just
gently pushed into the soil surface. Please make sure that when
watering that The water can not flow into the depression on the
top of the corm. Dahlias are potted vertically so that the eye is
at the ground level in the pot. Do not plant pieces of the Dahlia
root with no eye as they are blind and will not grow.
fertilizing. As your houseplants become actively growing fertilize
them. Use a fertilizer in a proportion of 3:1:2 for most of your
Houseplants. If they are flowering houseplants use a high middle
number in the proportion to encourage extra flowering.
trees and grapes
perennials leaving home. Young perennial plants are susceptible to
being frost heaved. Gently push them back into the ground to
protect their roots from the sun, wind, and cold.
a dormant spray to deciduous plants when the buds are swelling but
not broken. Use a combination of both dormant oil and liquid lime
sulphur for control of over wintering insects and disease.
spring lawn care. You
should thatch your lawn with a de thatching rake or every few
years you can De thatch with a de thatching machine. Cut your
lawns in the northern climates to 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 inches high and
bag the debris to be composted. Fertilize at spring rates with a
high quality slow release turf grass fertilizer. If Crabgrass
has been a problem then use a Crabgrass Preventer.
bed preparation. Dig in the winter mulch of manure into the soil of your
flower and vegetable gardens. Add more organic material such as leaf
mould compost or grass clippings. Broadcast and then rake in a granular
flower and vegetable fertilizer. Lastly do a final grading of the bed to
prepare for direct seeding and transplanting.
crop tolerant seeds and transplant can be planted out now. Seeds
such as peas, radishes and onions can be seeded now. The cold crop
transplants after being hardened off can be planted now. Some
of these are broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and onions.
shrubs, evergreens & roses
spring rose care. As the weather stabilizes you can unhill your
roses. Once unhilled you should prune out the dead or damaged rose
canes on your Hybrid Teas, Grandifloras, and Floribundas. These
are each pruned to 3 to 5 canes with three to five buds per cane.
The top most bud on each cane should point away from the
center of the plant. Fertilize at this time with a high quality
established perennial beds
large cactus and succulents
tolerant seeds (Peas, Radishes, onions)
overgrown shrubs e.g. Privet, lilacs
harvest asparagus and horseradish
flowers and vegetables
wait until after the last chance of frost and the soil
temperatures are 60For more for some tropical annuals such as
Madagascar Periwinkle. Prepare
their soil by digging in copious amounts of organic material such
as leaf mould, peat moss or compost. Use transplant fertilizer on
your flower and vegetable transplants. Tropical transplants such
tomatoes and peppers will benefit from cloches or tomato
your spring flowering bulbs finish flowering remove the spent
Flower heads. Remember to leave the flower stem and leaves
attached to the bulb. After dead heading fertilize your spring
flowering bulbs with Holland Bulb Booster or a fertilizer similar
to 4:8:12. Do not remove or injure the stem and leaves until they
are completely yellow and brown.
is the primetime for planting new perennials. Prepare the
soil by digging in copious amounts of organic materials such as
leaf mould, peat moss or compost. After planting water the
perennials in with a transplant fertilizer.
for a haircut now is an excellent time to give your junipers,
cedars, yews a light trim. They
should look like they did not have a haircut when you are
finished. Do not let the sensation or power go to your head slow
down and look at what you are trimming. After trimming them feed
them with an evergreen food such as 30:10:10 fertilizer. Yews
should receive the least amount of fertilizer with Cedars
receiving the most. The Junipers should receive just an average
summer flowering bulbs i.e. Gladiolus, Dahlias
water lilies as your decorative water lily ponds start to show
signs of plant growth you can set out your tropical water lilies.
This usually happens when the Water
temperatures have reached 70 to 75 degrees F. Remember to feed
them at this time.
and cold crop vegetables for second crop in fall
lawns slightly higher.
Your lawn should receive one inch of moisture every five to seven
days. This depends on the day and night temperatures. The water
should be applied in early morning and at one time. No sprinkling
here, sprinkling there. Use
a rain gauge or a cup or mug to measure the water being applied.
actively growing evergreens
plants can be moved outdoors
weed control. Control your weeds now before the summer heat and
drought. Spray or hand pull your weeds and crabgrass. Your turf
grass should receive its summer fertilization
and the mowing height should be 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 inches high.
spring flowering perennial care.
Your early spring flowering perennials such as Arabis
and Iberis need to be trimmed back after flowering. If
you have not fertilized them recently then feed them with a good
quality perennial fertilizer such as 7:11:9
heading your garden. Removal of the spent flowers on your plants
stops seed development. This focuses the plants energy into root
and top growth. After dead heading fertilize with the appropriate
fertilizer. For example Rhododendrons Food, Rose Food, Clematis
Food, Tree & Shrub Food.
spring flowering shrubs. Spring flowering shrubs can be pruned
now. Very old established shrubs can be rejuvenated by pruning out
some of the oldest stalks to the ground level. This will result in
a younger more vigorous shrub. At times this type of rejuvenating
pruning results in a ungainly shrub. If this happens then a light
cutting back of the branch tips will look after their untidy appearance.
This tip pruning can reduce the amount of flowers next year. Feed
your shrubs at this time with a tree & shrub food.
perennials i.e. Delphiniums, Coreopsis, Gallardias, Geums, etc.
July 1st is the time to trim your fall blooming chrysanthemums.
You may trim them back to any height you wish. (generally the
shorter the better). Trimming at this time will time your
mums to bloom ten weeks later. By trimming some of your mums
to ten days apart you can vary their blooming time.
Spring Flowering Shrubs
Spring flowering shrubs are trimmed back after flowering removing the
spent flower heads. Very old flowering shrubs can be rejuvenated
by removing the oldest stalk to the ground. This may reduce your
flowering just for the next blooming season. It may be necessary
some branches a light trim to neaten up the plants overall shape.
|Cut lawns at
least 2 ˝ inches high
of Azalea and Rhododendrons
straggly annuals & deadhead others & feed
and maple trees
in late July for autumn bloom
adequate moisture levels are maintained for all of your plants and
turf grass. Use a rain gauge. Reduce moisture demand by using
mulches such as pine bark and cedar mulch. In your vegetable garden use a thick layer of not coloured
newspapers. On top of the newspapers apply thin layers of grass
clippings as they become available.
Transplanting and Dividing
You can transplant and divide Bleeding Hearts; Oriental Poppies
Lilies. Please make sure the you amend the soil with organic
matter using peat moss, leaf mould or compost. Use a transplant
ensure adequate moisture throughout August and September.
Lisianthus for April bloom
can transplant and divide Herbaceous
Peonies and Bearded Iris this month. Make sure that you mix in
copious amounts of organic material into the soil when planting
your Herbaceous Peonies and Bearded Irises. Use peat moss,
compost, or leaf mould. Add transplant fertilizer to the water
used to water in the new transplants. The Iris rhizome must show
above the soil at all times. Plant the transplants on a ridge of
soil with their roots nestled down in the amended soil.
perennials can be transplanted to the garden
can repair damaged lawn by removing the debris. Next scratch in
some organic material. Then grade the area and apply a seed and
sod fertilizer. Now seed the area. Then very lightly rake the area
combining the soil, fertilizer and seed. Very lightly tamp the
mixture down and add moisture. Keep the area moist until all grass
seed is germinated and
crop transplants are planted in the garden
one inch of moisture every 7-10 days
can seed directly your garden in a well prepared soil in your
garden your second crop vegetables. These second crop vegetables
include Radishes, Beets, and Carrots.
June bearing Raspberries can be pruned to remove old fruiting
canes. They are pruned out to the ground. Excessive new shoots can
be removed to maintain your rows.
to late August is a good time to control the white grubs in your
lawn. If the young white grub population numbers 5 or more per
square foot then treatment is necessary for a healthy lawn. Apply
a registered pesticide according to the label directions.
planting season is upon us. It is time to plant evergreens, trees,
shrubs, and most perennials. Remember to improve the soil with
organic matter such as peat moss or compost. Use a transplant
fertilizer. Maintain an adequate level of
moisture throughout the autumn season.
grapes after first frost
is the time to fertilize your lawn with a high nitrogen fertilizer
at regular recommended rates. This will ensure new growth and
allow the lawn to recover from the summer stresses as the weather
cools and the amount of rain increases. You can start
to slowly decrease the cutting height of the lawn.
vacationing houseplants should
come in before the frost gets them. The exception is the florist
azalea, which stays out with frost protection until the flower
buds are well developed. They are then moved into a cool bright
area where they will bloom.
summer bulbs for winter storage before hard freeze
onions for storage
and divide Spuria and Siberian Iris in early September
is the prime time to plant your spring flowering bulbs. It is best
to plant your narcissus, daffodils and hyacinths first. The early
flowering spring bulbs should be planted later to try and avoid
having them bloom in the autumn. Remember to use a bulb dust to
reduce the chances of rot and bulb food to encourage rooting in
flowering bulbs can still be
planted until the ground freezes. If there is just a thin frozen
crust you may break the crust and continue planting your spring
flowering bulbs. Late planting may delay their blooming time for
the first spring only.
trees and shrubs, evergreens if necessary & wrap in burlap
|Dig and store
summer flowering bulbs
flower and vegetable debris and dig the gardens to remove the soil
compaction in the aisles. After digging the garden at least once
mulch the gardens with composted manure and leave on top for the
and pot young herb plants use
a transplant fertilizer to minimize transplant shock. They are
moved into a cool moist sunny area to grow and harvest in the
winter months. Additional lighting with florescent lights may be
with high nitrogen fertilizer 21-7-7
years disease and insect control starts this autumn with the
removal of garden debris such as tall weeds, grass and leaves.
Over wintering diseases on leaves and plant parts will explode
into life with the first early spring rain. Insects make a small
pile of leaves a
cozy winter home.
transplant hardy herbaceous perennials
your winter carrots, leeks, parsnip, and salisfy with large
amounts of straw. This should allow you to harvest them throughout
around evergreens before freeze up
Paper whites and Amaryllis for December, January blooming
increase the winter hardiness
of your roses hill them as high as you can. This can be done with
soil from another area in the garden. Never pull the soil up from
around the plant. This removes the protective soil layer. Compost
and composted manure can also be used as winter mulch.
seeded for June bloom
protection of young trees against mice is important. Place plastic
tree guards around the trunks of the trees. Wrap as high or higher
than the expected snow depth. Animal repellents can be applied now
as per manufacturer's instruction
|Burlap or net
colder areas your tree roses and edible figs are buried for the
winter. Dig a trench and line with straw. Bend over the tree rose
or edible figs into a deep trench add more straw and cover over
with soil. The soil can be covered with bags of autumn leaves to
add extra insulation in colder climates. Tiles can be placed
throughout the bags and even in the trench. In each tile place
mouse and rat bait.
bulbs for winter forcing
lawns must be cut short for the winter to protect the turfgrass
from suffocating themselves under heavy snow loads. In particular
where snow is piled from driveways, sidewalks and roads. This will
also help reduce snow mould in the spring.
your Everbearing Raspberries have finished producing fruit you can
cut them down to 6 to 8 inches tall. This will time your crop to
ripen again next autumn.
|Have a great
the limbs and small branches
from your seasonal arrangements and
holiday trees to provide some winter protection of your tender
perennials, evergreens and flowering shrubs.
to buy holiday gifts for all the gardeners you know. These may
subscriptions, gift certificates or a load of composted
manure to be delivered in the spring. When all else fails give a
gift certificates. Gardeners will either know exactly what they
want or they will muse and browse for hours on how to spend the
and store your garden tools. Drain the water from your hoses
before storing them for the winter. It's also a good idea to scrub
clay pots with a solution of one part household bleach to nine
parts water before putting them away for the winter. Use a stiff
brush to scrub off the mineral deposits (white crust), rinse
thoroughly and store the pots in the garage or garden shed. Garden
tools can be cleaned by using a bucket filled with a sand-oil
mixture. Fill up a 5-gallon bucket with clean, dry sand, and then
lightly saturate the sand with new motor oil. When you are done
using your tools like shovels, forks and spades, scrape off excess
soil and plunge them up and down in the mix. Small tools like
trowels, scratches, weeders and others can also be cleaned the
same way. Wipe the tools dry before storing.
hard wood cuttings of your deciduous trees and shrubs. Cut short
sections of the hardwood branches. Each section should have 3 sets
of buds. Dip the bottom end of each section into #3 rooting
hormone. Bundle the sections together and bury them in a good well
drained moist soil outside. They are buried with two buds below
the soil and one above. Leave them buried for the winter. In the
spring gently lift the bundles and plant out into a growing on bed
any of the sections that are rooted. Do not forget to use a
and planning starts now!