• Observe your landscape for areas of standing waters or winter erosion from heavy rains. Make notes for corrections to drainage as needed.
• Clean up your potting area.
• Order catalogues and plan.
• Review last year’s garden. Think about what went well in the garden and what did not. What you would do differently this year?
• Plant bare root stock as weather and soil conditions permit.
• Late in February is a good time to start artichokes.
• Clean up pruning of dormant fruit trees. Avoid fruiting spurs unless you are intentionally thinning them.
• Prune dormant deciduous trees to remove dead, diseased & damaged branches.
• Prune shrubs to maintain shape, encourage new growth and clean out winter damaged branches.
• Cut back deciduous grasses, ferns, and epimedium to the ground before new growth.
• Sow seeds outdoors when soil temperatures are at or above appropriate minimum temperatures: lettuce, peas, Swiss chard & beets, carrots, leeks, spinach, turnips, radishes and Asian greens. When these are sown into a cloche, the germination rate is high. Seed potatoes, onion sets, shallot sets, and garlic cloves can all be planted out.
• Begin planting dahlia and iris as well as other summer flowering corms bulbs and tubers.
• Fruit trees should be planted now as dormant bare root plants.
• Prune summer and fall flowering clematis.
• Clean up perennials and cut back ornamental grasses if you didn’t in fall.
• Prune roses. Cut back to a healthy outward facing bud. Complete all your pruning activities before the buds break. The various types of roses have varying pruning needs. Make sure you choose the right method for your roses.
• Prune hardy fuchsias late in the month.
• Fertilize roses.
• Fertilize Rhododendrons and azaleas before buds break.
• Add appropriate fertilizers. Base your fertilizer selections on your soil tests and needs of your plants. Some people prefer a combination of small amounts of fast acting inorganic fertilizer in the spring as well as slow acting long lasting organic fertilizers that will continue to feed into the fall.
• Now would be a good time to apply appropriate fertilizer for blueberries & mulch.
• Transplant cool season annuals like snapdragons, pansies, sweet alyssum, etc.
• Start hardy warm season flowers from seed outdoors like nasturtiums, feverfew, and love-in-a-mist etc.
• Plant trees, perennials, flowering shrubs and vines now but avoid bare root stock now. Also summer flowering bulbs like gladiolus, iris, and crocosmia.
• Directly sow into the ground beets, Swiss chard, carrots, dill, endive, Jerusalem artichokes (tuber), kohlrabi radishes, parsnips, turnips, peas, bunching onions, leeks and potato tubers. Sow more salad veggies, such as lettuce, spinach, and radishes.
• Prune pines by candle pruning. Clean out dead
needles and remove any dead limbs.
• There is still time to prune late flowering woody
plants that bloom on this season’s growth like Glossy
Abelia, Hardy Fuchsias and Hydrangeas, etc.
- Sow directly to the garden crops like Beans and bush), Carrots, Corn, Cucumbers and Squash & Gourds when soil temps get above 60 degrees F.
- Plant Asparagus roots and Potato and Sweet Potato Tubers, and Strawberry plants. Plant seedlings of Basil, Sweet Marjoram, Dill Summer Savory, Perilla,and Cilantro. Plant out tomatoes.
- Plant up containers.
- Deadhead perennials as needed.
- Pinch growth on perennials to help keep them dense.
- Deadhead Rhododendrons, Azaleas, Mountain Laurels and Lilacs as the blooms fade. This directs more of the plants energy to new growth and flower buds for next year.
- Prune early blooming woody plants that bloom on previous season’s growth if necessary. Prune these plants right after they finish flowering.
- Last call to transplant small trees and shrubs. Take advantage of the natural rainfall and cooler weather.
- Transplant warm season plants like eggplants, melons, okra, peppers, squash, tomatoes.. They will do a lot better if you provide a cloche. Also herbs like sweet marjoram, dill, basil and cilantro, chives, oregano, parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme.
- Early to mid-June is a good target for starting a late bed of potatoes.
- Seed directly into the garden Asian Greens (usually in the mustard family), beans (bush or pole), New Zealand spinach (heat tolerant spinach substitute), parsnips, peas, radishes and beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, endive & radicchio, green onions, kohlrabi, salad greens, Swiss chard rutabagas and turnips. Summer squash and Cucumbers can be direct-sown anytime now.
- Keep roses clean from diseased wood and unhealthy canes. Deadhead as needed.
- Deadhead perennials and annuals.
- Early spring flowering plants that bloom on old wood can be pruned after blooming such as azaleas, forsythias, lilacs, mountain laurel, pieris, quince, rhododendron and spiraea. Rejuvenation can be achieved by completely removing older stems or cutting to 6” to a foot from the ground. Subshrubs and perennials like rockcress, evergreen candytuft, Moss pinks (dianthus) should also be cut back strongly after flowering.
- Thin out shade trees. The best time for this is when there are leaves on the tree so you can increase a view or allow more light below them.
- Deadhead rhododendrons, azaleas, mountain laurels Pieris. This reroutes the energy that would have been used to make seedpods to new growth and next year’s flower buds.
- Last call to plant containerized or ball and burlap woody trees, shrubs, groundcovers and vines before the summer weather makes establishment more difficult. Monitor moisture levels for the next few months.
- Thin apple trees, Asian and European pears if necessary (if fruit have been plentiful but small). Don’t thin if your tree is in a light year. Thin instead in next year’s heavy year to even bearing out between years.
- Plant Garlic, rhubarb, shallots, Egyptian multiplier onions and Fava Beans for harvest next season.
- Transplant strawberries that have rooted from runners. Plants should be 9-12 inches apart. Relocate newly rooted “plantlets” now and they will bear fruit next year.
- Parsnips , carrots and kohlrabi also need to be sown before the 15th.
- Deadhead old rose blooms cut stem just above five leaflets and not three, which promotes future blooming.
- Continue deadheading perennial and annuals to keep them tidy and continue blooming.
- Continue to prune hedges. Evergreens main growth spurt will be ending this month so this will be the last major prune for the season. Remember to taper shrubs so that the base is slightly wider than the top.
- Plant seeds of bush beans and beets no later than the beginning of the month to get a crop by fall. You could also plant peas, spinach, radishes and overwintered onions. The various chicories (endive, escarole, radicchio, etc.) need a good amount of time to mature, especially if they are the heading types.
- Transplant seedlings started last month for fall crops like cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts.
- Move rooted strawberry runners that have rooted to appropriate locations in the garden.
- Continue deadheading spent flowers unless the seeds are being saved.
- Prune firs and spruces now.
- Last time to trim deciduous hedges for the season. Their growth will be slow until next spring.
- Prune water sprouts, trunk suckers, and crossing or rubbing branches from trees.
- Prune brambles (raspberries, blackberries and their relatives) after they finish fruiting by cutting them back to the ground. Evergreen varieties should be cut back by half or just below where the late summer flowers and fruit formed.
- Final pruning on woody plants to allow new growth to harden off before winter.
- Fertilize roses. Roses are heavy feeders and usually require both a spring and summer feeding..
• Begin planting bulbs. They benefit from being planted with organic bulb fertilizer.
• This is a perfect time to sow arugula, claytonia, minutina, or some of the fast-growing Asian greens. Walla Walla onions, which dry down later than most other overwintered onions, can be started as late as mid-September. Sow overwintering vegetables such as carrots, Fava beans, Spinach, Lettuce, radishes and snow peas. Make sure to use varieties for winter planting. Garlic can be planted anytime that the ground isn’t hard.
• It’s fall planting time! Take advantage of the warm soil and increase in rainfall. You can plant perennials, shrubs and trees. This is a good time to start a new garden or expand beds.
• This is an optimal time start a new lawn from seed or seed worn or bare spots as well as lay sod.
• Stop deadheading roses and allow hips to form. This helps roses slow down and prepare for dormancy.
• Keep deadheading annual flowers and other perennials to maintain bloom until frost.
• Remove old flowers from late blooming subshrubs like heaths and heathers.
• Cut back spent lavender blooms.
• September is a good time for a late lawn feeding and pH correction.
PEST & DISEASE MANAGEMENT:
• You can help control all fungal diseases by removing falling leaves and fruit from plants that have shown signs of disease (e.g. Anthracnose on Dogwoods).
• Plant colorful cold tolerant plants like pansy, flowering cabbage, or Swiss chard.
• Begin planting Spring Flowering bulbs.
• Plant cover crops. Cover crops help build your soil up for next year, and protect it from all the rain that’ll be falling over fall and winter. They help add more organic matter and nutrients to the soil, as well as slow down the leaching of nutrients caused by winter rains.
• This is the preferred time to plant evergreen trees and shrubs, both broadleaf and coniferous.
• Plant paperwhite narcissus and amaryllis in intervals for the holidays.
• Plant Garlic, rhubarb, shallots, Egyptian multiplier onions and Fava Beans for harvest next season.
• Prune back berry canes if not already done.
• Very last call for planting trees and shrubs including woody fruiting plants.
• Plant Amaryllis bulbs and paperwhite narcissus to bloom for Christmas. Calla Lilies and begonias can also be started.
• Still time to plant flowering bulbs as long as the ground is workable.
• Prune rampant suckers from the base of lilacs which will take away from next year’s bloom.
PEST & DISEASE MANAGMENT:
• Make sure to remove all rose leaves that are remaining to prevent spread of blackspot.
• Remember if you have had any disease problems to do a thorough job of removing infected plant material from the garden now. If you remove the source of infectious fungi and bacteria you may break the cycle of reinfection next year.
• Cut evergreen boughs for wreaths.
• Continue forcing bulbs like amaryllis, paper white narcissus and freesias now for blooms in early spring.
• Clean tools for storage. Remove soil with a brush (coconut fiber, nylon or a metal brush) and then remove any rust with steel wool. Sharpen tools with appropriate files or sharpeners. Then wipe with a clean rag and then oil exposed metal with special tool oil.