Seasonal Lawn Care and Landscaping Tips
- Inspect your trees and shrubs periodically for breaks or splits in branches caused by heavy snow, wind and ice. Be sure to cut the damaged tree or the shrub limbs off below the break. Make clean cuts and avoid “flush cutting” into the stem that the broken branch is attached to. Proper pruning is one of the best things you can do for your trees.
- Sword ferns should be cut down to the ground. New fronds will develop next spring. Don’t wait to cut them as new growth will be coming and it will be difficult to cut the old out of the new.
- Prune fruit trees and other trees by taking out all crossing inside branches and thinning some of the old branches.
- Don’t touch the roses. February is the time to prune those. Keep the dirt or mulch pushed up around the bottom six inches for freeze protection.
- Shrubs, trees and ground cover can be planted now as long as the soil is not too muddy. The sooner you get it in the ground, the better it will survive the upcoming summer months. Install plants above grade for good drainage.
- January is a great time to start planning for spring and summer projects.
- This month is most desirable for pruning, especially for fruit trees as buds will soon begin to push as spring approaches.
- Now the roses can be pruned. Prune the stems as low as six inches up to 24 inches. They are your roses, so whatever height you choose; make sure you leave a minimum of five strong stems per plant. Begin fertilizing with an organic product suitable for roses.
- Now is also the time to prune your grapes. Get them back to the main stock leaving no more than three main stocks per plant.
- Pre-emergent weed control should be applied. The best organic solution would be an application of corn gluten meal. This will help keep weed seeds from germinating and reduce your maintenance time in your shrub and flower beds.
- If you are utilizing our organic turf fertilization program, the first application is going down along with moss control. After a week moss that is thick can be raked out to allow the grass to recover.
- Why not plant a few clusters of primroses and pansies. When buying primroses, make sure to look into the centers of the plants for the new growth and blooms.
- If you are brave, you can plant some annuals now. For quick color, use primroses and pansies that are available. Plant clusters for better color. You may want to wait another month to avoid a late freeze.
- Don’t touch the Magnolia! Wait for the bloom and then shape and thin as needed. Avoid any topping of valuable landscape trees.
- Overgrown rhododendrons can be pruned now with a sharp saw 2 to 3 feet from the ground. You may not get blooms this year, but by mid summer you will be very pleased with the new appearance of the plant.
- Start mowing the grass again this month so it doesn’t get out of control. Mow shorter in the spring at about 1 1/2 inches. This will help cleanup winter damage from frost and possibly snow, plus help decrease disease activity.
- If you have bare spots in your lawn, scratch up the soil and apply seed and fertilizer. Cover with mulch and within a few weeks the seed will germinate without any effort. This will make for a better lawn.
- You can begin to plant annuals for the cutting garden. Visit your local garden center to pick out your favorites and to try something new. The most important part of the annual and perennial planting is the preparation of the soil. Use compost, peat moss and sand to loosen up the soil before planting.
- Your tulips are through blooming. Let them dry a bit and dig them out when the foliage is completely dried up. Plant them again in the fall.
- Your spring blooming plants should be pruned and shaped at this time.
- During this second organic lawn fertility treatment you can also treat the moss if the weather remains cool and wet. Treat any remaining moss before it becomes too warm so the lawn does not become stressed.
- If your lawn didn’t make it through the winter well, now is the time to consider over-seeding or complete lawn replacement. This is a big job, so don’t be afraid to seek some professional assistance.
- Start Baiting for slugs: We prefer using herbs like Rosemary and mint, or crushed egg shells around the plants you want to protect. Another environmentally safe alternative is a small bowl with stale beer or grape juice to attract and drown the slugs. Organic or natural slug baits are available. Check to make sure they are safe for pets. Read the label.
- Deadhead your rhododendrons, azaleas and Andromeda or any other plant with large flowers.
- Your irrigation system should be started up and ready to go. In Oregon, you should start your system running in mid May until around mid October. No need to start prior to that unless you need to water the annuals.
- Some of your bulbs should be through blooming. Cut off the old flower stems and tie up the rest of the plant to give it a clean look.
- Keep mowing that grass. You will need to get the mower out there at least once per week. By the end of the month you will want to set the mowing height at 2 1/2 inches. This is great material to add to your compost pile in addition to the spent blooms from the plants.
- A good aeration and lime application for your lawn will help move the pH level back to neutral. This will help the lawn to make better use of the fertilizer and water. Keep on the weeds. If you didn’t apply a pre-emergent you will be spending a lot of time in the beds with the hoe.
- Keep baiting the slugs. There should be lots out there after a wet winter.
- Your spring bulbs are through blooming. You can cut them off at the ground and let them dry naturally, or you can cut off the blossoms, bend them over and tie up the foliage. When the foliage is dry, just pick it up and leave the bulb alone to bloom next year.
- Bait for slugs: We prefer using herbs like Rosemary and mint, or crushed egg shells around the plants you want to protect. Another environmentally safe alternative is a small bowl with stale beer or grape juice to attract and drown the slugs. Organic or natural slug baits are available. Check to make sure they are safe for pets. Read the label.
- Your roses may be through with the first blooming. For a lot of new roses, just top them off and you will be rewarded with a lot of flowers. For single stemmed roses, cut them back to the first five leaf eye. Time to apply another organic fertilization for your roses to maintain summer health.
- Always look for compost material – flowers that are cut off, lawn clippings or any material that will decompose makes a great addition to your compost bin.
- You should be on your third turf fertilization this month. Hopefully, with the first two, you were able to give the moss a knock-out blow. Keep your lawn watering to morning hours to reduce the chance of disease.
- Make sure your irrigation system is turned on and optimized. June is the start of the watering months for our area as we go into longer day length.
- Any compost material that you place around the base of shrubbery and trees will keep them damp through the summer with a lot less watering.
- Suckers are now appearing on lots of your trees and shrubs. Keep up with the pruning during the next couple of months.
- The new growth on your evergreen hedges can be sheared back to at least one inch of the new growth. New needles will come from that new growth as we go into summer.
- The buds are now forming on your shrubs that will bloom next spring. Don’t prune them now or you will miss the flowers next spring. Be sure to keep those plants watered 2 to 3 times per week. Remember that trees and shrubs require less water then the lawn.
- Your spring bulbs are through blooming now, and the foliage is completely dried up. You can remove the bulbs and store them for the summer, or take your chances and see what comes up next spring.
- Your spring perennials are probably cut back now, and you could bring more color into your garden by adding annuals in 4î pots. They will be blooming immediately.
- Keep working those roses. Cutting them back to strong growth, just above a five leaf eye will continue to yield an abundance of flowers.
- Make sure you keep water on your flowers and lawn. Keep the watering schedule for your lawn of two days off before mowing, two days on, one day off, then two more on.
- Keep your compost pile moist to speed up the process.
- Continue mowing high at about 2 1/2î to help maintain good color and decrease drought stress.
- Gardening in August is usually a maintenance month. Keeping the garden wet and weeded is very important.
- Container materials must have an application of fertilizer. One handful of a complete fertilizer is equal to a tablespoon. Time for that fourth application for your turf.
- If your conifers are showing a browning, it will mean a mite attack, and you will have to spray with a contact type of material. One spray will answer the problem. Natural and organic materials are available.
- If you have trees that take away your view, they could now be pruned and thinned so you could see through them. There will be no more growth this year.
- The new buds that are showing on your rhododendrons, camellias, and azaleas will need plenty of water under the drip line of the plant so the buds will develop.
- Lawns that border sidewalks and driveways may need more water than open areas. Make necessary adjustments to your irrigation controller.
- It’s a good idea to watch your irrigation system run through a cycle to see if adjustments are needed.
- Boxwoods, laurel, juniper, cotoneaster, and other ground cover can be sheared or pruned now. Little to no growth will occur the rest of the year.
- If you are utilizing our organic fertilization program, you should be done with the 4th of 6 applications. Take advantage of a good rainfall to get that fertilizer down to the root zone where it can be used.
- If you are still considering putting in a new lawn or replacing your existing lawn, this is the last month to place seed. From October through March, your only other successful option will be the installation of a sod lawn.
- This month, anything can be planted and most plants can be transplanted. Perennials, shrubs, and trees that you held off planting in the summer will do just fine now. Stay away from transplanting bigger plants for now. Wait until the weather cools and we get a little more rain.
- You can stop watering your vegetable garden if your plants are in the ground. Let your fruits and vegetables ripen up.
- Try to get finished up on your pruning. The snow and ice are a couple months out, but properly pruned plants and trees will handle the harsh weather much better.
- Don’t pull your annuals yet. There is still a lot of bloom left in them if you keep the old flowers cut back.
- Keep up the composting. All the pruning of shrubs and flowers along with falling leaves make great compost. Make sure to keep that compost pile moist.
- You will need to continue to maintain your lawn on your regular schedule this month. If you have a broadleaf weed issue in the turf, now is a great time to take care of that. Lower the mowing height 1 to 2 notches from the summer height. Cutting shorter at about 1 1/2″ to 2″ will help reduce disease activity.
- Your perennials are now ready to be cut to the ground. Be sure to throw them in the compost pile.
- Roses should be pruned down to waist height high to protect them from wind in the winter and then prune them again in February for the final winter pruning.
- Late in the month pull your hanging baskets and prepare them for winter. Geraniums and fuchsias can be stored indoors or in a protected area for use next spring.
- Time to plant winter color. Pansies in bloom will bloom for the entire winter if the temperature doesn’t get too low. This is a great way to keep color in your yard the entire year.
- You can still move your iris, but this is the last month. Cut the tops back 6 to 8 inches from the ground and really break up the plant before replanting.
- By mid October, your irrigation system can be shut down. You can drain the system or give us a call and we can provide a forced air winterization to guarantee your system from freeze damage.
- Compost all the leaves and any other plant material that will decompose.
- Mulching around tender plants can prevent winter damage. Do not shear your pines this time of the year. To survive, they must have good needles at the ends of their branches.
- If your irrigation system isn’t off by now, get it turned off and either winterize it yourself or call in an expert to have it done.
- Place dirt or soil over the first 6 inches of your rose bushes which will keep that part of the plant from freezing. Roses should be pruned down to waist height or a bit shorter by mid month.
- Any plant material with large leaves should be tied up so ice cannot damage it.
- All annuals should be removed and thrown on the compost pile. All perennials should be cut to the ground and the dried tops placed in the compost.
- Thin or bare spots in your lawn should be reseeded and mulched over. By spring those areas should be filled in with grass.
- Be sure to put away or unhook your outside hoses and turn off all of your outside faucets to protect them from the winter cold.
- Be careful to not walk on your turf when it is frozen. It can break the grass blades and damage your lawn.
- Get your bulbs in the ground by the end of November for flowers in March and April.
- Keep the leaves raked up weekly at a minimum.
- Make your last mowing of the lawn by the end of the month. Cut it one notch shorter at about 1 1/2″. This will decrease disease and winter damage. Leaving the grass long through the winter months can create damaged areas from matted and molding grass blades as we go into spring.
- A good clean-up of the garden in an important task for winter. All leaves and branches should be removed from the lawn and garden areas. Leaves that are allowed to remain on the grass long term will kill it.
- If the roots of your trees are beginning to appear above the lawn grade, consider removing them below the surface using a hand saw to make a clean cut. If tree roots are larger then 2-3″ in diameter, and you have more than a couple that are a problem you may want to consult a professional arborist.
- Tie up your plants and trees so that winter winds and ice will not damage them.
- When your rhododendron’s leaves begin to fold back, the plant is only protecting itself from the cold weather. Nothing to worry about.
- Now is a great time to put some of that compost to use around your plant material and vegetable gardens.
- If the snow piles up too high on your plant material, remove it carefully with a straw broom. Be careful as too much movement of a frozen plant can cause damage.