It's a new year and that means a new gardening season is right around the corner! As every gardener knows, there is never a lack of projects to do in the garden. We've asked our gardeners to share some of their tips for a successful garden for each month of the year.
Included are several links to some of our most helpful blog posts and handouts that go into more detail on some of the topics. These link will be highlighted and underlined in green.
Spray your fruit trees with dormant oil when it's not raining or freezing.
Plan your garden for the coming season. Do you want to add more color to your garden beds this year? Were there any vegetable varieties you didn't try that you want to this season?
Visit your favorite garden center for a little Winter pick-me-up and some Spring inspiration!
Check leftover seeds from the previous year. Some vegetable and flower seeds will last up to three years with proper storage while others are only viable for one season.
Start thinking about what kind of fruit trees you want to plant this year. Bareroot fruit trees are available in early February (and go fast)!
If you don't already have Mason Bees, now is a great time to buy cocoons and set up housing for them.
Plant bareroot fruit trees.
Transplant starts of Sweet Peas, Calendula, Pansies, English daisies and other cold hardy annuals and perennials from your favorite nursery.
Prune grape vines.
Wait until the end of the month to prune and shape roses.
Start fertilizing houseplants once you see new growth.
Read up on Neonicotinoids and make sure you buy your garden additions from retailers who do not use them.
Clean-up and cut back perennials.
Prune "Group 3" (or Summer and Fall blooming) Clematis. This group can be cut back to a pair of two buds, 8-12" above the ground.
Major pruning on most fruit trees can be done now. Keep in mind that stone fruits (like Cherries, Plums, Peaches and other fruits with a pit) produce fruit on the previous seasons growth, and should be pruned in the Summer. Leave the pruning cuts on your trees, even large ones, bare. Using a pruning sealer is not necessary as the trees will heal on their own.
Till cover crops into the soil.
Over-seed the lawn once all threat of frost has passed, apply Lime if needed, and fertilize with a Spring boost lawn food.
Sow cole crop (Cruciferous vegetable) seeds directly in the garden- Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cauliflower & Kohlrabi.
Root crops (like Carrots, Beets & Turnips) can also be planted now, as long as your soil is not too wet from Winter.
Plant herbs! Parsley, Chives, Rosemary, Oregano and Thyme will grow well now. Wait until later in the season for tender herbs like Basil and Dill.
Berries can be planted now. Be sure to amend soil as needed. Learn more about different berries and their needs here.
Fertilize established fruit trees and berry bushes with a balanced, organic fertilizer.
Wait until the soil has reached a temperature of 60 degrees consistently for a few weeks before planting warm weather crops like Corn, Beans, Squash, and Cucumber. Use a soil thermometer for an accurate reading.
Revisit the vegetable timetable to ensure your veggie garden is on track.
Plant and put out hanging baskets.
Refresh garden beds with colorful annual flowers.
Ensure night time temperatures don't dip down towards freezing. You may want to protect tender annual flowers like Geraniums, Fuchsia and Million Bells on cool nights with Harvest Guard, greenhouse film, or a bed sheet.
Fantastic time to plant flowering perennials, trees and shrubs.
Plant Summer flowering bulbs (like Dahlias, Gladiolus, and Lilies).
Remove dying flowers and flower stalks from Spring flowering bulbs (like Daffodils and Tulips) but leave the foliage on to die back naturally. Remove foliage once it has turned brown.
Deadhead Rhododendrons as the blooms die back.
Plant tomatoes once the weather is warm enough. Provide extra heat, from a greenhouse or greenhouse film, in cooler areas.
Keep an eye out for pests. Use beneficial insects (like Lady Bugs, Praying Mantis and Nematodes) to suppress infestations without using sprays that can harm pollinators and beneficial garden bugs.
Still time to plant Summer flowering bulbs.
Fertilize flowering annuals and perennials.
Plant tender herbs and vegetables like Basil, Dill and Beans.
Repot houseplants that have grown out of their pots. Try to only go up a few inches at a time to avoid transplant shock and watering issues.
Plant pollinator attracting plants.
Pinch back and deadhead flowering plants as they continue to bloom.
Replenish beds and containers with Summer annuals for color.
Mulch the garden to conserve water and help your plants stay hydrated.
Harvest fruits and vegetables often to help improve yields. Avoid letting food stay on the plants past their ripening point, as this can attract insects and rotting can cause fungal issues.
Continue to pinch back and deadhead flowering plants.
Remove suckers from Tomato plants.
Divide Iris, and other bulbs, that need thinning.
Water the lawn in times of drought. Fertilize with a Summer lawn food.
Check the soil by the root ball of newly transplanted trees and shrubs to ensure they are staying hydrated. Use a moisture meter for an easier reading.
Harvest Garlic when ready.
Start adding Fall color and interest (take a look at a few of our favorites here) to the garden.
Take notes in your garden journal to look back on next season. Use our Garden Journal template for an idea of where to start.
Pull weeds before they go to seed.
Harvest Onions, Potatoes, Garlic and other vegetables and herbs as they are ready.
Refresh your memory on how to harvest and store edible crops.
Prune and shape Wisteria as it finishes blooming.
Are your Fall squash losing their blooms? Make sure they are getting the proper amount of pollination. You can help by pollinating them blooms with a small paintbrush or Q-tip.
Continue fertilizing in the garden.
Over-seed or seed lawns. Adjust pH as needed and fertilize with a Fall/Winterizing lawn food.
Plant Spring flowering bulbs like Iris, Daffodils, Tulips, and more.
Clean up spent vegetable crops and annuals and add to the compost pile as long as they do not have any bugs or diseases.
Transplant trees and shrubs.
Plant Garlic to harvest next Summer.
Add cool weather vegetable crops (like Lettuce, Chard, Kale, Spinach, Cabbage and Beets) to the garden.
Continue pulling weeds now for better suppression next season.
Save seeds from your favorite flowers in the garden.
Continue transplanting trees and shrubs as needed.
Clean up fallen leaves from trees and plants. You can use leaves as a mulch as long as they are free from pests and disease.
There's still time to plant Garlic!
Start making a plan on how to Winterize your garden.
Lightly shape and prune trees. Save big pruning jobs for early Spring. There's no need to apply pruning sealer to fresh cuts- the plants will heal on their own.
Winterize the garden! Inventory tools, soils, fertilizers and equipment.
Mulch trees and shrubs to protect from the cold. Avoid piling mulch too close to the base of trees, as rodents may make a home there and chew on the bark.
Drain and store hoses before they freeze.
Plant Paperwhite and Amaryllis bulbs inside.
Houseplants may start going dormant- keep an eye on watering as they will need less when not actively growing.
Move cold-sensitive houseplants away from windows, drafts, and wood stoves.
Store tubers (like Begonia, Dahlia and Canna) in containers with good airflow. Use perlite, peat moss or vermiculite in the storage container to help absorb excess moisture that could cause rotting.
Remove moss from the lawn and garden. Treat with MossOut for easier removal.
Start brainstorming ideas for next seasons garden.
Ask Santa for a gift card to your favorite garden center!
Clean tools and take a final inventory of supplies.
Brush snow off of greenhouses and structures.
Wrap Arborvitae in Jute twine to protect the branches from bending should heavy snowfall occur. Once the branches have been warped they will not go back to normal.
Protect Poinsettia from drafts, and avoid under or over watering.
Check transplanted trees and shrubs, containers and outdoor planters for moisture. Plants cannot drink ice, and freezing temperatures may remove moisture from the soil by their roots.
Protect tender plants from the cold with Harvest Guard sheets.
Make wreaths for the holidays.
Pick out a living Christmas tree you can plant after the holidays.