Turtle Creek Nursery Gardening Calendar

General Spring Season Gardening Tips:

  • Begin feeding bulbs with liquid fertilizer as they emerge from the ground.
  • Remove dead leaves from hostas.
  • Prune summer-flowering shrubs in early spring before new growth, since they usually bloom from new wood.

April Gardening Tips:

  • Uncover and remove winter mulch from roses, spring bulbs, and perennials.
  • Divide and replant overgrown perennials.
  • Till flower and vegetable garden soil and add composted cow manure, rice hulls, peat moss, or composted leaves.
  • Remove rose cones.
  • Plant frost-tolerant pansies and Johnny-jump-ups for early spring color.
  • Plant trees and shrubs as soon as the ground is dry enough for digging; late frost and snow will not hurt newly planted trees.
  • Apply fresh mulch around trees and shrubs for weed control.
  • Prune hedges and summer-flowering shrubs. Check for damage and remove broken branches.
  • Remove tree wrap when snow melts.
  • Fertilize trees and shrubs.
  • Apply crabgrass preventer to lawns.
  • Fertilize spring bulbs when foliage emerges.
  • Wait until the ground is frost free before removing mulch; if temperatures rise early in the season, remove part of the mulch but leave at least two to three inches.
  • Till or spade the soil deeply; if desired, add a slow-release flower-garden fertilizer.
  • Evergreens can be pruned at almost any time except late in the growing season

May Gardening Tips:

  • Work fertilizer into vegetable and flower gardens before they are planted.
  • Fertilize roses and begin maintenance program against black spot and mildew.
  • Mulch flower gardens to conserve moisture and reduce weed growth.
  • Install peony hoops.
  • Protect gardens from deer browsing.
  • Plant summer-blooming bulbs.
  • Plant Minnesota Grown annuals and geraniums after frost is no longer a danger.
  • Apply pre-emergent weed control in shrub and planting beds.
  • Remove accumulated leaves and debris from underneath evergreens and shrubs.
  • Prune forsythia, azaleas, and lilacs after they have flowered; all spring-flowering shrubs should be pruned right after flowering.
  • Begin apple-tree spray programs after blossoms drop.
  • Make sure freshly planted trees and shrubs are watered weekly, especially during dry periods. Continue to water through the season.
  • Prune mugho pines when new growth is fully grown and soft.
  • Fertilize established trees, evergreens, and shrubs. Start a fertilizer program.
  • Rake, overseed, and fertilize the lawn. Avoid applying crabgrass preventer to newly overseeded areas. Seed new lawns while nights are still cool and the weather is wet.
  • Control dandelions and creeping Charlie by applying herbicide before heads are formed.

General Summer Season Gardening Tips:

  • Deadheading (removing faded flowers and seed heads) directs the plant’s energy to more flowering rather than to producing seeds. It’s especially recommended for annuals.
  • Pinch back phlox, asters, and mums to make them more flower-productive.
  • Fertilizers are best applied to azaleas, rhododendrons, and blueberries in spring or early summer.
  • Use grass clippings as mulch around flowers. Do not use those that have had herbicides applied.
  • Leave the last rose blossoms of summer to encourage dormancy.
  • Apply slow-release fertilizer in midsummer to provide good plant performance until frost.

June Gardening Tips:

  • Stake larger varieties of perennials such as delphiniums.
  • Begin leaf-spot control on tomato plants and stake young tomato plants; late-staking contributes to blossom end rot.
  • Tie climbing roses to trellises.
  • Perform last pinching of chrysanthemums to promote compact, bushy plants.
  • Do last picking of rhubarb at month’s end to allow roots to store energy for next season.
  • Mulch your garden after the soil has warmed up later in the month.
  • Fertilize lawns, flowers, and gardens, and continue weeding.
  • Prune and shape new growth on arborvitae, junipers, and yews.
  • Trim evergreens and hedges.
  • Prune pines, spruce, and fir trees in early to mid month.

July Gardening Tips:

  • Remove spring bulb foliage as it browns.
  • If spring-flowering bulbs aren’t doing well, dig up bulbs after the foliage has died and divide.
  • Before late summer, transplant and divide perennials.
  • Water, weed, fertilize, and harvest vegetables.
  • Trim maple trees.
  • Continue to water young trees and shrubs weekly.

August Gardening Tips:

  • Deadhead annuals for more blooms.
  • Divide irises and day lilies.
  • Complete evergreen pruning before the end of the month to prevent winter injury.

General Fall Season Gardening Tips:

  • Plant perennials. Fall installation gives plants time to develop a strong root system. Most perennials flower in the spring; if planted then, they may not bloom the first year.
  • Split and replant overgrown bulbs. Dig up the bulb after the foliage has died and allow it to dry thoroughly. After drying, bulbs can be split and replanted.
  • Cut perennials to the ground after hard frost and use foliage for compost.
  • Gather fallen leaves for mulch and compost use.
  • Dig summer-blooming bulbs after the first killing frost and save for next planting season

September Gardening Tips:

  • Take advantage of cool weather by planting trees, shrubs, and evergreens; use root-stimulating fertilizer to promote root growth.
  • Plant spring-flowering bulbs and work bone meal into bottom of planting holes for better growth.
  • Divide and replant perennials such as peonies and irises.
  • Water young trees and shrubs.
  • Now is the best time to seed new lawn, patch bare spots, and install sod. There isn’t as much competition with weed seeds now. Do it before September 15.
  • Plant chrysanthemums, pansies, asters, and flowering kale for fall color.
  • Apply weed-killer and fertilizer for lawn care, but not to newly seeded areas.

October Gardening Tips:

  • Clean garden beds and work compost into soil for spring plantings.
  • Remove dead annuals and add them to compost.
  • Cover tender roses before temperatures dip below 25 degrees.
  • Rake and recycle leaves for better air circulation and lawn-disease control.
  • Mow lawn until frost stops growth – tall, matted grass encourages snow mold.
  • Wrap young and thin-barked trees to protect against sunscald and animals.
  • Remove garden debris after the first frost to help minimize soil diseases and insects.

November Gardening Tips:

  • Early to mid-month, cover perennials with mulch to protect the crowns of the plants from the alternate freezing and thawing.
  • Put down an inch of hay or straw mulch over shallow-rooted perennials to prevent frost heaving (plants being pushed out of soil by freezing temperatures).
  • Plant large shade trees.
  • Water all the trees, shrubs, and evergreens, especially new plantings, just before the ground becomes frozen.

General Winter Season Gardening Tips:

  • Install hardware cloth or other fencing that extends above snow level to keep animals away.
  • Check perennials for signs of heaving; if this occurs, re-cover with mulch.
  • Oaks, honey locusts, crab apples, pears, mountain ash, and hawthorn are best pruned now.
  • Keep evergreens and shrubs free of heavy snow.
  • Determine what flowers and planting techniques worked last season and plan accordingly.

March Gardening Tips:

  • Finish dormant pruning of ornamental trees.
  • Remove black-knot swellings on plum, chokecherry, and cherry trees.

This calendar is provided as a service to consumers by members of the Minnesota Nursery and Landscape Association ( MNLA)

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