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)