Landscaping Month by Month Guide

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A Helpful Landscaping Month by Month Guide For all Your Landscaping and Gardening Needs

January

Gardeners To Do List For January

Planting

  • Continue to plant new shade trees, fruit trees, and evergreen shrubs. Mulch root areas.
  • Continue to transplant established trees and shrubs while they are dormant.
  • Finish planting pre-chilled tulip and hyacinth bulbs if you did not do so in December.
  • Plant any bare-root plants including fruit and nut trees as well as roses.
  • Continue planting pansies, snapdragons, kale, Swiss chard and other cool season annuals. Plant onion transplants anytime soil is ready. Plant spinach and snap peas mid to late month.
  • Sow seeds in flats or containers to get a jump on the season. Petunias, begonias and impatiens can be started now. Tomatoes, peppers and beans can be started in late January into mid February indoors, in a hot bed or heated greenhouse.

Pruning

  • Prune with a purpose. Do not “top” any trees or shrubs including crape myrtles. Never leave stubs. Cut flush against remaining branches on shrubs and along the branch collar on trees. Peach and plum trees should be pruned to encourage horizontal branching, remove any strongly vertical shoots.
  • Continue to prune evergreen trees such as magnolias, live oaks, and wax myrtles to minimize possible ice damage.
  • Re-shape evergreen shrubs and shade trees, as needed, during the winter dormant period.

Plant Care

  • Check houseplants for insect pests such as scale, mealy bugs, and spider mites.
  • Continue to mulch leaves from the lawn and remove debris from turf areas to reduce disease and insect problems.
  • Continue to water lawn once every three weeks or so, if you have not had at least 1” of supplemental rain.
  • Watch for scale insects on camellias, hollies, and euonymus.
  • Water outdoor landscape plants, as needed, when the soil is dry. Water plants thoroughly before a hard freeze to reduce chances of freeze damage.
  • Fertilize pansies and other winter annuals about once a month throughout the winter.
  • Protect tender plants from hard freezes.
  • Till and prepare new planting beds when soil is workable. Work in organic material. Add compost and mulch to all beds. Recycle your Christmas trees. Contact your city’s waste disposal department for sites. Know your soil by getting a soil test.

 

February

Gardeners To Do List For February

Planting

  • Continue to plant evergreen shrubs, fruit, nut and shade trees.
  • Plant asparagus, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, cilantro, collards, English peas, lettuce, kohlrabi, onion transplants, parsley, potatoes, radishes, spinach, Swiss chard, and turnips.
  • Plant early spring-blooming annuals like dianthus, petunias and alyssum in late February.

Pruning

  • Complete pruning of oak trees before February 15 to minimize chance of oak wilt infestation. Note: Do not prune live oaks or red oaks from Feb.15 to June 30. If you must prune then, always ‘paint’ the cut end with tree wound paint; being very careful not to paint over the collar of the cut.
  • Prune other shade trees and woody shrubs as necessary to remove dead wood and improve structure.
  • Finish pruning pecan trees and fruit trees before spring bud break.
  • Prune all standard roses, except climbing varieties, by about 50% by mid February.
  • Prune tall Nandinas, if necessary, to improve fullness, by removing one-third of the tallest canes at 2-3” above ground level (late February). Repeat the next two years.
  • Trim or mow grassy groundcovers such as liriope and mondo grass, if needed, due to freeze damage or ragged appearance, before spring growth begins.

Plant Care

  • Apply horticultural oil to fruit and pecan trees, and to scale-prone shrubs such as euonymus and hollies, when temperature is 45-65 for two weeks (mid-February). Check the Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service website bookstore for a pamphlet on the Homeowner’s Fruit and Nut Spray Schedule.
  • Fertilize cool season grasses such as fescue and ryegrass with a slow release fertilizer.
  • Apply pre-emergent herbicides to established lawns to control warm season broadleaf and grassy weeds, such as dandelions and crabgrass no later than early March.
  • Fertilize pansies and other winter annuals with your favorite fertilizer.
  • Continue to protect tender plants from hard freezes.

 

March

Gardeners To Do List For March

Average Date of Last Freeze in Dallas County: March 4 – 12

Planting

    • Plant ornamental trees and shrubs while the weather is still cool.
    • Divide and replant fall flowering plants such as asters and mums.
    • Complete transplanting of established woody plants before bud break.
    • Plant cool season flowers such as alyssum, daisies, dianthus, and geraniums (mid to late March).
    • Plant spinach, radishes, lettuce, through mid April. Also plant snap beans, cucumbers, sweet corn, lima beans, mustard, tomatoes, and squash late March when soil temperatures are warm enough for each variety.
    • Begin to plant warm season flowers as temperatures increase towards the end of the month and as they become available in nurseries.

Pruning

    • Prune back overgrown ground cover such as English ivy and Asian jasmine to maintain the height you prefer. Do so before new growth begins.
    • Cut back ornamental grasses before new growth appears.
    • Remove winter-damage from shrubs and other ornamentals.
    • Do not prune spring flowering shrubs and vines, until after blooming such as forsythia, quince, azaleas, spirea, etc.
    • Allow foliage on spring bulbs such as daffodils to die back and dry before removing, to create food for next year’s plants.

Plant Care

  • Based on a soil test fertilize established shade trees, ornamental trees, and shrubs as spring growth begins.
  • Based on a soil test fertilize pecan and fruit trees before bud break. (See plantanswers.com <http://plantanswers.com> for more details)
  • Check new growth on ornamental plants weekly for aphids and scale insects and treat if necessary.
  • Mow fescue/ryegrass lawns, now growing vigorously, at five day intervals, or as needed.
  • Fertilize fescue lawns in early March as per soil test results.
  • Continue to feed pansies and other cool season annuals to extend their bloom season.
  • Continue to protect tender plants from late freezes.

 

April

Gardeners To Do List For April

Planting

    • Plant ground covers and warm season annuals and perennials as soil temperatures warm and the danger of frost has passed, such as cannas and gladiola corms. It’s best to wait until next month to plant hot weather annuals such as caladiums, elephant ears, periwinkles, and zinnias.
    • Plant warm season turf grasses (Bermuda, St. Augustine and Zoysia) starting in mid April. Plant Bermuda grass seed only when nighttime temperatures average 65 degrees.
    • Early April plant: tomatoes, snap beans, radishes, cucumbers, corn, lima beans, mustard, peppers and squash. Late April plant: watermelon, southern peas, okra, cantaloupe, sweet potatoes, eggplant, and pumpkin.

Pruning

    • Prune spring blooming shrubs and vines after they finish flowering.
    • Allow foliage on spring bulbs to die back and dry before removing, so it can store food for next year
    • Shade trees may be pruned. However, do not prune live oaks and red oaks between Feb. 15 and June 30.

Plant Care

  • Fertilize azaleas according to soil test recommendations after they finish blooming.
  • Check roses, ornamentals, and vegetables for powdery mildew, prevalent in mild, moist spring weather.
  • Check new growth on ornamental plants weekly for aphids and scale insects and treat if necessary.
  • Apply first fertilizer treatment to established warm season turf grasses (first to mid April). Use a fertilizer based on a soil test (which may cost as little as $10) and follow recommendations. “Weed & Feed” products are not recommended.
  • Mow established warm season turf grasses weekly or as needed.
  • Use broad-leafed weed control products to eliminate spring weeds such as dandelions, henbit, and chickweed. Some types can damage St. Augustine. Always read and follow label directions. ~Begin harvesting cool season vegetables.
  • Water all your plants when they’re dry, but be particularly diligent with new plantings that can quickly dry out in our persistent spring winds. Use 3 – 4 inches of mulch on all flower, shrub and vegetable beds.

 

May

Gardeners To Do List For May

Planting

    • Plant caladiums and elephant ears as night temperatures reach 70 degrees.
    • Plant ground covers and hot weather annuals such as periwinkles, portulaca, salvia, zinnias, and coleus.
    • Continue to plant warm season turf grasses.
    • Finish planting black-eyed peas, cantaloupe, cucumber, eggplant, green beans (pole or bush type), lima beans, okra, peppers, pumpkin, sweet corn, sweet potato, squash and watermelon. Plant perennial herbs in prepared soil or containers.
    • Plant hardy varieties of palms during the warm season from now to August.
    • Tropical color plants including hibiscus, Allamanda, bougainvillea and mandevilla may be planted now.

Pruning

    • Prune spring blooming shrubs such as forsythia and Indian hawthorn after they finish flowering.
    • Prune climbing roses after their blooms fade.
    • Snip off the dried foliage of early spring bulbs such as daffodils and the faded flower stalks of irises.
    • Do not prune live oaks and red oaks between Feb. 15 and June 30.

Plant Care

  • Check roses, ornamentals, and vegetables for aphids and powdery mildew.
  • Continue Homeowner’s Fruit and Nut Spray Schedule.
  • Check roses for black spot and apply fungicide as necessary according to label directions.
  • Watch for bagworms on junipers and other conifers, treat as required.
  • Inspect broadleaf evergreen shrubs such as euonymus and hollies for scale insects, and treat as necessary.
  • Check ornamentals, flowers, and vegetables for spider mites, which begin to appear with hot weather.
  • Continue regular mowing of warm season turf grasses every 5 to 7 days.
  • Mow Bermuda, maintained at 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inches, and St. Augustine maintained at 2 1/2 inches in full sun to 3 to 3 1/2 inches in moderate shade.
  • Check for chinch bugs in St. Augustine lawns (late May to Sept). Also watch for gray leaf spot fungal disease.
  • Mulch planting beds to conserve moisture, deter weeds and keep soil cool.
  • Be attentive to the water needs of new plantings.

 

June

Gardeners To Do List For June

Planting

    • Continue to plant warm season turf grasses (Bermuda, St. Augustine, and Zoysia). Early June is also an ideal time to establish new Bermuda lawns by hydro-mulching.
    • Plant ground covers and tropical and warm season annuals such as begonia, hibiscus, periwinkle, portulaca, purslane, salvia, zinnia, coleus, Mexican heather, gomphrena, and caladiums.

Pruning

    • Prune out any dead or broken branches of woody ornamentals (trees and shrubs) but avoid major pruning during summer heat.
    • Cut back spent flowers of annuals and perennials to encourage new blooms.
    • Prune spent flowers from roses and fertilize if needed according to a soil test.
    • Pinch back chrysanthemums to encourage branching.

Plant Care

  • Pay special attention to the water needs of new lawns, trees, and ornamentals as hot dry weather sets in. Water in the early morning hours (3 AM to 8 AM) to minimize fungal problems and reduce evaporation.
  • Fertilize annual flowers and vegetables with your favorite fertilizer type to assure continued vigor, based on results from a soil test (which may cost as little as $10).
  • Check crape myrtles for aphids throughout the summer.
  • Check ornamentals, flowers, and vegetables for spider mites, prevalent in warm months.
  • Watch for bagworms on junipers, arborvitae and other conifers, treat as needed.
  • Watch for webworms on trees, especially pecans and mulberries, and treat as necessary.
  • Apply fungicide as necessary to control black spot and powdery mildew on roses.
  • Early June is an ideal time to aerate your lawn.
  • Fertilize your warm season turf grasses if needed based on soil test recommendation.
  • Check for chinch bugs in St. Augustine lawns throughout the summer, and for gray leaf spot fungus in periods of high humidity and temperatures in the 80s and 90s.
  • Spot treat fire ant mounds with ant bait or a mound drench.
  • Begin to harvest vegetables and fruits as they ripen: potatoes, beans, cucumbers, squash, radishes, tomatoes, blackberries and peaches.

 

July

Gardeners To Do List For July

Planting

    • Continue to plant warm season turf grasses (Bermuda, St. Augustine, and Zoysia).
    • Continue to plant ground covers, tropical and warm season annuals.
    • Plant sweet and hot peppers, okra and tomatoes (first half of month) for fall harvest.

Pruning

    • Prune out any dead or broken branches of woody ornamentals (trees and shrubs), but avoid major pruning during the heat of summer.
    • Cut back spent flowers of annuals and perennials to encourage new blooms.

Plant Care

  • Pay attention to the water needs of lawns, ornamental plants, and vegetables in the typically hot dry days of mid-summer, being attentive particularly to new plants with undeveloped root systems and to outdoor potted plants, which can dry out quickly. Water in the early morning hours (3 AM to 8 AM) to minimize fungal problems and evaporation.
  • Continue to check crape myrtles for aphids.
  • Continue to check ornamentals, flowers, and vegetables for spider mites.
  • Inspect broadleaf evergreen shrubs such as euonymus and hollies for scale insects, and treat as necessary.
  • Watch for lace bugs on azaleas, pyracantha, cotoneaster, and lantana.
  • Fertilize chrysanthemums if needed.
  • Mow turf grasses every 5 to 7 days, maintain Bermuda at 1 to 1 ½ inches and St. Augustine at 2 ½ in full sun and 3 to 3 ½ in semi-shade.
  • Continue to check for chinch bugs and gray leaf spot fungus in St. Augustine lawns.
  • Check lawn for grub worms by digging in several places. Grub treatments, if needed, are recommended if you find more than four grubs per square foot.
  • Fertilize hanging baskets and other container plants regularly if needed.
  • Harvest vegetables as they ripen.
  • To reduce mosquito pests, check house gutters and any containers for standing water. For mosquito larva control, use Bti (Bacillus thuringiensis, israelensis) as a larvicide.

 

August

Gardeners To Do List For August

Planting

    • Complete installation of warm season turf grasses by late August to mid September to ensure they’re established before the first fall freeze.
    • Plant ground covers and tropical and warm season annuals.
    • Plant fall flowering perennials such as asters, Mexican mint marigold, Mexican bush sage (salvia leucantha), rain lilies, and garden chrysanthemums.
    • Plant snap beans, lima beans, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, collards, eggplant, kohlrabi, okra, onion, parsley, Irish potatoes, squash, and watermelon for the fall.

Pruning

    • Prune out any dead or broken branches of woody ornamentals (trees and shrubs) but avoid major pruning until the dormant season.
    • Pinch off spent crape myrtle seeds to encourage new blooms and prune basal shoots to keep plant in tree form. This is necessary all season long.
    • Prune bush roses, and fertilize all roses according to soil test recommendation for fall blooming.
    • Remove spent flowers of some perennials to encourage new blooms.
    • Trim back leggy spring-planted annuals and fertilize if needed to encourage new growth and continued flowering.
    • Stop pinching back chrysanthemums and Mexican mint marigold to ensure good bud development for fall blooms.

Plant Care

  • Watch for powdery mildew on cedar elms, crape myrtles and euonymus, and treat with fungicide, if necessary.
  • Check pecan trees for aphids, shuck worms, webworms, and foliage diseases.
  • Protect ornamental and peach trees from borers by applying a labeled borer preventive to the trunks in late August according to label directions.
  • Be on alert for chinch bugs in St. Augustine lawns which will appear near paved surfaces and other hot spots in the yard.
  • Watch susceptible ornamental plants for iron deficiency (yellowed leaves with darker green veins), aggravated by the hot dry weather, and treat with chelated iron if needed. Drench plants and avoid contact with hard surfaces that will stain.
  • Keep young vegetable plants adequately watered and shade new plants from hot mid-day and afternoon sun.

 

September

Gardeners To Do List For September

Planting

    • Divide and re-plant spring blooming perennials such as Iris, yarrow, daisies, daffodils and daylilies (late September to early October).
    • Plant chrysanthemums, asters, petunias, marigolds and other fall color plants.
    • Sow wildflower seeds and press into soil surface to improve germination.
    • Plant cool season fescue grass (Sept. 1 to Oct. 15), or overseed established fescue lawns, if needed. If desired, overseed Bermuda with winter rye, before mid October.
    • Plant beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, cilantro, collards, bush English and snap peas, leaf lettuce, bush lima beans, onion seeds, parsley, radishes, spinach, and turnips for fall harvest. If you don’t plant a fall vegetable garden, sew Elbon rye as a winter cover crop.
    • Now is the time to start looking for that new tree you would like to plant this fall.

Pruning

    • Avoid pruning spring-flowering trees and shrubs during the fall, as pruning now will reduce spring flowers.
    • Continue to cut back spent flowers of annuals and perennials to encourage fall blooming until first frost.
    • Trim dead or damaged wood from trees and shrubs but avoid drastic pruning.

Plant Care

  • Fertilize warm season turf grasses for the last time this year if soil test advises to do so.
  • Apply a pre-emergent herbicide for cool season grassy weed control. It is also time to apply a pre-emergent for broadleaf winter weeds. Apply both by the end of the month, but do not try to mix products. Then water normally. Do not use a pre-emergent if you plan to overseed your lawn. Watch for brown patch in St. Augustine lawns and control with labeled fungicide.
  • Control black spot and powdery mildew on roses with labeled fungicide.
  • Treat peach trees for borers if necessary.
  • Watch for fall webworms on pecans, mulberries, and other susceptible trees and trim out webs as necessary or treat with appropriate products including Bti.

 

October

Gardeners To Do List For October

Planting

    • Begin refrigerator chilling of tulips and Dutch hyacinths (about 8 weeks) in preparation for late December to early January planting.
    • Plant daffodils from late October to mid November.
    • Plant pansies, flowering kale and cabbage, dianthus, cyclamen, violas for fall color as the weather cools at the end of the month.
    • Plant cool season fescue grass by mid month or overseed established fescue lawns if needed. If you choose to overseed a Bermuda lawn with winter ryegrass, do so by mid month.
    • Divide and re-plant ground covers like liriope and mondo grass, as well as new ground covers.
    • Select and plant shrubs and trees, especially those that are grown for fall foliage, while fall color is visible. Late October is an excellent time for planting shrubs and hardy perennials, although it’s best to wait until the winter dormant season for planting shade trees, or transplanting large woody shrubs or ornamental trees such as crape myrtles.
    • October to January is the time to plant trees and shrub that are ‘balled & burlap’.
    • Plant cilantro, garlic, leaf lettuce, parsley, radishes, spinach, and turnips.

Pruning

    • Prune dead wood from trees and shrubs, but wait until the dormant season for major re-shaping. Tidy the garden by removing spent summer annuals, pruning dead bloom spikes off warm season perennials, and re-shaping overgrown perennials later in the season.

Plant Care

  • Watch for scale insects on ornamental plants such as euonymus, hollies, gardenias, and camellias, and treat as necessary. Watch for brown patch in St. Augustine lawns and control with fungicide as necessary.
  • Fertilize established fescue lawns according to soil test recommendations.
  • As the weather cools, bring potted tropicals and houseplants inside, inspect for insects which could multiply rapidly indoors.
  • Mulch or gather leaves regularly as they drop, as a thick leaf layer on lawns can promote insects and diseases and delay winter dormancy. Add excess leaves to the compost pile or shred leaves and use as mulch in beds.

 

November

Gardeners To Do List For November

Average Date of First Freeze in Dallas County: November 21 – 30

Planting

    • Continue to plant shade trees, ornamental trees, and shrubs.
    • Relocate established trees and shrubs after they enter dormancy (late November to January). Plant ‘balled and burlap’ trees and large shrubs.
    • Continue refrigerator chilling of tulips and Dutch hyacinths in preparation for late December/early January planting.
    • Plant pansies, flowering kale and cabbage, dianthus, cyclamen, violas, and other cool season annuals. Plant daffodil and grape hyacinth immediately after purchase.
    • Divide and replant perennials such as Iris and daylily.

Pruning

    • Prune evergreen trees (as needed) such as magnolias, live oaks, and wax myrtles to minimize possible ice damage.
    • Cut back dormant perennials such as lantana and salvia after the first freeze.
    • Trim back tropical plants such as cannas, banana and elephant ears after their foliage freezes down.
    • Do major re-shaping of shade trees as needed after the first freeze when plants go dormant. This is a good time to remove mistletoe that stands out on bare limbs.

Plant Care

  • Mulch leaves on your lawn. Shred excess leaves and add to planting beds or compost pile.
  • Replenish finished compost and mulch in planting beds, preferably before the first freeze.
  • Harvest pecans after mid November.
  • Continue to mow warm season turf up to first freeze.
  • Fertilize new fescue and ryegrass lawns at one half the rate recommended.
  • Apply your favorite fertilizer to pansies and other winter color plants to promote strong growth if needed.
  • Inspect houseplants that are coming indoors to be sure they have no insect pests.
  • Harvest fall vegetables before the first freeze.
  • Remove and drain garden hoses from outlets and cover faucets to prevent freeze damage.

 

December

Gardeners To Do List For December

Planting

    • Continue to plant shade trees, fruit trees, and evergreen shrubs.
    • Relocate established and continue planting ‘balled & burlap’ trees and shrubs while they are dormant.
    • Plant pre-chilled tulip and hyacinth bulbs (late December/early January). Plant daffodil and grape hyacinth immediately after purchase.
    • Plant pansies, flowering kale and cabbage, dianthus, cyclamen, violas and other cool season annuals.
    • Select holiday season plants such as poinsettias, cyclamens, amaryllis, and paper white narcissus.

Pruning

    • Prune evergreen trees such as magnolias, live oaks, and wax myrtles to minimize possible ice damage if needed.
    • Re-shape evergreen shrubs if needed.
    • Do major re-shaping of shade trees, if needed, during the winter dormancy.

Plant Care

  • Water live Christmas trees as needed and water holiday plants such as poinsettias as needed.
  • Check houseplants for insect pests such as scale, mealy bugs, fungus gnats, whitefly and spider mites.
  • Continue to mulch leaves from the lawn. Shred excess leaves and add to planting beds or compost pile. Replenish finished compost and mulch in planting beds, preferably before the first freeze.
  • Water thoroughly before a hard freeze to reduce plants’ chances of damage.
  • Fertilize pansies and other winter annuals as needed.
  • Water lawn and all other plants once every three weeks or so, if supplemental rainfall is less than one inch in a three week period.
  • Protect tender plants from hard freezes. Switch sprinkler systems to ‘Manual’ mode for the balance of winter.
  • Be sure to clean, sharpen and repair all your garden and lawn tools. Now is also the best time to clean and have your power mower, edger and trimmer serviced.
  • Be sure the mower blade is sharpened and balanced as well.
  • Provide food and water to the area’s wintering birds.