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Gardening Calendar

Minnesota Gardening Calendar

Spring 

General Season 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 

•  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 

•  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. 

Summer 

General Season 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 

•  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

•  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 

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

Fall 

General Season 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 

•  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

•  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.
•  rap 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 

•  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. 

Winter 

General Season 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 

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

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