Garden Calendar

JANUARY

  • Inspect houseplants for white flies, spider mites and aphids.
  • Inspect bulbs in storage. Discard bad ones.
  • Expand personal knowledge through library visits, courses, catalogues, etc.
  • Plan your garden.
  • Order flower and vegetable seeds. Decide which seeds should be started inside.
  • Try forcing amaryllis and paperwhite narcissus.
  • Start slowest germinating seeds like begonias and geranium, also seeds for early spring bloom e.g. pansy, verbena and dianthus.

FEBRUARY

  • Propagate stem cuttings of geraniums, fuchsias, etc.
  • Plant other slow seeds such as impatiens, pepper, eggplant, etc.
  • Prune shade and fruit trees. Leave bleeders like maples and birches until after they have leaves.
  • Visit local city and nursery greenhouses.
  • Check dates of annual garden shows.

MARCH

  • Start tuberous begonias and caladiums in pots.
  • Plant brassicas (cabbage family) and hardy annuals for April-May plantings.
  • Start tomatoes, lettuce and other fast growers late March to early April.
  • Order summer flowering bulbs.
  • Check and repair garden tools.
  • Apply dormant spray to fruit trees and pest- prone shrubs when non-freezing weather permits.
  • Start forcing branches of spring-flowering shrubs and lily of the valley root pips after buds start to swell.
  • Prune summer-flowering shrubs and vines.
  • Loosen up packed winter mulch and press back heaved perennials.
  • plan to add a few native bird-attracting berry plants.

APRIL

  • Prepare garden beds for planting. Dig in compost and other organic material.
  • Remove rose protection; prune and apply dormant spray before buds break.
  • Treat birches against leaf miner.
  • Plant trees, shrubs, perennials and biennial.
  • Seed cool- weather vegetables such an peas, spinach, lettuce, onions, beets ands frost resistant annuals such as larkspur, sweet peas and calendulas outside.
  • Rake lawn, repair damage and seed bare spots.
  • Fertilize lawn with slow-release fertilizer.
  • Apply crabgrass pre-emergence herbicide if required.
  • Start lawn mowing only when needed.
  • Organize a compost pile.
  • Check out garden shows.

MAY

  • Find out  your average frost date and allow at least 2 weeks later for tender transplants and warm weather plantings e.g. beans and corn.
  • Harden off seedlings before transplanting.
  • Consider protective measures against slugs, cutworms, earwigs and tent caterpillars.
  • Treat roses against black spot and aphids as required.
  • Take notes and photos of bulb plantings for later changes and additions.
  • Dead-head faded tulips and daffodils.
  • Treat lawns against weeds and grubs as required.
  • Start regular hoeing and hand-weeding of garden beds.
  • Mulch newly planted seedlings and shrubs.
  • Stake and tie trees, shrubs and vines as required.
  • Plant tender summer bulbs. e.g. dahlias and glads.

JUNE

  • Prune shrubs and trees after flowering.
  • Prune evergreens and hedges.
  • Stake or cage tomato plants, dahlias, glads, etc.
  • Thin vegetable seedlings and plant successive crops.
  • Seed flowering cabbage/kale into garden rows for later transplanting.
  • Seed directly fast growers such as cosmos, calendula, lavatera and marigolds.
  • Move houseplants outside to protected locations.
  • Deadhead faded blooms.
  • Pinch back late bloomers such as mums, snapdragons, asters and dahlias.
  • Weed and water garden beds regularly.
  • Prepare cuttings of perennials, shrubs, roses, etc. for rooting.

JULY

  • Fertilize roses, annuals and vegetables.
  • Pinch back and stake straggly annuals.
  • Mow, hoe, weed and water as required.
  • Finish pruning spring-flowering shrubs and evergreens.
  • Remove old raspberry canes and trim back strawberry plants after fruiting.
  • Transplant flowering cabbage and kale.
  • Turn compost.

AUGUST

  • Sow fall vegetables e.g. spinach, lettuce.
  • Prune climbing roses.
  • Order spring-flowering bulbs. Try something different such as colchicum for next fall.
  • Plant fall-flowering perennials.
  • Avoid cutting grass shorter than 5 cm.
  • Water and weed frequently. Keep compost moist.
  • Good time for drying flowers and herbs.

SEPTEMBER

  • Trim and divide perennials as growth slows.
  • Plant spring-flowering bulbs, also perennials and biennials.
  • Plant evergreens.
  • Bring in houseplants before it gets too cold.
  • Fertilize and aerate lawns as required.
  • Keep evergreens and shrubs adequately watered.
  • Set out slug traps or bait.

OCTOBER

  • Continue planting spring bulbs.
  • Dig, dry and store summer bulbs.
  • Distribute nearly completed compost to empty spaces and between rows in vegetable garden. Then, dig the garden over.
  • Rake leaves and add to reduced compost pile.
  • Prepare and seed new lawns.
  • Prepare and dig new garden beds and additions.

NOVEMBER

  • Try potting up some spring bulbs for chilling outside and forcing inside.
  • Start winterization procedures for plants, hoses and garden equipment.
  • Protect young trees and shrubs from rodents.
  • Keep evergreens, shrubs and young trees adequately watered.
  • Sever invading tree roots by digging deeply with sharpened spade along effected bed.
  • Stock up on wood for the fireplace.

DECEMBER

  • Protect rose bushes with soil or rose protectors just before the ground freezes.
  • Mulch tender perennials when ground starts to freeze.
  • Loosely wrap burlap around pyramidal evergreens, rhododendrons and other shrubs and trees that need protection.
  • Set up outdoor lighting units before heavy snowfalls.
  • Check that the house humidifier is maintaining humidity over 40% to benefit houseplants.
  • Order seed catalogues.

Timing of activities vary according to your location in Ontario.

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