Garden Tending Calendar

Woman planting flowers in garden
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Gardening can be filled with details that take time to accomplish all year-round. Your garden can benefit from attention during every month. Although most maintenance takes place from spring to frost, your garden should feel TLC during the winter, too. Here is a month-by-month to-do list to keep you and your garden on track.


  • Get those plant and seed catalogs out and start planning next season's garden.
  • Cut the branches off of your Christmas tree to use as mulch in the garden.
  • Scout tree branches and limbs for signs of egg masses.
  • More tips for January.


  • Keep tabs on your houseplants. Make sure they are getting enough humidity. Check for pests.
  • Cut branches of flowering shrubs like forsythia, pussy willow, quince and magnolia to bring inside for forcing.
  • Inspect hemlocks for overwintering wooly adelgid.


  • Prune non-stone fruit trees, grapes, and raspberries. Start the all-purpose spray regimen.
  • Start seeds of slow-growing and cool-season vegetables like onions, leeks, parsley, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, eggplant, and peppers.
  • Begin removing mulch from around rose bushes.
  • Plant your peas on St. Patrick's Day. (If there’s no snow stopping you.)
  • Begin horticultural oil (dormant oil) applications where needed to control pests.
  • More tips for March.


  • Harden off and move cool-season crops to the garden.
  • Plant asparagus roots and onion sets.
  • Apply pre-emergent crabgrass killer after forsythia bloom.
  • Remove mulch from on top of flowers.
  • Re-mulch beds as necessary.
  • Remove tent caterpillars and webs.
  • Begin monitoring for signs of disease.
  • More tips for April.


  • Once your last frost date has passed, warm-season crops can be planted.
  • Start seeds for melon and squash. Hold until the end of May to avert squash bugs and borers.
  • Begin pinching annuals and perennials to make the plants fill in and produce more blooms.
  • Prune evergreens when the new growth starts to turn a darker shade of green.
  • Prune stone fruits (cherry, almond, peach, nectarine, plum) at bloom time.
  • Stake tall perennials.
  • Remove and dispose of azalea leaf galls before they turn white and release their spores.
  • More tips for May.


  • Prune flowering shrubs after the flowers begin to fade.
  • Continue pinching flowers until July 4th.
  • Deadhead and remove fading leaves from spring bloomers.
  • Divide and transplant perennials.
  • Take softwood cuttings from trees and shrubs to propagate new plants.
  • Remove fallen fruits from below trees to prevent insect egg laying.
  • Place red sticky sphere traps in apple trees to control apple maggot flies.
  • Check undersides of rose leaves for rose slugs.
  • Watch for scale infestations on Euonymus and pachysandra.
  • Move houseplants outside.
  • More tips for June.


  • Stop pinching back flowers.
  • Divide oriental poppies and bearded iris.
  • Keep deadheading.
  • Remove leaves infested by miners, to control spread.
  • Succession plant beans, lettuce, radishes, and corn.
  • Water newly planted trees and plants as necessary.
  • Start seeds of fall crops like broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower.
  • More tips for July.


  • Seed a fall crop of peas.
  • Gather herbs and flowers for drying.
  • Keep deadheading and harvesting.
  • Begin taking cuttings for new plants.
  • Sit and enjoy your garden in all its summer glory.
  • More tips for August.



  • Plant garlic and shallots.
  • Have your soil tested and amend as needed.
  • Harvest Brussels sprouts after a hard frost.
  • Clean up garden debris. Remove all vegetable plants and fallen fruit.
  • Remove dead annuals from the garden, after a frost.
  • Cut back perennial foliage to discourage overwintering pests. Leave flowers with seeds for the birds.
  • Start raking and composting leaves.
  • More tips for October.


  • Finish amending the soil.
  • Cover exposed garden soil with a layer of shredded leaves, for the winter.
  • Wrap screening around fruit tree trunks often damaged by mice and voles.
  • Keep watering until the ground temperature reaches 40 degrees F.
  • Buy bulbs for winter forcing.
  • Mulch rose bushes.
  • More tips for November.


  • If you can get to them, harvest any remaining root crops.
  • Start rotating your houseplants, so they get equal light on all sides.
  • Check your stored tender bulbs for rotor dryness.
  • Start paperwhites and amaryllis for winter blooms.
  • More tips for December.