Lawn and Garden Care Tips

Follow these month-by-month guidelines to keep your gardens healthy and thriving year after year. Naturally, the specifics of garden care are dependant on climate. The care you need in Arizona is very different from what you'll do in Minnesota. These are gardening care recommendations based on the normal Minnesota climate around the Twin Cities (Minneapolis and St. Paul) metropolitan area.

Many people put off maintaining their landscape because they are not sure what to do or when to do it. They are afraid they will harm their plants with improper pruning. Often they wait until things are overgrown before they do anything. By this time it's usually too late. It is easier to keep plants from getting too large than it is to make overgrown plants small again. A poorly maintained landscape may need replacing in as little as 10 years. On the other hand you can enjoy a properly maintained landscape for 20 to 30 years. This is a great return on your investment.

March Landscape Maintenance

March is a great time to get out the pruners, loppers and saw. First, make sure they are sharp. One of my favorite quotes is "it's better to trim at the wrong time with a sharp pruners than at the right time with a dull one." Clean cuts heal much faster than jagged cuts....

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April Landscape Maintenance

With winter still trying to hang on, you should be finishing up your dormant pruning of shrubs and trees. Be sure to remove as many dead branches as possible. Dead material can harbor insects and disease. Remove last years flowers from tree Hydrangeas. Shrub roses can be trimmed at this time. Over the winter, most varieties of shrub roses will experience some winter die back. Just how much they die back depends on several factors, such as the severity of the winter cold, the amount of snow cover, and the variety of rose itself. Not all varieties of shrub roses offer the same degree of hardiness. All branches should be cut back to green wood and rounded to a nice shape. If they are planted in-groups always trim the smallest one first. Then trim the rest to the same size for the start of the growing season.

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May Landscape Maintenance

Spring has finally sprung. The soil temperature is finally climbing and the plants are waking up. Just as breakfast is our most important meal, the plants need a good feeding after waking up. Now is the time to start feeding your plants. When applying a granular fertilizer it is best to work it into the soil. Healthy well-fed plants are last to be attacked by insects and disease. Plants such as annuals and roses that bloom profusely, tend to have big appetites and should be fed every couple of weeks while they are blooming. It is probably safe to plant tender annuals and vegetables in your gardens and containers.

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June Landscape Maintenance

Summer has finally arrived and the rain has stopped for a moment. This month we need to continue pulling and spraying weeds. With all the rain we've had tree seeds are sprouting up all over in your wood mulched beds. When the mulch stays wet the seeds can root right in the mulch. These can be pulled very easily or you can just rake and turn your mulch and the sprouts will dry up when the mulch dries. Keep feeding your flowering perennials, annuals and roses.

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July Landscape Maintenance

Keep watering your lawns and gardens. Young trees and shrubs would also benefit from regular soakings. Midsummer is not a busy time in the garden. It is the time to enjoy the results of your spring projects. While enjoying the garden, remember to keep pulling weeds and making sure there is adequate moisture. If plants look wilted, they usually need to be watered. Keep up with your applications of fungicide on your perennials and other plants prone to fungus, such as Azaleas, Roses and Lilacs. Many lawns would also benefit. The fungicide I use is Infuse. There are also granular fungicides that can be used.

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August Landscape Maintenance

We have had some much needed rain but donít put the hose away yet . This water will not last long with it having been so dry. Keep watering and weeding the garden and lawn. A good time to pull weeds is immediately after a good soaking rain. There will be weeds after the rain. Water thoroughly and deeply when you water. Do your watering in the morning or early afternoon to allow the soil to warm up before evening.

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Jeff Hauer, Landscape Designer and Owner