open calendar with pencil circling the number 7

One of the best gardening months of the entire year is January. This is an ideal month to plant fruit, flowering and shade trees, dormant spray, prune and eliminate weeds. This is also a great time to sharpen and repair mowers, trimmers, shredders, chain saws and other garden implements.

*Sow seed for annuals such as snapdragons, nicotiana and petunia indoors.

*Look for fist snowdrops.

*Draw up plans for your vegetable garden.

*Knock heavy snow from shrubs and hedges to prevent damage.

*Keep an eye on over wintered fuchsias and Pelargoniums for whitefly and signs of rot.

*Prune fruit trees and late flowering deciduous shrubs.

*Snip back lateral and side branches of wisteria to within two or three buds.

*Spray fruit trees with lime sulphur and dormant oil to kill over wintering insects and fungal diseases.

*Bring birds to the garden by putting out a feeder or hanging a seed bell.

Fertilizing, dormant spraying, pruning and starting seeds head the list of February projects. Weather permitting, this can be a great month to get your spring and summer gardening underway.

*Start to clean up perennial borders and flowerbeds.

*Return your planters and hanging baskets to Port Kells Nurseries for refilling.

*Cut back raspberry canes and other fruit bushes and plant new ones.

*Plant bare root roses during mild spell.

*Prune deciduous trees as well as buddleia (butterfly bush) and C-type clematis that bloom after June. Don’t prune spring flowering shrubs until after they have bloomed.

*Discover the delightful fragrance of sarcococca.

*Sow hardy annuals such as bachelor buttons, sweet peas, and california poppies outdoors.

*Plant peas and broad beans. Radishes can be sown under cover. Celery can be started indoors.

*Lime lawns to counteract acidity and achieve a desirable ph balance.

With March brings Spring , the primroses are blooming, bulbs are bursting into bloom, the lawn is starting to grow, and it’s beginning to get a little warmer. So it’s time to get your spring gardening underway. Caring for the lawn, preparing the soil and planting vegetables, pruning roses, and starting seeds head the list of things to do this month.

*Aerate lawns to revitalize grass. Over seed bare spots. Eliminate moss by liming, improving drainage and creating more light through pruning.

*Return your planters and hanging baskets to Port Kells Nurseries for refilling.

*Sow radish, spinach, fennel, parsley, cauliflower, cabbage, potatoes, broccoli and carrots.

*Sow grass seed or lay turf for a new lawn. The best seed for coastal gardens is a mixture of 60 per cent perennial rye and 40 per cent blend of creeping red fescue and blue grass.

*Plant new perennials, shrubs, hedges, vines and trees.

*Divide large clumps of perennials by lifting and cutting them into two or more pieces. Replant immediately.

*Plant summer flowering bulbs such as lilies, eucomis and acidanthera.

*Mulch to suppress weeds, reduce evaporation and maintain soil moisture. When you see forsythia in loom, do the final pruning of hybrid tea and floribunda roses.

*Pull weeds and hunt for slugs.

April is a beautiful time of the year with the rhododendrons, magnolias, camellias, forsythia and all the other spring flowering plants reaching their peak of beauty. There are a few things one can do to help keep the garden looking its best the rest of this season. Remember what is accomplished early in the season will help cut down on garden maintenance the rest of year.

*Don’t allow clematis to become tangled and unruly. Train it the way you want it to grow over an arch or against a trellis.

*Return your planters and hanging baskets to Port Kells Nurseries for refilling.

* Over-seed your lawn this month. Mow the lawn first, then broadcast the grass seed. Water well after to move the seeds down to soil level.

* Clean your water garden by clearing out the debris at the bottom and adding it to your compost pile. Start feeding the fish again when water temperatures reach 10C and the fish are active.

*Prune early blooming shrubs such as forsythia and ribes sanguineum after flowering.

*Clip and tidy up winter flowering heathers after they have finished blooming.

*Divide and replant overgrown clumps of primroses.

*Cut away old leaves and around the lenten rose to expose the flowers.

*Plant seed potatoes, using certified virus free stock, as well as beets, broccoli, carrots, celery, cauliflower, cabbage, kohlrabi, onions, parsnips, turnips, swiss chard and lettuce.

*Start zucchini and cucumber seed indoors for transplanting outdoors in June.

*Start tomatoes. ‘Tumbler’, ‘Sungold’, and ‘Sweet Million’ will ripen in 60 days or less.

May is the time to start thinking about the summer garden. If one wants to enjoy color during the summer, spring is the time to plant out summer flowering annuals, bulbs, perennials and shrubs. This is also the month to begin getting the lawn in shape for the summer. In fact, what you accomplish this month will greatly cut back on garden maintenance the rest of this spring and summer.

*Clean up rhododendrons and azaleas after flowering.

*Pick up your filled containers and hanging baskets after the long week end from Port Kells Nurseries.

*Pinch the tips of chrysanthemums and asters to promote growth.

*Shop for annuals and other summer color plants and plant them out after the risk of hard frost has passed.

*Transplant half hardy annual seedlings and sow sunflowers and other annuals directly into the garden.

*Plant tomato seedlings in a sunny spot, ideally under an overhang to protect plants from excessive moisture.

*Plant dahlia tubers with a stake to support the mature plant.

*Bring out tender exotics such as brugmansia, fuschsia, lantana and tibouchina from the greenhouse.

*Put out hanging baskets. Water regularly with half strength 20-20-20.

Early June is not too late to get your summer gardening underway. Adding color, pruning, controlling slugs, dividing perennials, planting vegetables and eliminating weeds head the list of things to do in June.

*Carefully pull up morning glory. You can stop it from becoming rampant by repeatedly attacking it.

*Deadhead roses and cut back oriental poppies.

*Prune early blooming shrubs such as spirea, viburnum and lilac when they have finished flowering.

*Hunt for slugs after rain or at night and knock aphids to the ground using a jet of water from the hose.

*Reduce clusters of apples to reduce weight on branches and promote big fruit later in summer.

*Plant heat loving vegetables such as peppers, cucumbers and eggplant.

*Lift and divide congested clumps of irises after they have finished flowering and replant.

Time to sit back and enjoy the garden. Take time to enjoy the fruits of your earlier gardening efforts. July is usually one of the best months weather-wise, and a time when little needs to be done to keep the garden in tip-top shape.

*Prune wisteria by cutting side shoots back to five or six buds, about six inches from the main branch.

*Continue deadheading roses, cutting back to a five leaf cluster to promote blooming.

*Try “stopping” your dahlias by pinching off the tips to promote bushy growth and “disbudding,” which means reducing the number of buds to produce more voluptuous blooms.

*Sow a second crop of lettuce and radishes.

*Start to harvest raspberries, rhubarb, cherries, strawberries and early potatoes.

*If you go on vacation, make sure someone is watering your garden.

*Prune early summer flowering shrubs such as kolkwitzia (beauty bush), choisya, (Mexican orange), enkianthus, philadelphus and magnolia.

August is the month to enjoy the garden, but unfortunately if a few things are not done the garden will go to ruin in a matter of days, especially if the weather gets hot. Therefore, watering, grooming and weeding head the list of projects for this month.

*Sow lettuce and radishes for fall use. Sow robccoli, spinach, green onions, kohlrabi, turnips, swiss chard and cauliflower for winter use.

*Water tomatoes without getting the leaves wet to prevent fungal disease.

*Hardy fuchsias can be easily propagated from soft wood cuttings

*Cut back raspberry canes that produced fruit. Leave younger canes, which will be slightly green; these will bear next years fruit.

*Diligently water everything,especially newly planted trees and shrubs that will be under stress from the heat.

*Check out ornamental grasses; they will be at their peak.

*Take pelargonium cuttings. They will easily root in four inch pots.

*Harvest honey figs.

*Plant autumn flowering crocus.

As fall approaches September is time to give some thought to getting the garden ready for the fall and winter months just ahead. As the cooler weather sets in, it will be an ideal time to begin getting plants ready for the winter, to plant spring bulbs, cultivate and harvest fruits and vegetables.

*If your garden lacks pizzazz, add some late blooming perennials such as rudbeckia, japanese anemone, echinacea, asters and heleniums for impact.

*Divide perennials that have become overcrowded and plant new ones.

*Plant new peonies or lift, divide and replant established ones to create new colonies.

*Continue harvesting fruit and vegetables. Pick apples and pears and dig up and store your main crop of potatoes and carrots.

*Apply aluminum sulphate to the base of hydrangeas if you want bright blue blooms in spring. Add dolomite lime to make them pink.

*Begin planting spring flowering bulbs.

*Shrubs that have outgrown their spaces can be lifted and moved.

*Plant garlic and shallots

Planting, transplanting, watering, planting spring bulbs, and slug control head the list of October gardening projects. Fall is the time to begin getting the garden ready for winter, so what you can accomplish in the garden this month will definitely help cut down on maintenance the rest of this fall and winter. Plus, it is best to accomplish these tasks while the weather is still reasonably good.

*Plant spring flowering bulbs. Start by bulking up with naturalizing bulb such as snowdrops, crocus, muscari and scillas before planting tulips and narcissus.

*Start your paper whites and amaryllis bulbs for them to be in flower in time for Christmas.

*Return your planters and hanging baskets to Port Kells Nurseries for storage till the time is right for refilling.

*Rake fallen leaves.

*Move tender plants like pelargoniums, brugmansia, fuchsia, phormium and tibouchina into the greenhouse or a frost free place for winter.

*Lift dahlias, wash off tubers and store them in a frost free place for winter.

*Wrap the trunk of your hardy banana tree to protect it over winter.

*Plant new trees and shrubs.

*Get your hedges trimmed by a professional to give them a crisp edge.

*Harvest the last zucchini and squash before frost. Brussel sprouts, carrots, cabbage and turnips can be picked later.

*Feed lawns before winter with 6-3-20 or 5-3-15 fertilizer.

This month and throughout the next several months will be good times to transplant trees and shrubs, apply winter dormant sprays and begin fall and winter planting. November is the month to clean-up the garden and begin getting it ready for the cooler late fall and winter months ahead.

*Prune back summer flowering clematis (c types such as jackmanii) and pull away the dead mass of stems. Don’t prune clematis that flowers on old wood. Do this after they have bloomed.

*Return your planters and hanging baskets to Port Kells Nurseries for storage till the time is right for refilling.

*Cut back rose bushes by a third to prevent them being rocked and their roots dislodged by wind.

*Start amaryllis bulbs indoors. Early varieties will bloom in time for Christmas.

*Finish planting spring flowering bulbs. Don’t miss the chance to fill the garden with several varieties of allium, especially Allium aflatunense and A. christophii.

*Plant a container for winter color using heuchera, skimmia, euphorbia, gaultheria, nandina and ajuga as well as variegated shrubs like euonymus, pieris and aucuba.

*Time to be sure your bird feeders and birdbaths are clean and kept filled. If you have a suet feeder, now is the perfect time to put it out.

December is a good month to put the final finishing touches to the year’s garden. Watering, dormant spraying, winter protection of tender plants and planting head the list of December garden projects.

*Plant paper whites and pre-chilled hyacinth bulb in pots for a fragrant indoor display.

*Return your planters and hanging baskets to Port Kells Nurseries for storage till the time is right for refilling.

*Reduce the amount of water you give indoor plants.

*Keep and eye out for whitefly and red spider mite on plants being over wintered in the greenhouse or a frost free inside location.

*Move hardy plants in containers and into a more sheltered spot where they won’t be come waterlogged.

*Gather branches and berries for use in wreaths and seasonal decorations.

*Put your feet up and take a rest. Your deserve it..