Winter time is the best time to plan and prepare for next year’s gardens. We at Grimm’s Gardens are busy with ideas and preparations for the upcoming spring season. From now until March 1st, we will receive many calls and emails from customers wanting to know if they can plant something, when to plant, do we carry vegetable seeds, or when do I prune my fruit trees? These questions and many more will come into our office and we do our best to answer them.
The following list will answer many of those questions of when, how, and what do I do now? You can also call or email us for help with landscape design or vegetable garden planning; we have designers and knowledgeable staff to help you!
- Enjoy newly arrived seed catalogs and place orders for this year.
- Start tomatoes, peppers, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, eggplant, & okra inside. Use mini greenhouse flats with 12 or 16 4-packs per flat, fill them with potting soil, plant seeds according to packet info, and water. Set these flats in a warm location and place greenhouse lights just a few inches above the lid. By putting the lights at this height, new seedlings will not get spindly by reaching for the light. Move the light up as the seedlings grow. (Tip: Brush the top of the seedlings gently with your hands 20 times a day to make them stockier).
- Trim fruit trees and bushes now for structure Eliminate crossing branches, dead wood, watersprouts, suckers, and any diseased areas.
- Apply Lime Sulfur and dormant oil sprays on fruit trees for control of aphids, mites, scale, and diseases. Be sure and follow label directions!
- Call Grimm’s Gardens to schedule a landscape design appointment.
- Read a good gardening book for new ideas!
- Spot treat winter annual or perennial weeds in your lawn on days above 50°F. Follow all label directions.
- Cut back perennials and grasses in the landscape. Use hedge shears or gas powered trimmers to prune back grasses. Never use a chainsaw on grasses! (Note: Use of a chainsaw on grass can plug up the saw and cause damage to the saw or yourself).
- Prune shrub roses back to 8 to 10 inches. Prune dead from hybrid tea roses. Do not trim climbing roses!
- Rejuvenate barberry and Japanese spirea now by pruning to 6 inches tall
- Prune panicled hydrangeas, beautyberry, blue spirea, St. Johnswort, Potentilla, butterfly bush, rose of Sharon and summersweet.
- Clean out perennial beds and leaves and throw into compost pile. Burn any diseased plants.
- Plant lettuce, spinach, carrots, radishes, turnips, peas, potatoes, and beets in the ground after the 15th.
- Transplant cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower seedlings and cover with floating row covers to keep out insects.
- Apply and water in pre-emergent herbicide on turf.
- Divide hostas, daylilies, sedum, phlox, coreopsis, daisies, and red hot poker and share with your gardening friends! (Tip: Iris should be divided in July; peonies should be done in fall, after foliage dies).
- Divide ornamental grasses.
- Mulch flower beds with a locally available product (cedar or hardwood mulch).
- Fertilize spring flowering bulbs with bonemeal.
- Fertilize Endless Summer Hydrangeas with Aluminum Sulfate if you want blue flowers instead of pink.
- Fertilize blueberries, azaleas, rhododendrons, and hollies with an Aluminum Sulfate.
- Make your first trim on boxwood, junipers, arborvitae, holly, and yews after April 15th.
- Remove tree wrap from all trees.
- Mulch cole crops, peas, and other vegetable crops already in the garden with straw, aged grass clippings, or shredded leaves.
- Plant strawberry plants, asparagus, rhubarb, gooseberries, raspberries, blackberries, grapes, blueberries, serviceberries, and fruit trees.
- Plant a new landscape bed or some trees around your property.
- Plant onions, leeks, sweet corn, melons, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, okra, cucumbers, annual flowers, sunflowers, beans, squash, pumpkins, and herbs after last frost free date and when soil temperature is above 55°F.
- Take pictures of flowering perennials and bulbs as they grow!
This checklist should help you prepare for this season’s gardening! Please contact us for more information on any of the previous ideas!