To Do in December

Lawn Care
•    Maintain cool season grasses by mowing as needed.
•    Keep tree leaves from collecting on your lawn.

Fertilizing
•    Spread ashes from the fireplace around gardens and bulb beds where soil pH is below 6.0.  Avoid acid-loving plants.  (3 lbs of ash = 1 lb of limestone)
•    Now is the time to put out limestone if needed (it takes about three months for lime to change the soil’s pH)
•    Fertilize houseplants as needed.

Planting
•    Now is a good time to set out or transplant landscape plants if the ground isn’t frozen.  Be sure to “open up” the root balls on container plants.

Pruning
•    Prune berry-producing plants, if berries are desired in table arrangements over the holidays.
•    Cut back herbaceous perennials after the frost kills the tops.
•    Any dead or diseased wood can be pruned out anytime of the year.
•    Weeds or unnecessary trees should be removed from the landscape.

Spraying
•    None

Other Activities
•    Keep your Christmas tree in water and away from heat sources.
•    Poinsettias should be placed in the sunniest room in the house.
•    If you have received your soil recommendations, apply lime as suggested.  Don’t apply fertilizer until spring.
•    Order fruit trees and grape vines now if you wish to plant them in February and March.
•    Cover strawberries with pine straw or wheat barley to protect them from the cold.
•    Continue putting the leaves from your yard into a compost bin.
•    If you cover your shrubs, be cautious and use only burlap or white plastic.

To Do in September

Planting

  • September is a good time to set out landscape plants. Shop early to find the nicest shrubs.
  • When planting containerized plants, try to be certain to disturb or “open up” the plants’ root ball.
  • Set out new chrysanthemum plants this month.
  • Plant pansies to add color to your yard in the autumn, winter and spring months.
  • Groundcovers will become well established if planted now.
  • Transplant any evergreen trees or shrubs that need moving this month.
  • Plant the following fall vegetables in September: mustard, onion, radish and turnip.

Pruning

  • Do NOT prune shrubs in September or October..
  • Remove “weed” or unnecessary trees from your landscape.
  • Root prune any trees or plants you plan to move next spring.

Spraying

  • Spray the following landscape shrubs for the following insect pests: arborvitae, hemlock and juniper(spider mites), azalea and pyracantha (lace bug) and euonymus (scale).
  • Spray for peach tree borer on your nectarine and peach tree trunks.
  • Continue with rose spray program.
  • Keep a close eye on all fall vegetable plants. Insects and diseases are more severe in the autumn.
  • Control the following woody weeds by spraying the recommended herbicide: trumpet creeper, and blackberry.

Use all pesticides according to labeled instructions and only as needed.

Lawn Care

  • Tall fescue and bluegrass lawns should be seeded this month. Remember to mulch the newly seeded areas with wheat or barley straw. Keep watered.
  • Fertilize and lime your tall fescue lawns according to soil test results.
  • Do NOT fertilize zoysia now.
  • Homeowners can apply an insecticide for lawn grubs in early September if needed.

Propagation

  • Spring flowering bulbs can be divided and replanted this month. Daffodils will be the bulbs that most likely need this consideration.
  • Divide peonies.

Specific Chores

  • Clean up garden sprayers and lawn equipment if not in use.
  • Prepare house plants to reenter your home. Check them carefully for insect pests.
  • If you do not have a fall vegetable garden, it is a good time to chop, burn or discard dead vegetable plants.
  • Look for spring flowering bulbs to plant in October.
  • You can get last year’s poinsettia to flower by placing it in total uninterrupted darkness for 15 hours a day, starting the last week of the month and continuing until colored bracts appear. Give them plenty of sunlight during the day.

To Do in March

Fertilizing

  • Fertilize shrubs.
  • Fertilize your important shade trees.
  • Fertilize asparagus beds early in March before spear growth begins.
  • Ponds should be fertilized starting this month and continuing through October.
  • Before planting your vegetables, fertilize your garden as recommended by your soil test results. Apply the recommended amount of lime if this was not done in the fall.

Planting

  • The average last spring frost date in Durham County is April 15 +/-11days.
  • Plant a tree for Arbor Day! Arbor day is always the first Friday after March 15.
  • Plant your small fruit plants, grape vines and fruit trees before the buds break.
  • March is a good month to transplant trees and shrubs.
  • New shrubs and ground covers can be planted the entire month of March. Be sure to follow your planting plan.
  • Plant seeds of the following perennials: columbine, hollyhock, coreopsis, daisy and phlox. Sweet William can also be planted this month.
  • New rose bushes can be planted this month.
  • Plants of broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower should be set out in the garden in mid-March.
  • The following vegetables can be planted this month: beets, carrots, Chinese cabbage, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, Swiss chard, turnips, potatoes,cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower.
  • Start any annual flowers or warm-season vegetables inside your home that are not commercially available in early March.

Pruning

  • Prune fruit trees.
  • Prune spring flowering plants like breath-of-Spring (Winter Honeysuckle) and flowering quince after the flowers fade.
  • Prune roses late in March.
  • Prune shrubs like abelia, mahonia and nandina this month if needed.
  • Pick off faded flowers of pansy and daffodil. Pansies will flower longer if old flowers are removed.
  • Overgrown shrubs can be severely pruned (not needled evergreens).

Spraying

  • Spray the following landscape shrubs for the following insect pests: euonymus-scale, juniper-spruce spider mites and hybrid rhododendron-borer.
  • Start your rose spray program just prior to bud break.
  • Spray your apple and pear trees with streptomycin for control of fireblight while the trees are in bloom.
  • Begin fungicide spray applications for bunch grapes.
  • Always follow instructions on pesticide labels and apply only when needed.

Lawn Care

  • Cool-season lawns may be fertilized with 10-10-10, but NOT with slow-release fertilizer.
  • Apply crabgrass herbicides to your lawn late this month to help control crabgrass in the turf.
  • Mow your tall fescue lawn as needed.
  • Seed fescue and bluegrass if not done in September.

Propagation

  • Continue to divide perennials like daylily, shasta daisy, gaillardia and coreopsis this month.

Specific Chores

  • Check garden supplies like fertilizer, insecticides and fungicides to see if you have adequate amounts.
  • Check all garden equipment, lawn mowers, tillers, hedge trimmers, tools, hoses and sprayers to see if they are in find working order before they are needed.
  • Be certain that old plantings of perennials like peony, hollyhock and phlox are clean of last season’s growth.

To Do in February

Fertilizing

  • Shade trees can be fertilized.
  • Fertilize emerging spring flowering bulbs.
  • Spread wood ashes around the vegetable garden, flowering bulb beds and non-acid loving plants if the pH is below 6.0.

Planting

  • First week in February start broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower plants inside your home.
  • Plant English peas, onions, Irish potatoes, radishes, rutabagas, spinach, kale, turnips, and carrots the last week of February.
  • Plant asparagus crowns when soil is dry enough to work.
  • Plant fruit trees and grape vines while dormant, before buds open.

Pruning

  • Prune bunch grape vines this month.
  • Trim ornamental grasses like liriope, mondo grass, and pampas grass.
  • Cut back any overgrown shrubs.
  • Prune fruit trees, such as apples, cherry, nectarine, peach, pear and plum while dormant, before buds open.
  • While pruning, remove leaves and clippings to prevent disease problems.

Spraying

  • Peach and nectarine trees may be sprayed with a fungicide to prevent leaf curl.
  • Spray all fruit trees with dormant oil to help eliminate some insects, if needed.

Lawn Care

  • Cool season lawns like tall fescue should be fertilized. Follow soil test results.
  • Control wild onion in your lawn with spot sprays of a recommended herbicide or remove by hand.

Propagation

  • Divide perennials like daylily and shasta daisy when the ground is dry enough.
  • Hardwood cuttings of many landscape plants like Crape Myrtle, Flowering Quince, forsythia, hydrangea, juniper, spiraea, and weigela can be taken this month.

Specific Chores

  • Clean out bluebird boxes.
  • Order flowers for your sweetheart – Happy Valentine’s Day!
  • Develop a vegetable and landscape plan for your home grounds.
  • Order strawberry & blueberry plants.
  • Bring cut branches of forsythia, winter honeysuckle, spirea and quince inside.  Place branches in water filled vases to enjoy early blooms.

from http://catawba.ces.ncsu.edu/calendar-2/

To Do in December

Lawn Care
•    Maintain cool season grasses by mowing as needed.
•    Keep tree leaves from collecting on your lawn.

Fertilizing
•    Spread ashes from the fireplace around gardens and bulb beds where soil pH is below 6.0.  Avoid acid-loving plants.  (3 lbs of ash = 1 lb of limestone)
•    Now is the time to put out limestone if needed (it takes about three months for lime to change the soil’s pH)
•    Fertilize houseplants as needed.

Planting
•    Now is a good time to set out or transplant landscape plants if the ground isn’t frozen.  Be sure to “open up” the root balls on container plants.

Pruning
•    Prune berry-producing plants, if berries are desired in table arrangements over the holidays.
•    Cut back herbaceous perennials after the frost kills the tops.
•    Any dead or diseased wood can be pruned out anytime of the year.
•    Weeds or unnecessary trees should be removed from the landscape.

Spraying
•    None

Other Activities
•    Keep your Christmas tree in water and away from heat sources.
•    Poinsettias should be placed in the sunniest room in the house.
•    If you have received your soil recommendations, apply lime as suggested.  Don’t apply fertilizer until spring.
•    Order fruit trees and grape vines now if you wish to plant them in February and March.
•    Cover strawberries with pine straw or wheat barley to protect them from the cold.
•    Continue putting the leaves from your yard into a compost bin.
•    If you cover your shrubs, be cautious and use only burlap or white plastic.