THROUGH THE SEASONS

SPRING at a GLANCE

For many home owners and aspiring gardeners, laying out a game plan for regular care and upkeep can feel like a daunting task. Knowing just when to plant, prune, fertilize, etc. also has a huge effect on the overhaul health, success and yield of your garden. So where to begin?! Here is a general Home and Garden Maintenance Guide to help you get oriented in the basic flow through each season.

Keeping a garden journal can be a great tool for helping organize a routine and plan ahead for various tasks. I’ve known some folks to take it to a whole other level and develop their garden journals into some truly amazing scrapbooks, complete with pressed flowers, family recipes, pictures, personal notes, poems and art, herbal folk remedy recipes, reference info, materials and “D.I.Y. article clippings, plant profile tags from the nursery, seed packets organized in their respective months and more! Or just print these articles to hang on your refrigerator for a ”to-do” checklist!

For more extensive lists of pruning, sow and harvesting dates, follow the links to my “Pruning Calendar” and “Vegetable Sow and Harvest Calendar”, in the above menu.

Remember, FINAL FROST date generally falls around mid-March. This guide was developed for the Pacific Northwest Hardiness Zones 7 – 9.

GOOD LUCK!!!

GENERAL MONTHLY “TO-DO’s” for SPRING

MARCH

“Spring is the time of year when it is summer in the sun and winter in the shade.”

~Charles Dickens (from “Great Expectations”)

FULL MOON: “CROW MOON” & “SEED MOON”
FLOWER: DAFFODIL
TREE: ASH, ALDER, OAK, WEEPING WILLOW, HAZELNUT
COLOR: RED
BIRTHSTONE: AQUAMARINE & BLOODSTONE
ANIMAL TOTEMS: WOLF, FALCON & SNAKE, FOX
ASTROLOGICAL ZODIAC SIGNS:
-PISCES: (February 19 – March 20) PLANET: Neptune
-ARIES: (March 21 – April 19) PLANET: Mars

HOME & GARDEN CHECKLIST:

  1. Add ORGANIC FERTILIZERS to deciduous TREES and SHRUBS.
  2. Once passed FINAL FROST date (mid-March), it’s time to address WINTER DAMAGE to LAWNS. Rake in 0.5“ – 1” of MULCH, OVERSEED and apply ORGANIC FERTILIZERS, amendments. Weed, thatch & aerate, as needed.
  3. Get the jump on WEEDS before they seed.
  4. Good time to plant seasonal ANNUALS, PERENNIALS, BIENNIALS, BULBS and TUBERS.
  5. Fertilize, rotate, mist, water & pinch back old growth of INDOOR PLANTS.
  6. Prune & fertilize ROSES. Add 3” layer of MULCH to rose beds.
  7. Wrap up pruning of FLOWERING, DECIDUOUS & FRUIT TREES.
  8. Scrub slippery STEPS & WALKWAYS with bleach water and/or PRESSURE WASH.
  9. Summer flowering PERENNIALS can be divided & transplanted early this month (daisies, daylilies, hostas, iris, phlox, etc.).
  10. Stir COMPOST BINS.
  11. Get VEGETABLE GARDEN beds prepped & ready! PLANT: Asparagus, strawberries, artichoke, onions, garlic, peas, cabbage, potato, thyme, mint, rosemary, sage, oregano, parsley. SOW (in ground): radish, spinach, arugula, chard, fennel, cauliflower, turnips, spinach. SEED STARTS (indoors): tomatoes, eggplant, pepper, sunflower, celery, cucumber, squash

HOLIDAYS & OBSERVANCES

  • MARCH 3: World Wildlife Day
  • MARCH 11: National Johnny Appleseed Day
  • MARCH 12: Plant a Flower Day
  • MARCH 14: Daylight Saving Time begins
  • MARCH (mid-month): Final Frost Date (average for Pacific NW)
  • MARCH 18: Global Recycling Day
  • MARCH 20-21: Vernal Equinox
  • MARCH 20: World Sparrow Day
  • MARCH 21: International Day of Forests
  • MARCH 21: World Planting Day
  • MARCH 22: World Water Day
  • MARCH 23: World Meteorological Day
  • MARCH 25: Pecan Day
  • MARCH 26: National Spinach Day
  • MARCH 27: Earth Hour (last Saturday in March)
  • MARCH 28: Holi
  • MARCH 28: Weed Appreciation Day

APRIL

“The Sun was warm but the wind was chill. You know how it is with an April day.”

~Robert Frost

FULL MOON: “GRASS MOON” & “HARE MOON”
FLOWER: DAISY & SWEET PEA
TREE: MAPLE, WALNUT, ROWAN
COLOR: RED, PINK
BIRTHSTONE: DIAMOND & QUARTZ
ANIMAL TOTEMS: FALCON, BEAVER & FOX, BULL
ASTROLOGICAL ZODIAC SIGNS:
-ARIES: (March 21 – April 19) PLANET: Mars
-TAURUS: (APRIL 20 – MAY 20) PLANET: Venus

HOME & GARDEN CHECKLIST:

  1. Keep GRASS mowed to 2” – 3” (recommended). Mow twice monthly or as needed.
  2. Prune EVERGREEN SHRUBS & CONIFERS. PRUNE Forsythia once it’s done flowering.
  3. Add 3” – 4“ layer of MULCH to garden beds, trees & shrubs (mid-March – early April).
  4. Locate & remove any MORNING GLORY before they get started.
  5. Wash WINDOWS. *(PRO TIP: use ordinary liquid dish soap & water, squeegee, & remove residual gunk, smudges, etc. on GLASS windows with “Super Fine: Grade 0000 Steel Wool.)
  6. Swap out storm windows for SCREENS.
  7. Good time to PRUNE Sarcococca, Hebe, Heather, Boxwood (March – April).
  8. In the VEGETABLE garden, PLANT: lettuce, spinach and other greens, root vegetables, onions, chives. SOW (late April): basil, watermelon, cantaloupe, cucumber, pumpkin, squash.
  9. Finish planning your larger OUTDOOR PROJECTS, to begin starting next month, in order to make the most of the coming drier, warmer weather and longer daylight hours.
  10. PLANT Summer blooming BULBS (lilies, dahlias, gladiolas, begonias, etc.) this month.

HOLIDAYS & OBSERVANCES

  • APRIL: National Lawn & Garden Month
  • APRIL 5: National Dandelion Day
  • APRIL 5-12: International Dark Sky Week
  • APRIL 6: California Poppy Day
  • APRIL 13: International Plant Appreciation Day
  • APRIL 16: National Orchid Day
  • APRIL 17-25: National Park Week
  • APRIL 17: World Aquatic Animal Day
  • APRIL 17: Bat Appreciation Day
  • APRIL 19: National Garlic Day
  • APRIL 22: Earth Day
  • APRIL 23: National Picnic Day
  • APRIL 23: National Zucchini Bread Day
  • APRIL 29: National Peace Rose Day
  • APRIL 29: Arbor Day (last Friday in April)

MAY

“What potent blood hath modest May.”

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

FULL MOON: “PLANTER’S MOON”
FLOWER: LILY OF THE VALLEY, HAWTHORN, MAYFLOWER
TREE: CHESTNUT, ASH, POPLAR
COLOR: YELLOW, GREEN
BIRTHSTONE: EMERALD & AGATE
ANIMAL TOTEMS: BEAVER, DEER & BULL, SEAHORSE
ASTROLOGICAL ZODIAC SIGNS:
TAURUS: (APRIL 20 – MAY 20) PLANET: Venus
GEMINI: (MAY 21 – JUNE 20) PLANET: Mercury

HOME & GARDEN CHECKLIST:

  1. Pinch back/”dead-head” & clean up spent early blooms (rhoddies, azaleas, etc.) & ANNUALS.
  2. Tend to ROSES. Watch for BLACKSPOT, MILDEW, APHIDS, etc. For perfect, healthy, insect-repelling, more disease resistant ROSES, Plant with chives( onion and/or garlic), giant allium, onions. AND they look great together!
  3. Rake in/“cycle” GRASS clippings back into LAWN. Add excess clippings into COMPOST BINS.
  4. Good time to PRUNE Rhododendrons, Azaleas, Camellia, Pieris Japonica, Winter Daphnes, Weigela.
  5. In the VEGETABLE garden, PLANT (mid-May): tomatoes, squash, peppers, cucumber, pumpkin SOW: corn, beans, potatoes, kale, beets, squash.
  6. Break out the hoses & sprinklers! Establish & begin your WATERING REGIME. *TIP: For stronger, more drought & disease resistant plants & lawn, the GOLDEN RULE of WATERING is to “water more, less often” (every 3 DAYS or as needed), rather than “less, more often”. The first encourages deeper root growth, while the later encourages roots to remain closer to the surface, where more vulnerable.
  7. Start any larger OUTDOOR PROJECTS. *Remember, later Summer months can be especially dry & dusty, should that prove a factor with your type of project (painting, stains, etc.)
  8. Wrap up any big PLANTING INSTALLS (perennials, etc.) early this month.

HOLIDAYS & OBSERVANCES

  • MAY 1: May Day
  • MAY 1: Lei Day (Hawaii)
  • MAY (1st week): National Wildflower Week
  • MAY (1st Saturday): Herb Day
  • MAY (1st Saturday): World Naked Gardening Day
  • MAY (Friday before Mother’s Day): National Public Gardens Week
  • MAY 8: World Migratory Bird Day (2nd weekend of May)
  • MAY 8: Iris Day
  • MAY 13: Tulip Day
  • MAY 15: Bring Flowers to Someone Day
  • MAY (2nd Sunday): Lilac Sunday
  • MAY 20: Pick Strawberries Day
  • MAY 20: World Bee Day
  • MAY 22: World Biological Diversity Day
  • MAY 29: Composting Day
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