Click below to see your To Do List for each month

March To Do List...

  • Clean and sharpen garden tools and lawn mower blades.
  • Start planning your gardens and pots.  Look to your local garden center, bookstore or library for ideas and the newest plants for spring.  Check out garden magazines, websites, books and blogs for more inspiration.
  • Start select seeds indoors to get a jump start on your garden.
  • Finish pruning select ornamental trees while still dormant.
  • Prune dormant summer blooming shrubs.
  • Apply dormant oil to fruit and ornamental trees to kill any overwintering insects.
  • Remove black knot infested branches on plum and cherry trees.
  • Start your landscaping plans early to get a jump on the spring rush.
  • As snow cover melts, look at your lawn for rodent or animal damage, disease or erosion. Be ready to address the problem once the frost is out of the ground.
  • Force spring blooming tree and shrub branches indoors. (Try forsythia, pussy willow, crabapple, cherry or magnolia branches)
  • Hang newly cleaned out bird houses in preparation for the nesting season.
  • Natural food for birds is in high demand in late winter. Continue to keep bird feeders full and put out mealworms or fresh or dried fruit for the returning migrators.

April To Do List...

  • Remove any tree wrap, covering mulches or rose cones from your plants.
  • Cut back and remove any dead tops of perennials.
  • Divide overgrown perennials and replant or share with neighbors and friends.
  • Prepare your garden by mixing in compost, manure, rice hulls, Alfalfa’s Secret or peat moss when the soil is dry enough work.
  • Apply crabgrass preventer to established lawns.
  • Apply fresh mulch to planting beds for weed control and to conserve water during the hot months.
  • Seed new lawns or repair bald spots while nights are cool and spring rains are still on the way.
  • Fertilize your spring flowering bulbs when they start to emerge from the ground.
  • Fertilize trees and shrubs for a healthy start.
  • Do NOT prune Oak trees in April, May or June.
  • Prune your forsythia other spring flowering shrubs after they finish flowering.
  • Prune out the dead canes from your raspberry patch. Thin to about 5 canes per foot of row to prevent overcrowding and air circulation.
  • Prune hedges and summer flowering shrubs before new growth appears in the spring.
  • Plant Pansies – they are tougher than their name implies. They are not harmed by freezing temperatures and snow.
  • Plant summer flowering bulbs like dahlias and gladiolas.
  • Plant perennial vegetables like asparagus and rhubarb.
  • Sow seeds or plant cold crop veggies directly into your garden. (Lettuce, radishes, spinach, broccoli, cabbage, to name a few) You can also plant root crops like potatoes and onions as soon as the soil is dry enough to work.
  • There is still time to start warm season veggie and flower seeds.
  • Clean out bluebird and martin houses.
  • Provide water, food, nesting material and shelter for migrating birds to stopover or take up residence in your yard.
  • Put out hummingbird feeders.

May To Do List...

  • Plant annuals after the last chance of frost…about May 8th in our area.
  • Repair bare patches, dog spots, and over seed thin lawns while the nights are still cool and spring rains are plentiful.
  • Apply Ferti-lome Crabgrass Preventer plus lawn food after first mowing.  Water in well.  Avoid applying to newly seeded areas in your lawn.
  • Mulch garden beds with Alfalfa’s Secret, pine bark mulch or cocoa bean mulch to help conserve moisture and reduce weed growth.
  • Prune lilacs, forsythia, azaleas, and other spring flowering shrubs immediately after they have finished blooming.
  • Work fertilizers and soil amendments into veggie gardens before planting.
  • Protect your plants from hungry critters by using repellants such as Liquid Fence.
  • Water freshly planted trees and shrubs once a week – especially during dry spells.
  • Begin using fruit tree spray after the blossom drop.
  • Set up peony hoops.
  • Fertilize established trees, evergreens and shrubs to encourage growth.
  • Apply Preen or other pre-emergent weed preventers in shrub and planting beds to control weeds.
  • Fertilize Roses and begin spraying regularly to prevent mildew and black spot.
  • Plant summer blooming bulbs such as gladiolas, callas and dahlias.
  • Remove leaves and other debris that has collected under evergreens and shrubs.

June To Do List...

  • Start deadheading annuals and perennials!  By removing fading flower you encourage more blooms instead of the plant putting its energy into seed production.
  • Do a final pinch back of phlox, asters and mums to encourage more flowers this fall.
  • Stake taller growing varieties of perennials like delphiniums.
  • Keep on top of weeding.  (I know it’s not fun – but it is easier when the weeds are small.)
  • Do last picking of rhubarb at the end of this month to allow the roots to store energy for next season.
  • Tie climbing roses to trellises.
  • Mulch your garden after the soil has warmed up.  We recommend Alfalfa’s Secret for mulching veggie gardens.
  • Prune and shape new growth on arborvitaes, junipers & yews.
  • Trim hedges.
  • Prune pine, spruce and fir trees in early to mid June.
  • Start staking young tomato plants; late staking contributes to blossom end rot.
  • Take care of dandelion and other broadleaf problems in your lawn with Ferti-lome Weed Out Plus Lawn Food or Ferti-lome Weed Free Zone.
  • Fertilize flowers and gardens throughout the growing season.

July To Do List...

  • Deadhead annuals and perennials.  Removing the fading blooms and seed heads will encourage more flowering.
  • Remove the brown foliage from your spring bulbs.
  • If your spring flowering bulbs didn’t perform well this spring.  Dig them up after the foliage has died back, divide and replant.
  • Continue watering young trees and shrubs weekly.
  • If your plants are looking a bit worse for wear due to storms or not enough water while on vacation at the cabin, stop into Otten Bros.  We continue to stock fresh shipments of perennials, annuals, shrubs and trees all summer long.  We will have what you need to revitalize your yard.

August To Do List...

  • Deadhead annuals to encourage more blooming.
  • Divide bearded irises and daylilies.
  • Complete evergreen pruning before the end of the month to prevent possible winter injury to the plants.
  • Apply Ferti-lome Classic Lawn Food at the end of the month.  It’s a slow release fertilizer and will not burn your lawn.
  • Water, water, water, oh, and water some more to keep plants looking great well into the fall! Make sure to water deeply to encourage your perennials, shrubs and trees to grow deep roots, making them hardier.
  • Remove any diseased foliage now so it doesn’t get lost in the fall leaf drop.
  • Continue to trim and feed hanging baskets to prolong their beauty.
  • Take photos of your gardens and combination containers while they are they are at their peak.  It will help you remember what you’d like to plant next year.
  • Continue to pick herbs for fresh use and for drying.  Harvesting will keep them growing longer.
  • Start saving seeds for next year’s garden.
  • Seed fall crops of cool season veggies like spinach, lettuce and peas.
  • Plant perennials, shrubs and trees now so they can take root before winter.  Keep well watered until ground freeze.

September To Do List...

  • Fall is for Planting.  Plant trees, shrubs, evergreens and perennials. Use Ferti-lome Root Stimulator to promote growth and healthy root systems. Keep your newly planted or transplanted trees, shrubs, evergreens and perennials well watered until the ground freezes.
  • Dig and divide and replant peonies, irises and other spring blooming perennials.
  • Bring houseplants inside as the night temps start to dip below 50 degrees. Use Ferti-lome Indoor/Outdoor Spray a week before you bring them in to kill the bugs that come inside with your plants!
  • Aerate and dethatch lawns.
  • Before mid-September is the best time to seed your lawn.
  • Keep newly seeded or sodded lawns moist.
  • Fertilize existing trees and shrubs.
  • Remove tired old annuals and replace with the spectacular fall color of mums, asters, ornamental cabbage & kale, pansies and other fall annuals.
  • Hang birdfeeders and suet feeders for fall and winter enjoyment.
  • Continue to weed…fewer weeds this fall mean less weeds and weed seeds in the spring!
  • Bulbs are here! Plant spring flowering bulbs like tulips, hyacinths, daffodils, crocus and alliums, now. Bone meal or bulb food will help your bulbs get a good start.
  • Pot herbs now to grow indoors this winter. Liven up your winter cooking with fresh herbs from your window sill!
  • Make fall garden clean up easier by putting in a compost bin or pile. Remember not to put diseased plant material into your compost piles.
  • Improve garden soils by adding Alfalfa’s Secret, peat or compost now, saving you time in the spring.

October To Do List...

  • It’s time to start cleaning out your garden beds.  Compost the refuse only if the material is disease/insect free.
  • Work compost, peat or Alfalfa’s Secret into your planting beds to get a jump on spring planting.
  • Keep mowing your lawn until the growth stops.  Remember that tall grass gets matted under the snow cover and encourages diseases like snow mold and rodents in your lawn.
  • Wrap young and thin barked trees for protection against animal and winter sunscald damage.
  • Water your trees, shrubs & evergreens until the ground freezes.
  • Plant cool season annuals like mums, asters, cabbage, ornamental peppers and kale.  You will have to cover them temporarily if the temperature dips below freezing.
  • Cover or Minnesota Tip your tender roses before the temps dip below 25 degrees – or sometime mid-October.
  • Harvest and preserve herbs and veggies for winter eating.
  • Clean bird feeders in preparation for winter use.
  • Clean and put away empty containers and garden ornaments that are not frost-proof.
  • Turn over birdbaths tops or winterize your birdbaths with birdbath heaters. (Your birds will love you!)

November To Do List..

  • Clean out eaves and downspouts.
  • Rake, mulch and compost leaves.
  • Prepare snow removal equipment.
  • Keep watering planting, especially newly ones and evergreens until the ground freezes.
  • Begin dormant pruning on select trees and shrubs.
  • Change out your fall annual pots and arrange with spruce tips, colorful twigs and other fresh greenery for holiday and winter season.
  • Put up holiday lights while the temperatures are still reasonable.
  • Start a mini herb garden in a brightly lit window for summer flavors all winter long.  Easy to grow herbs are parsley, chives, mint and oregano.
  • Be sure your bird feeders and heated birdbaths are cleaned and filled ready for winter.