JUNE
MAY
JULY
You will see most of your plants looking pretty well grown by mid May.  More
flowering will occur during May or June than during any other month so sit back
and enjoy!  If desired, overgrown shrubs and spring flowering shrubs from April
can be pruned, shaped, or hat-racked (severe pruning). Some plants that are
naturally
slow to emerge are just now starting to grow.  If you have already done
all of the spring clean-up, you shouldn't have anymore until late summer or fall.
This is an important time to apply time-release fertilizer if not already done in
April.  If you want ideal growth and more flowers, plan on applying time-release
granular fertilizer about 3-4 times per year.  Watering should not be an issue, but
if it is dry for more than a couple weeks, you may need to water.  An application of
pre-emergent herbicide will stop most summer weed seeds from germinating;
especially crab crass. See weed control notes for last month. It is almost
impossible for a late frost to occur this month.  If it does, it will hover around
freezing and the ground will usually release enough heat to offset the cold air
mass.  Valleys will experience more frost than slopes or hillsides. Most
established plants will recieve some damage but will quickly grow out of it.
You will see many plants starting to grow and even some flowers at this time of
year.  If mulch is too thick or matted leaves are present in your landscape, this
may encourage diseases and shoot rot.  Remove excessive mulch carefully and
check for signs of growth. This is an important time to apply time-release fertilizer
if not already done in February.  The plants have survived a long winter and will
greatly benefit from a spring nutrient boost.  Any remaining bed cleanup, cutting
perennials and grasses back or leaf removal should be done before growth
resumes.  Major pruning of large deciduous shrubs should be done now; with
the exception of spring flowering shrubs that bloom on last years wood.  An
application of pre-emergent herbicide will stop early weed seeds from
germinating.  If you haven't already mulched last month, apply 1" of new mulch to
landscape bed areas, see comment last month.
You will see nearly all of your plants looking pretty well grown by June.  More
flowering will occur during May or June than during any other month so sit back
and enjoy!  The spring flowering plants are still looking attractive with
dead-heading and are not burnt by the summer heat yet.  The late summer
blooming plants display an attractive foliage display of various shades of green.  
Major tasks this month include watering and weed control.  If you are unfortunate
enough to have
yellow nut sedge (the worlds worst weed) in your landscape or
lawn, begin your battle now for the next 3 months.  An application of pre-emergent
herbicide will stop most summer weed seeds from germinating; especially crab
crass but not yellow nut sedge.  Normally we receive our highest average rainfall
totals in June.  It is important to be aware of the watering needs of your
landscape.  
Knowing when to water and when not to water is vital for a
successful landscape.  If we receive huge amounts of rain, your plants may suffer
from temporary nitrogen deficiency.  This occurs when excessive rain or irrigation
leaches available nitrogen below the root zone faster that the soil can breakdown
and supply more.  We recommend time-release fertilizer application to offset this.
You will see most of your plants starting to grow and some flowers at this time of
year.  This is an important time to apply time-release fertilizer if not already done
in March.  The plants have survived a long winter and will greatly benefit from a
spring nutrient boost.  Any remaining bed cleanup, cutting perennials and
grasses back or leaf removal should immediately: growth has already occurred
so you must carefully remove dead foliage and not damage newly emerging
spring foliage.  Many evergreen shrubs can be sheared at this time. Many of the
plants blooming at this time will need dead-heading by the end of the month or
early may.   It is also time to start another season of weed control. An application
of pre-emergent herbicide will stop most early weed seeds from germinating.  Be
sure to stay on top of weeds that do germinate and grow:  Be prepared to either
hand pull or spray weed killer.  It is important not to let a weed produce seeds or
the infestation can be 100 times worse later.  You can safely test and pressurize
your irrigation system now but you should not need to water yet. The last frost of
the winter for zones 5-6 will occur this month.  If a late frost occurs, most
established plants will receive some damage but will quickly grow out of it.  If you
are ambitious, you can cover sensitive plants, but it is usually not worth the
trouble...remember...low maintenance!
OCTOBER
It is the best time of the year for spring clean-up and mulching.  This time of year
is drab; count on true evergreens and grasses to supply a little color and interest.
These tasks are very efficient if done before growth in the spring starts.  If plants
have started to grow, then you must be extra careful not to cause damage while
pruning and mulching.  Ornamental Grasses that are no longer attractive from
snow and ice damage can be cut back.  A time-release fertilizer application will
jump start plants for the spring. We recommend applying one inch of new mulch
each spring.  This will give your landscape an attractive, fresh, clean look this
spring.  It will also suppress weed growth by up to 75%.  A thick layer 3" thick will
stop 90% of weeds.  If you are
growing bamboo, it is time to trim rhizomes.
SEPTEMBER
MARCH
AUGUST
APRIL
The heat continues; we experience our worst combinations of heat and drought
during our first 3 weeks of August.  See our previous notes about watering; it will
definitely apply now.  A properly designed
landscape by Low Maintenance
Landscape  will still look very attractive as the late summer heat lovers are in full
bloom.  This is the season of hot, bold, fiery colors such as red, orange, dark
blue and gold.  Weeding and fertilizing needs may occur.  This is your last chance
to do major summer shrub pruning (deciduous or evergreen) except for fall
blooming shrubs
JANUARY
Cooler autumn temperatures are here and fall colors are exuberant.  It is still an
excellent time for the plantings described in September with the addition of
deciduous shade trees.  Normal maintenance tasks such as watering, fertilizing,
weed control and bed clean up need to be done.  Some early fall bed cleanup will
improve the appearance of the landscape.  We average our first frost by Oct 15th
and hard freeze by Oct 30th.  After our first frost, leaf removal will be an important
task in lawn areas. Generally, temperatures are very pleasant most of the month.  
Early frosts may damage plants that are still actively growing but there is little we
can do about that.  We do suggest that you stop fertilizer applications high in
nitrogen and allow the landscape to dry out a bit to encourage partial dormancy.  
Dryer conditions also encourage a more vivid display of fall color.  If you are
growing any outdoor potted plants, it is time to move them in.
FEBRUARY
Fall is just around the corner and it is now the ideal time to plant and establish a
new landscape before winter.  Many fall blooming plants are starting to bloom at
this time.  Ornamental grasses are especially in their prime.  Summer blooming
plants may bloom again if dead-heading is your priority.  Drought stressed plants
should recover and display new growth.  Normal maintenance tasks such as
watering, fertilizing, weed control and bed clean up may need to be done.  Plant
replacements, fall annuals, sod and lawn seed can be planted.  Do not prune
spring flowering shrubs or you will encourage late growth spurts and little to no
flowering next spring.
Watering may be necessary if a winter drought persists longer than 4 weeks.  
Broad-leaf evergreens are susceptible to winter kill if the soil dries out and
freezes for long periods of time.  If a warm day occurs, a landscape bed cleanup
for the spring can be done early.  Be sure that any borderline hardy perennials,
shrubs and hardy banana trees are mulched 4-8" deep.
DECEMBER
Landscape maintenance is a vital part of keeping a healthy, beautiful landscape.
A well-maintained landscape can add 10-15% to your property value. Our
landscape projects are designed to require medium to low maintenance levels
depending on your preference.  The following calender is a general summary of
these tasks or you can hire our company for help. We offer a custom tailored
FIRST YEAR MAINTENANCE PROGRAM to our new customers.  See our
LANDSCAPE MAINTENANCE CONTRACT for more information on our services.
NOVEMBER
What maintenance tasks need to be done and when do I do them?
The heat intensifies as we approach the hottest average week of the year; July
17-22.  See our previous notes about watering; it will apply to the next 2 months.
The landscape will still look very attractive as the early summer flowers fade and
mid-summer flowers begin.  Many early spring blooming plants will be dormant
or in need of trimming at this time of the year. Our planting designs incorporate a
high percentage of flowering plants that require no dead-heading.  However, if
you enjoy such an activity in the searing heat, now is the time to get those
clippers out.  Dead-heading will encourage more flowers on some plants while
improving the appearance on other gangly plants.  Some plants will begin to
show leaf burn or curl.  This is a symptom or too much sun and not enough
water.  Many of the plants we use will not die from this. They will stop flowering,
slow their growth rate, harden off their existing foliage, drop some older leaves, or
just go dormant.  When more favorable conditions return, they will relax and start
their growth and flowering cycles again.  The heat loving group of plants are
thriving and preparing for their late-summer show.
Watering may be necessary if a late fall / winter drought persists longer than 4
weeks.  Broad-leaf evergreens are susceptible to winter kill if the soil dries out
and freezes for long periods of time.  Susceptible plants include azaleas,
rhododendrons and to some degree, boxwoods.  Mulch tender plants extra thick
before winter hits. If a warm day occurs, a landscape bed cleanup can be done.
Plants such as ornamental grasses should be allowed to keep attractive dead
winter foliage.  You will notice that some of your low maintenance plant
selections are still attractive with lingering green or red foliage and some will
even be flowering!  This was part of our "4 season" landscape strategy.  Some
plants are evergreen until certain temperatures arrive,(usually around 0 to +10F)
at which point they become deciduous or dormant.  These plants are called
Semi-evergreens; a plant category often forgotten about by landscape
professionals and designers.  Expect the full brunt of winter temperatures and
snowfall by the end of the month for our zone 5-6 gardens.
Cooler mild temperatures will give way to our first average arctic blast and snow
storms.  Make sure you have someone lined out for snow and ice removal if you
don't want to be out in the cold. During this time of year, a well designed
landscape looks outstanding!  A kaleidoscope of fall color from your trees,
shrubs,
semi-evergreens and grasses will set the mood for Thanksgiving. Some
frost resistant flowers will be blooming as well.  Many of our perennials we use
will have attractive dried russet colored flowers that you can leave until early
spring to create some additional winter interest. Examples include Autumn Joy
sedum, Russian sage, and black-eye susan.  Leaf removal in bed areas will
need to occur if you like a clean manicured look or if they are too thick and
smothering low evergreen plants. Broad-leaf evergreens are susceptible to
winter kill if the soil dries out and freezes for long periods of time.  Mulch tender
plants extra thick before winter hits.  If you are growing a hardy banana tree, the
entire top will die and turn to mush while the in-ground root system survives the
winter.  Cut at 6" off the ground and create a mound of mulch 9" tall.  Be sure to
remove some of the mulch next April to expose newly emerging shoots.