Monthly
To-Do List


Crafting a beautiful lawn or garden is a year-round endeavor, especially in Texas. Here is a monthly checklist of what to do to keep your plants and grass beautiful.

Monthly
To-Do List


Crafting a beautiful lawn or garden is a year-round endeavor, especially in Texas. Here is a monthly checklist of what to do to keep your plants and grass beautiful.

January

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  • Get fruit trees, especially bare root planted.
  • January is the time to plant bulbs especially those that needed refrigeration like tulips.
  • Prune established trees. It is much less stressful on your trees to do major pruning during the highest state of dormancy, which is January and February.
  • Now is the time to start fertilizing established trees and shrubs with a good fertilizer like the Nitro-Phos Tree and Shrub fertilizer or Microlife 6-2-4 organic fertilizer.
  • Begin planning your spring vegetable garden, decide what you want to grow and how many you will need. Consider adding herbs this year, many are perennial.
  • Prepare soil in vegetable beds for the upcoming season. It is very helpful to let the soil mellow especially if organic fertilizers and beneficial organisms have been added. Now would be a great time to add several inches of Nature’s Way Leaf Mold Compost or Landscapers Pride Black Humus
  • Check plants like hollies, hawthorns, camellias, magnolias, and other waxy leaf plants for scale and spray with All Seasons Oil Spray.
  • Feed cool season annuals.
  • Clean gutters.
  • Take lawn mowers in for servicing and blade sharpening. Sharp blades reduce the incidence of disease and will make your lawn have a greener appearance. Mower blades should be sharpened after 8 hours of mowing. If it takes an hour to mow your lawn, have your blades sharpened every 8 weeks.
  • Take an inventory of plants that must be replaced this spring. If you don’t know what it is, bring in pictures of the plant you are trying to match, for correct ID.
  • Clean out your garden shed. Garden chemicals that are over 2 years old should be disposed of properly, they’re at the end of their effective shelf life. Commit to writing the date on all new purchases.
  • If you live in Montgomery county, take household hazardous waste to recycling. Get more info here. There is a $10 fee for every 5 gallons of materials you take.

February

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  • Get your bare root fruit trees planted.
  • Amend your vegetable gardens with well composted organic material, such as our leaf mold compost.
  • Put down Nitro Phos Barricade pre-emergent weed killer to get a jump on those weeds that normally start popping up early in the spring or as an organic alternative you could use some corn gluten meal.
  • Prune Crape Myrtles anytime in February. At a minimum, remove last year’s seedpods. A good rule of thumb; do not prune anything bigger than a pencil.
  • *Valentines Day is rose pruning day. Prune back hybrid tea and floribunda roses not shorter than 18 inches in height. Make all cuts ¼ to ½ inch above the outward facing buds. DO NOT PRUNE climbing or antique roses until after their bloom cycle. Knock Out roses can be pruned to 12” above the soil line if you want to keep them shorter and bushier. After pruning, fertilize with a good rose food like Nelson’s Color Star, Microlife organic fertilizer or Nitro Phos Rose fertilizer.
  • Broadleaf weeds can be controlled now with a product like Bonide Weed Beater Ultra.
  • Spray plants like hollies, hawthorns, camellias, magnolias, and other waxy leaf plants for scale.
  • Feed cool season annuals one more time.
  • Prune peaches and plums.
  • If you didn’t already do so in January, prune and fertilize shrubs and small trees except for azaleas and camellias. Those need to be trimmed and fertilized after they bloom.
  • It is not uncommon for azaleas to lose a lot of leaves this time of year. Don’t Panic.
  • Now is the time to fertilize your pecans with a fertilizer formulated for pecans.

March

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  • Feed azaleas and camellias, once they are finished blooming with the organic Microlife Azalea Food or Nitro Phos Azalea Camellia Food.
  • Once your azaleas finished blooming prune back not more than one third.
  • If you haven’t already done so, fertilize your roses with Microlife organic Ultimate plant food, Nelson’s Color Star or Nitro Phos Rose Food.
  • Any of your roses that are prone to black spot should be treated on a bi-monthly basis with a product like Bonide Infuse. Don’t wait until the black spot occurs before treating!
  • If you haven’t already done so, now would be the time to re-mulch your trees and shrubs with a good quality mulch like Landscapers Pride Black Velvet mulch or pine bark mulch.
  • Buy and plant your vegetable garden plants. Don’t wait until mid-April, it will be too late.
  • Feed your pecan trees if you didn't in February. Be sure to use a product like Nitro Phos Pecan and Citrus Food that contains zinc.
  • You can control caterpillars that defoliate trees by treating all new leaves with BT.
  • It's not too late to use a product like Nitro Phos Barricade, a pre-emergent herbicide to treat your lawn to prevent weed seed that has not germinated yet.
  • Treat growing weeds with Bonide Weed Beater Ultra.
  • If you haven’t already done so you should fertilize your lawn with Micolife Hybrid organic fertilizer, MicroLife 6-2-4 general purpose fertilizer, Nitro Phos Imperial lawn fertilizer or Nitro Phos Sweet Green before the end of March.
  • Rake and top dress any bare spots in your lawn with 2 year old leaf mold compost.
  • Cut back and pinch all your perennials and fertilize them.
  • During periods of cloudy damp weather be sure and spray your shrubs, especially roses, to prevent fungal diseases like black spot.
  • This is a great month to spray for Virginia Buttonweed.
  • Use a systemic insecticide on your crape myrtles to prevent aphids.

April

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  • Feed your azaleas and camellias if you haven't done so already. Feed azaleas and camellias, once they are finished blooming with the organic Microlife Azalea Food or Nitro Phos Azalea Camellia Food.
  • Once your azaleas finished blooming prune back not more than one third.
  • Any of your roses that are prone to black spot should be treated on a bi-weekly basis with a product like Bonide Infuse, especially during periods of wet cloudy weather. Don’t wait until the black spot occurs before treating!
  • If you haven’t already done so, re-mulch your trees and shrubs with a good quality mulch like Landscapers Pride Black Velvet hardwood mulch or pine bark mulch.
  • You can control caterpillars that defoliate trees by treating all new leaves with BT.
  • It is still not too late to use a product like Nitro Phos Barricade, a pre-emergent herbicide to treat your lawn to prevent weed seed that has not germinated yet.
  • Treat weeds growing in Southern lawns with Bonide Weed.
  • If you fertilized your lawn in late February or early March, now is the time to put on your next spring application. MicroLife Hybrid, MicroLife 6-2-4, Nitro Phos Super Turf would be great right now.

May

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  • In the event of an extreme freeze in the prior winter, don’t be surprised to see some latent freeze damage on some of your more tender plants - Bottle-brush, Japanese Blueberries, Citrus, and other Semi-Tropical plants. When the weather was mild and there was plenty of moisture, these plants may have looked like they survived with only minor damage. However, plants with damaged tissue will start showing signs of stress and may even die once the stresses of summer occur.
  • Put down a pre-emergent weed killer to prevent weeds like crabgrass from sprouting in the summer.
  • Now is the time to think about setting out hot season annual bedding plants - Vinca, Caladiums, Moss Rose, Coleus, Pentas, and Purslane.
  • Put down mulch if you haven't done so already. It will help you reduce watering and control weeds.
  • Continue to feed your roses.
  • Be on the lookout for powdery mildew on your crape myrtles and roses. This is easy to remedy.
  • Put down your lawn fertilizer if you didn't do so in April. Use a fertilizer like Nitro Phos Super Turf slow release fertilizer. If you want to use an organic then consider using the Microlife 6-2-4 or the Nitro Phos Sweet green.
  • During periods of cloudy damp weather be sure and spray your shrubs, especially roses, to prevent fungal diseases like black spot.
  • This is a great month to spray for Virginia Buttonweed.
  • Use a systemic insecticide on your crape myrtles to prevent aphids.

June

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  • Watch out for Chinch Bug damage which usually starts in your grass adjacent to concrete walks and drives.
  • Watch out for spider mite damage on things like junipers once it starts getting hot.
  • Begin planting Vinca and Portulaca. These are great heat lovers and easy to take care of summer annuals.
  • Any of your roses that are prone to black spot should be treated on a bi-weekly basis with a product like Bonide Infuse. Don’t wait until the black spot occurs before treating. Once black spots form they will not go away.
  • If you haven’t already done so, re-mulch your trees and shrubs with a good quality mulch like Landscapers Pride Black Velvet mulch or pine bark mulch.
  • Check your herbs and veggies on a regular basis for any damaging insects.
  • Be on the lookout for whiteflies, mealy bugs and aphids. These can damage your investment in plants.
  • Be alert for slug and snail damage. Come by the Growers Outlet and pick up the correct products to use. We carry a great effective organic product that is safe for people and pets.
  • If you have any stubborn broadleaf weeds you can spray them with Bonide Weed Beater for Southern Lawns now that temps are well above 80.
  • If you are ready to apply your second application of lawn fertilizer use Microlife 6-2-4 organic fertilizer, Nitro Phos SuperTurf or Nitro Phos Sweet Green before the end of June.

July

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  • Prune your Roses lightly.
  • Adjust watering as temperatures rise.
  • Remember to deep water your trees at least once per week if rainfall is low. Soaker hoses work best.
  • Treat for grubs; it's not too late.
  • Watch for Lace Bugs on Azaleas.
  • Be on the lookout for Chinch Bugs in your lawn.
  • Trim off faded blooms on your Crape Myrtles. This will extend the bloom time. While trimming, inspect for Aphids, Scale, and/or Whiteflies. These are easier to treat for when caught early.

August

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  • Prune crape myrtle seed pods to encourage one last bloom cycle.
  • Make sure that your trees are receiving at least one good soaking per week.
  • Keep an eye on shallow rooted plants such as Azaleas from drying out. Don’t assume your irrigation system is watering them properly.
  • In late August it is OK to dead head or lightly prune flowering perennials and roses to encourage fall blooming.
  • It's too late to add nitrogen to your lawn, but products with liquid iron on yellowed out grass will make a big difference in appearance. Also, products like Microlife Humates Plus are a great for creating a greener lawn without risk of burning.
  • If you have had problems with brown patch in the fall, fungicides for brown patch will work much better when applied as a preventative once evening temperatures start reaching into the 60’s.
  • Be sure to water in the early mornings to help prevent any potential fungal disease.
  • If you have areas of grass dying, check for Chinch Bugs. It is still possible to get infestations in August.

September

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*Not a whole lot to do this month because it is still plenty hot and too early in the year to plant*
  • This month, the nighttime temperatures start cooling which will start promoting new plant growth. Light pruning on most plants followed by fertilization will get some healthy new growth and flowers for the fall.
  • Prune Roses not more than one third and fertilize.
  • Prune your flowering Perennials lightly and fertilize to get a good show in the fall.
  • ONLY start fertilizing later in the month. DO NOT USE A FERTILIZER WITH A HIGH NITROGEN CONTENT as it promotes Brown Patch. Use Nitro Phos Fall Special lawn fertilizer or Microlife 6-2-4 Organic Fertilizer. Both are formulated to give you just the right amount of nitrogen.
  • Stay ahead by treating Brown Patch in your lawn. Apply Nitro Phos Eagle Fungicide to areas where you have had brown patch in the past.
  • Many cool season bedding plants will start showing up in the big box store. DO NOT BUY PANSIES until the end of October or the first of November.
  • Grub damage may start showing again as the grubs start maturing. Grub control must be done in July when the grubs are immature. The treatments available today do not work well, if at all on mature grubs.

October

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  • If you have had problems in the past with Brown Patch then pre-treat your lawn, especially those places that had the disease last year, with Nitro Phos Brown Patch Control or Eagle Turf fungicide. Most fungicides work much better as a preventative than as a curative.
  • Fertilize your lawn with Nitro Phos Fall Special or if you want to go organic, use Microlife 6-2-4 or Microlife Brown Patch, this is an organic product that is loaded with inoculants that will help your grass resist brown patch. DO NOT USE FERTILIZERS WITH A HIGH NITROGEN CONTENT!
  • Change your yard's irrigation schedule. Water demands on grass and plants will go down with shorter cooler days and nights. Less water will save money and lessen disease problems.
  • Many cool season bedding plants will start showing up in the big box stores. DO NOT BUY PANSIES until the end of this month or the first of November.
  • Start major landscaping projects if you have been putting them off. Trees, shrubs and perennials do much better the following summer when planted in the fall.

November

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  • Plant cool season annuals such as Pansies, Violas, Alyssum, Snapdragons, Dianthus and Ornamental cabbages.
  • If you did not fertilize your lawn in October DO IT NOW! with Nitro Phos Fall Special or if you want to go organic, use Microlife 6-2-4. DO NOT USE FERTILIZERS WITH A HIGH NITROGEN CONTENT! That is the 1st number in the analysis.
  • Change your yard's irrigation schedule if you have not done so already. Water demands on grass and plants will go down with shorter cooler days and nights. Less water will save money and lessen disease problems.
  • Stay educated about changing weather. We can have very cold weather as soon as the 2nd week of November. Be prepared with freeze cloth to protect tender plants.
  • Remember, if you have been putting off any major landscape projects, now is the time to start them. Trees, shrubs and perennials do much better the following summer when planted in the fall.

December

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  • This month is a great time to relocate any shrubs or trees.
  • Remember that in absence of rain, watering still needs to be done to help plants rebuild damaged roots from the summer heat and drought.
  • Take a break from yard work and enjoy the holidays with loved ones. :)
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