Seasonal Tips: If frost is predicted, cover sensitive garden plants such as citrus, fuchsia and succulents or move them under a sheltering overhang. Use stakes around the plants to suspend the covering material so it doesn’t touch the foliage.

  • Clean your tools—remove all soil and wash them with a 10 percent bleach solution to avoid spreading diseases. After drying them completely, apply a light layer of vegetable oil to prevent rusting.
  • Buy and plant bare-root fruit and shade trees, roses, berries, vines and shrubs. Bare-root plants are less costly and establish faster than container plants. Sow seeds for carrots, winter radishes, rhubarb and turnips.
  • Spray fruit trees and roses with horticultural oil to control insects.
  • Many deciduous trees, shrubs and vines can be pruned now. Consult a pruning guide that lists optimum pruning times for different species.
  • Prune established roses; Use sulfur powder to seal plant wounds or cuts.
  • Container plants that are winter dormant should be watered once a month or less. Irrigation timer should be off at this time. Give your landscape plants a deep watering at least once during the month of December.
  • Annuals, herbaceous perennials, vines, and ground-covers should be watered to a depth of 1 foot. Water shrubs to a depth of 2 feet and trees will need to be watered to a depth of 3 feet.
  • Wildflower seedlings need to be watered once every two weeks or at the very least once a month if rainfall has not occurred. Water herb and vegetable plants as needed to a depth of 8 to 12 inches.


Fertilization: Container and landscape plants will not need to be fertilized until spring. Continue to fertilize your winter vegetable plants if necessary.


Problems:  Aphids may be on your winter vegetables and herbs. Before spraying aphids off with water or insecticidal soap, check to make sure there aren’t any beneficial insects presently working.


Important Month to Month Events


January: This month is the best time to prune back roses to just sticks, cutting them back at the base of the branch for each cut leaving 12-36″ of rose branches to start growing in February and March. Olive tree spraying should be scheduled in January as well so that you don’t get olives dropping onto the ground. Turf fertilizer is important to have a good nitrogen base in order to work when temperatures get below 60 degrees at night. Also a high phosphate is important in the winter also. Keep plants protected from frost by covering them at night when temps are below 32 degrees. Also many fruit trees are bearing fruit and it is a great time to plant a citrus tree in January.


February: This month is a great time to get down pre-emergent so that you don’t get weeds when the temperatures rise in March. This is an extra service that you can contact us directly to find out cost and schedule the service. Also February is a great time to start cutting back frost damage if you have not already in preparation for the new growth in the spring time.


March: Many good things start in March; new planting is a great time with the warmer temperatures. Aeration of turf areas can be started this month to loosen up the soil in order for the ground to breathe and absorb water more efficiently. Turf fertilizer to start up the summer grass to grow since it has been dormant for the cooler months. 


April: Great month to swap out your annuals to summer flowers, plant and tree fertilizers are great to apply this month. Increase water to all plant material and turf and trees as well. 


May: With temperatures going up, this maybe a great time to do a sprinkler audit to make sure your system is efficient enough to prevent water waste going into the summer months to save money and water usage. Over-seeding Bermuda grass is perfect in May but keeping seeds moist for 2 weeks to germinate seed is difficult with high temps. Be sure to consult your landscape professional.


June: Keeping up with a deep water schedule during the summer months is key, watching heat sensitive trees and plants for stress is also important. Many palms like the queen palm, pigmy palm are susceptible to stress. All your trees should be looked at this month for pruning so that they are thinner for the monsoons and to miss cut off fruit from the palm trees right before they start to drop.


July: Turf fertilizer is great in July to keep up the green and water a little less to save you some money. Continue watching for heat stress on non-native plants and trees. Also the second application of pre-emergent is best in July to keep the weeds under control for the next 6 months.


August: Request your winter lawn from your landscape professional, preparing for the October service is key since it is the busiest time of the year for us and getting it scheduled early is key. With heavy humidity you can decrease water schedules as long as the dew point is still close or above 50. Mesquite trees can sometime be pruned again this month even if they were trimmed in June because of the new growth. Keep an eye on heat stressed plants since we have some of the highest lows of the year in August.


September: Finally it is just starting to cool down, mid to late September is a great time to stop watering turf in preparation for winter rye. This helps the Bermuda go dormant right before the scalping takes place so that is doesn’t grow back with the rye seed. Trimming all plants for the fall is good to keep the plant material shaped well throughout the cooler months.


October: Winter rye over seeding starts this month and is the main focus for most landscapers. However, October is a great month to plant wild flowers.


November: This is a great month to replace annuals with the winter flowers that flourish in cooler months. Decreasing water schedules for the winter months will help to prevent fungus and root rot. Enjoy the yard since the weather is great and before the frost hits this is the best the yard looks after the winter rye has been planted.


December: Prepare for frost damage by covering plants that are sensitive at temperatures below 32 degrees. Start cutting back frost damage if the plant is hardly enough to handle the early cut backs, start removing dead blooms off roses.


Tips and Articles

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