Monthly Maintenance

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Over the course of this year we will address proper procedures and monthly tips on keeping your garden and surrounding landscape looking its best and making sure all of your plants, shrubs and trees remain healthy.

Each month will be covered and all though many months can mirror the previous month or following month, there all always little tips that can help you maintain the landscape and garden that you have worked so hard on. As always, our Green Goddess experts are just a phone call away to answer any questions.

JANUARY

growing-snapdragon

Keeping your garden and surrounding landscape in tip top condition is not only a relaxing activity, but also adds to the beauty and curb appeal of your property. If you maintain your landscape yourself, monthly maintenance is very important. Below is a few tips for January maintenance, but if a question occurs, the staff at Green Goddess are available to answer all your gardening questions.The most important thing about maintaining a beautiful garden in January is to watch the temperature. With highs usually in the high 60’s and lows that can reach the 30’s; monitoring for near freezing temperature is very important. If you know that your existing plant is at risk for severe damage in freezing temps, covering them is a great idea. Specially made covers are also available at Green Goddess. For their protection, never use plastic.

Plants and trees that can be affected are fall annuals like petunias and geraniums to name a few along with hibiscus, bougainvillea, fichus trees and Natal plum. If you are concerned about how your particular plant, shrub or tree will react to freezing temps, please call Green Goddess and let one of our professionals answer all your questions and concerns.

PetuniaOther tips during this month include pruning roses and deciduous fruit trees (citrus trees that have fruit that falls off at maturity). Roses can also be fertilized to help prevent black spot in the spring and keep mildew away. Some deciduous trees that don’t react well with freezing temperatures include apple, plum, peach and generally most fruit trees. All should be monitored and pruned when freezing conditions are present.

Plants that have bare roots like asparagus and strawberries can be planted in January along with potatoes, lettuce, cabbage, fruit and nut trees. Planting bare root trees and shrubs is also something that can be done in January.

Shrubs that go dormant should be sprayed with water periodically. Summer bulb plants should be planted now.

January is considered the only winter month in Phoenix. It is usually the coldest month. Plants to sow include:

  • Snapdragon
  • Petunia
  • Poppy
  • Ageratum
  • Pansy
  • Sweet peas
  • Delphinium

Remember to watch the temperatures. A mild January is gardening as usual, but near freezing temperatures can cause problems and should be addressed.

FEBRUARY

January and February are similar in procedures for maintaining your garden and surrounding landscape. There is a possibility of frost until the middle of February, but it is also considered the beginning of the growing season.

In the Phoenix area with the extremely hot summers, getting a good jump on planting season will give your garden, trees and plants additional time to take root and grow before the blast of summer heat hits them.

A good tip for maintaining existing plants or trees is to minimize any pruning. You do not want to expose the plant to any diseases or insects and should never remove over a quarter of the total plant. Make sure your pruning tools are sharp and clean so as not to spread any disease. Pruning is considered an art and can be thoroughly explained by your Green Goddess associate. Remember how much you remove and where you make the cuts will have long lasting effects on your plants and trees.

February is also a good month to begin fertilizing your garden and landscape. Winter lawns should be fertilized after the first mowing.

“Plants that are part of your landscape”

  • If there are frost warnings and temperatures may drop in the 30’s it is wise to protect them
  • Control weeds. February is a good month to get a jump on any weed problems
  • Frost sensitive plants like bougainvillea should be pruned
  • Remember to water at least once a month, unless it rains a lot

Roses - Gardening

“Roses”

  • All pruning of roses should be completed by mid-February
  • Fertilizing existing roses should begin the middle of the month with watering the day before and the day following your fertilizing.

“Vegetables”

  • Get your garden soil ready for planting in the spring. Ask your Green Goddess professional the best way to prepare soil for your particular vegetable.
  • Seeds that can be planted include:
    • Spinach, Corn, Leaf Lettuce, Radishes, Onions, Carrots, Peas
  • Plant transplants
    • Artichokes, Tomatoes, Peppers, Lettuce, Cantaloupes, Watermelons

When transplanting make sure the soil is well prepared

Vegetable Garden AZ

  • Fruit trees – Have pruning complete by mid-February
  • Begin fertilizing fruit trees when they leaf out. February can still be a climate sensitive month for many plants. Make sure you do NOT:
    • Fertilize frost sensitive plants
    • Do not prune plants that have been damaged due to frost
    • Never mow your grass when wet
    • Lawns should never be over fertilized or watered. This can lead to diseases that can spread to your trees

Let the Green Goddess staff answer all your questions and direct you to the plants and products that best suit the landscape or garden you desire.

March

The month of March is the gateway to spring. Green Goddess has been supplying its’ customers with a little help and assistance each month with basic care of their garden throughout the calendar year. Here are some March tips in making sure your vegetables, trees, flowers and plants are in good shape and stay that way.

We all hope the frost is gone, but occasionally we can still have a fruit alert in the Phoenix area, so it is best to keep an eye on weather reports and keep your frost covers handy for plants that are most susceptible to frost damage. When warm weather first starts, bugs come out. Keep an eye on your garden plants, vegetables and fruit trees. An effective way to detour or stop an attack on your garden is to spray plants and vegetables lightly with water that has a couple drops of dish soap in it.

Your lawn care tips include watering Rye grass once or twice a week. This all depends on the weather and our specialists at “Green Goddess” are always available for any questions. Your Bermuda grass will be dormant for another month or so depending on when the warmer weather takes hold so it only needs water usually once a month. March is the time to attack any weed problem that will help prevent them from being an issue later.

March is also time to plant shrubs, trees and citrus trees. This gives them time to get their roots established before the summer heat comes in. Citrus trees that are between 2 to 5 years old are generally the most successful transplant age. Older trees can be expensive to transplant and are more likely to suffer transplant shock.

Fertilize existing trees and shrubs and prune shrubs that are thick and over grown. Thin fruit trees a little. This will help the fruit that has started to grow to remain healthier and grow larger.

Flowers should be fertilized with a high phosphorous and nitrogen product. March is also the time to prepare flower beds for spring. You should prepare your flower or vegetable garden by using mulch, manure, organic matter or compost. They are all great ingredients to establish and grow a sound garden.

This is the time to plant vegetable seeds, carrots, corn, cucumbers, melons, beans, radishes, squash, okra to name a few. Planting transplants this time of year that establish themselves easier to your garden include tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and artichokes.

If you have an herb garden, trim back the dead growth. Herbs to plant this time of year include thyme, sage, mint, parsley and rosemary.

We hope this helped your March preparation for your monthly gardening. Remember, don’t forget to:

  • Fertilize and prepare soil for flowers and vegetables
  • Never prune more than a ¼ of your total plant using clean and sharp tools
  • Never plant roses that face Western exposure due to the summer heat in the afternoon
  • Get after those weeds before they take hold and are harder to remove
  • Grass should not be watered at night. It leaves it more vulnerable to fungi disease
  • For people who say gardening is “not exercise” ignore them, for obviously they have never done it.

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