Monthly Gardening Chores


  • Remember on a warmer non freezing day to reapply your Wilt Stop.
  • Check for animal damage on your plants, you might need to apply more repellent.
  • Come on in to Hawthorn Gardens Tuesday-Saturday 9-5 and enjoy a cup off coffee and the great weather in the greenhouses.
  • Use your branches from your live Christmas tree to protect tender perennials.
  • Study those seed catalogs and garden articles to plan your next gardening season.
  • This is the month when your flowering hibiscus might shed some leaves and stop blooming. So think about cutting it back to make it fuller next season.
  • Feed the birds now, suet is a high energy food for the winter.


  • Don’t be fooled by warm, sunny days. It is still too early to remove mulches, screenings, and other winter plant protection. Make sure they’re still in place
  • Monitor tree health. It is easier to notice dead branches, hollows, and cankers on trees. Cankers are signs that the tree has a disease
  • Prune trees and shrubs. The ideal time to prune is in dormant season, just prior to new growth. Wait to prune spring flowering plants to avoid removing this year’s flower buds.
  • Re-apply Wilt Stop to Boxwoods & Rhododendrons. If temperature is above freezing, a second application can be made.
  • Clean and sharpen garden tools. Get ready for the growing season. Bring them in and Bill will sharpen them for you! Call for pricing 847 726 0627


  • Don’t cry when the deer eat off your new tulip and hosta shoots, start spraying repellents every other day and more often if it rains alot!
  • Wait for your garden beds to dry before you start working the soil or you will compact it into bricks. Plant some early onion sets and lettuce in pots to scratch your gardening itch.
  • Cut back your ornamental grasses to 4-6 inches. Prune butterfly bushes, russian sage and annabelle hydrangeas.
  • Pick a dry day over 35 degrees and oil spray your fruit trees and magnolias (scale)
  • Then start spraying your fruit trees with fruit tree spray at the end of the month.
  • Scratch in some grass seed into those bare spots in your lawn. Remember if you are doing a crab grass preventer it will stop your grass seed from growing.
  • Start your peppers in the middle end of the month, wait for April 7th for your tomatoes so they don’t stretch
  • Make a ball of string, strips of old cloth and dryer lint and hang it in your trees for the birds to make nests.


  • Now is the time to re-seed those shady spots in your yard before the leaves get too dense on your shade trees.
  • Stop in the Garden Center and see the new plants we are growing.
  • Clean out your pond filters and treat with pond zyme.
  • When spring bulb flowers are done blooming cut off flower stems, then feed with Espoma bulb fertilizer.
  • Cut back roses and feed with Bayer All-In-One Rose Care.
  • Treat your Ash,Birch,Plums and other bore prone trees now with Bayer Merit.
  • Seed your cold tolerant veggies (like lettuce,spinach,radishes,peas and carrots) outdoors now!
  • Cut back ornamental grasses down too 6 inches and herbaceous perennials to the ground.
  • Start some (10) onion sets every week in April so you do not have to eat them all at once.


  • Treat your lawn for grubs now! And help eliminate some Japanese Beetles
  • Now is the time to feed nesting birds and put out some lint and nesting materials. It is a great time to put out thistle seed to attract gold finches to your home.
  • Plant a tree to help reverse global warming.
  • Feed your endless summer hydrangeas with Holly Tone to help them bloom.
  • Remember when you apply your weed & feed, it works better if applied to damp grass.
  • Plant, Plant, Plant!!!!


  • Mulch all your newly planted beds.
  • Now is the time to prune all your spring blooming shrubs, like Lilacs, Magnolias & Forsythia.
  • Prepare for Japanese beetles by treating your lawns and planting beds with BAYER grub killer.
  • Feed and treat roses with Bayer 3 in 1 Rose and Flower Care
  • Remember when you are watering your landscape investment, long slow waterings are always best.
  • Add plants to your pond to increase the shade during hot summer days


  • Deep water large landscape plants at least once during drought periods. Set your hose on a slow trickle and move every half hour around the drip line of the tree.
  • Remember to turn your hoses off at the house when you go out. The hot sun can sometime make old hoses burst when under pressure and you don’t want that happening when you are out.
  • Now is a good time to feed those spring planters with a slow release osmocote, the first feeding will be wearing down.
  • Stop by Hawthorn Gardens for some garden seeds for your fall crops to be planted in August.
  • If you need to spray your plants for summertime pests, you should do it early in the morning or at dusk too prevent chemical burn on the foliage.
  • Speaking of summertime pests, it looks like this is going to be a banner year for the japanese beetles, spray with sevin and treat your roses with Bayer Rose Care. And traps also work well , but put them in the farthest corner of your property away from your plants.


  • Mid to Late August is a good time to sow fall vegetable crops, like peas, beans, lettuce
  • Start planning for your spring bulbs. They will be available at the end of the month for planting.
  • If the skunks are digging up your lawn. They are looking for grubs to eat. If your lawn is also unusually brown, the grubs have eaten off the roots of your grass and it is time to treat with BAYER 24 Hour Insecticide.
  • This is a great time to create new planting beds. Spray the area with round up and in three to four weeks you will be able to turn the dead grass directly into your garden with mushroom compost. By then it is fall planting season.


  • Prepare to bring in your houseplants. Start debugging them by adding a systemic bug killer to the soil and also spraying with insecticide. This needs to be done before night time temperatures go below 50 degrees.
  • Start planting spring flowering bulbs. A great combination is to plant sub zero pansies over top of your newly planted bulbs.
  • Fall is a great time to plant new or divide existing perennials.
  • Stop feeding roses and leave the last blooms on your plants so the produce hips, which will add to your gardens winter color.
  • Now is the best time to seed your lawn, Cooler nights and fall rains make germination happen easier. Then at the month is a great time to apply winterizer to your lawn which is your most important feeding of the year.


  • Bring in all tropical plants before frost.
  • Leave cannas and dahlias plants until a hard frost, then dig and cure them before you store them for the winter.
  • Apply Lawn Winterizer, it is the most important lawn feeding of the year!
  • Clean up all debris from under your fruit trees and berry plants to reduce overwintering fungi that will affect next years crop.
  • Bury all spent decorative mum plants a couple inches deeper than normal planting depth to help them over winter.
  • This Fall your trees could use a drink after record temps in September.
  • Spray your pumpkins and Indian Corn with Hot Pepper Spray to keep the squirrels at bay.


  • Prepare your pond for winter with one last salt treatment, remove and clean your filters and pumps and store them inside.
  • Grind your leaves and add to your compost pile with some high nitrogen fertizer without weed killer, or compost starter
  • Turn your garden over and leave in big chunks like a plow. The frost will break them into fine soil by spring.
  • Clean, sharpen and oil all your garden tools so thay are ready for the spring season.
  • Empty all of your containers into the compost pile so they don’t freeze and crack.
  • Hill up the crowns of your roses with soil from a bag or another part of your garden.
  • Do not cover our cut back your roses until it gets colder.
  • Keep up with feeding the birds, they are fattening up for the winter, and there are some unusual birds passing through on their annual migration.


    • Shovel,Shovel,Shovel /When you shovel your walk carefully bury your tender plants
    • Monitor your pond deicer to make sure it keeps up on those 0 degree nights. If it does not, cover it with a rose cone or an old nursery container.
    • Monitor your indoor plants for pests, mist them for humidity.
    • Visit plant and seed websites to discover new varieties for spring.
    • Keep those bird feeders full now as they are dependent on you. Take some pictures and share them with us.