Lawn Care Tips

Lawn Care Tips

Ideal Landscape Maintenance Calendar for the Greater Chicago, Illinois Area.

  • January - March
  • April - June
  • July - September
  • October - December

Lawn Care Tips for Winter

January

  • After a few warm days, bulbs will sprout. Add a little compost and a thick layer of mulch to protect the tender new growth from frost.
  • Spray dormant trees this month.
  • Prune most deciduous trees and shrubs.
  • Turn the soil during the first good thaw. This will expose insect eggs to the effects of winter and hungry birds.
  • Get garden tools ready for spring. Sharpen and oil tools such as shovels, shears and mowers. Power tools such as weedeaters and power mowers may benefit from a tune-up.
  • It's not to early to begin to think of a strategy for new spring plantings.

February

  • Deciduous shrubs and trees are still dormant enough to transplant this month, once the buds have begun to swell, it will be to late.
  • Trees which weren't fed last fall should be deep fed and mulched.
  • Mid to late February is the time to fertilize shrubs and evergreens.
  • Prune un-budded flowering shrubs.
  • Trim winter-damaged tree branches.
  • Deciduous vines should be pruned and shaped.
  • Climbing roses should be thinned.
  • Turn the compost pile!

March

  • Transplant shrubs and trees as soon as the soil is workable, but before buds have swelled or broken open.
  • Fertilize shrubs and trees if not done in February.
  • Finish pruning fruit trees before the buds swell.
  • Roses can be pruned and fed.
  • Divide and transplant summer blooming perennials.  Fertilize established perennials as soon as new growth appears.
  • Plant bulbs and tubers.
  • Prepare vegetable garden soil for planting with manure, peat moss or compost.
  • Weed before they have a chance to flower and go to seed.
  • Repair damaged areas of the lawn.
  • Test soil for pH and adjust if necessary to between 6.5 and 7.5 pH.

Lawn Care Tips for Spring

April

  • Plant trees and shrubs early in the month.
  • Prune evergreens.
  • Spread a high nitrogen fertilizer around evergreens.
  • Planting summer flowering bulbs like dahlias, gladiolas and lilies.
  • Plant annual seeds of asters, cosmos, marigolds, zinnias.
  • Divide perennials like day lilies, delphiniums, iris, chrysanthemums, daisies,and phlox.
  • Hybrid Tea Roses should be fertilized prior to buds beginning to bloom.
  • Plant new rosebushes before growth starts and buds swell.
  • Set aquatic plants any time after the middle of the month.
  • Control weeds and aerate the soil.
  • Plant fruit trees and berries.
  • Plant perennial vegetables
  • Thatch, aerate, over-seed and compost the lawn.

May

  • Fertilize your trees and shrubs, if you haven’t already.
  • Remove sucker growths from fruit trees.
  • Keep roses sprayed for pests and diseases.
  • Lilacs should be pruned lightly and fertilized after they finish blooming
  • Most popular vegetables can be planted.  Wait until mid to late May before planting the warmer weather crops like tomatoes, squash, cucumber, pumpkins and peppers.
  • Take steps to control slugs and snails.
  • Turn the compost pile frequently and keep it damp.

June

  • Add new perennials.
  • Divide spring flowering perennials.
  • Fertilize roses each month through the summer.
  • Shearing, pinch and prune junipers, cypress and conifers.
  • Fertilize shrubs after they’ve finished flowering.
  • Trim hedges.
  • Thin fruits on apple, pear, peach, and apricot trees carefully to produce larger, better fruit.
  • Fertilize the lawn.
  • It's not too late to reseed or over-seed the lawn.
  • Apply moss killers.
  • Watch for slugs, snails, insects and disease.
  • Weed.

Lawn Care Tips for Summer

July

  • Sow seeds of hollyhocks, English daisies, foxgloves, violas, Canterbury bells, and sweet William into the garden now for next year's bloom.
  • Plant successive salad crops for continued harvesting throughout the summer.

August

  • Sow perennial and biennial seed directly into the garden.
  • Plant fall blooming crocus.
  • Transplant spring flowering perennials
  • Prune your hybrid roses late in the month.
  • Prune shrubs after flowering.
  • Start fall and winter vegetables.
  • Raise the cutting height of the mower.

September

  • Plant bulbs of spring flowering tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, Siberian squill, dwarf irises, Anemone, and crocus after soil temperature drops below 60°F.
  • Winter pansies, flowering Kale, flowering Cabbage, and fall mums may be planted now.
  • Tender bulbs should be dug up and stored in a cool, dark area after first frost.
  • Select and plant trees and shrubs.
  • Stop fertilizing trees and flowering shrubs
  • Harvest fruits and vegetables.
  • Plum trees should be pruned right after harvest.
  • Carrots, onions, and parsnips can be left in unfrozen ground and dug up as needed.
  • After harvesting vegetables, plant a cover crop to plow under in the spring.
  • Thatch, over seed and sod the lawn.
  • Weed to improve the appearance of your garden throughout the winter.

Lawn Care Tips for Fall

October

  • Most spring flowering bulbs should be in the ground by the early part of this month, with the exception of tulips which may be planted up until early November.
  • Set out winter pansies, flowering kale, flowering cabbage, and fall mums.
  • Bring geraniums, begonias, fuchsias, and other tender plants indoors before the first frost.
  • Collect and save seeds of wildflowers for spring sowing.
  • Evergreen and deciduous trees and shrubs can be transplanted.
  • Keep mowing as long as your grass is growing.
  • One last weeding will improve the appearance of your garden throughout the winter.
  • Clean and oil your garden tools for winter storage.
  • Clean your gutters and downspouts to remove fallen leaves and other debris.

November

  • Securely fasten climbing roses and other vining plants.
  • Mound five to six inches of soil around the bases of your hardy fuchsias and roses.
  • Cut chrysanthemum stems to 2-3 inches from the soil once they have begun to die back.
  • Tulip bulbs may still be planted.
  • Ornamental trees and shrubs can be transplanted.
  • Prune evergreens.
  • Apply a fall or winter lawn fertilizer.
  • Keep leaves raked from, or mulched into, the lawn.
  • Drain your hoses.
  • Run the lawnmower dry. Old gas can severely damage the engine.
  • Replace worn out tools.

December

  • Cuttings can be taken from rhododendrons, azaleas, and other evergreen shrubs.
  • Stay off frozen grass!!!
  • Make sure your outdoor faucets are covered to protect them from freezing.

 

 

 

 

 

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Lawn Care Tips for Chicago
Lawn Care Tips
for Chicago

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Lawn care tips