Graf Growers

Monthly Growing Tips

Not sure where to begin or need a refresher on what needs to happen next in your garden? Here are some growing tips and recommendations for your outdoor living projects. If you want more information, stop into our store or give us a call at 330.836.2727.

January/February Checklist

  • Plant an amaryllis bulb. Watch it grow and bloom 4- 6 weeks after it’s planted.
  • Brighten up your home and create an indoor garden with a combination of blooming and foliage houseplants;
  • Attend gardening seminars to get new ideas for your garden and meet up with other gardeners.
  • Enjoy arm chair gardening as you study Pinterest and websites for new or different plants and gardening crafts.
  • If you want to get outside, winter is a good time to prune deciduous shrubs like burning bush, spirea, and others.
  • Cut back ornamental grasses left for winter interest in late February or early March.

March Checklist

  • Start garden seeds indoors.
  • Enjoy blooming plants indoors such as cyclamens, shamrocks and begonias.
  • Plant a terrarium for your office or home with miniature plants, stones, soil and accessories.
  • Plan your landscape, garden and containers.
  • As weather permits…
  • Prune deciduous shrubs
  • Cut back any remaining ornamental grasses
  • Plant Pansies (usually in late March or early April)
  • In late March…
  • Fertilize shrubs and evergreens with organic Holly-Tone
  • Fertilize perennials with organic Plant-Tone

April Checklist

  • Prepare garden space for planting by adding soil amendments such as organic Sweet Peet, compost and bark soil conditioner to loosen clay soils.
  • IMPORTANT PREPARATION: Prevent weeds – Apply Preen® Garden Weed Preventer or Organic Preen® for Vegetable Gardens to garden and landscape beds to prevent weeds before they start. This will save a lot of work later.
  • Plant peas, onion sets, potatoes and other cool tolerant vegetables.
  • Start planting cool-tolerant pansies, perennials and shrubs. An early start will help to establish the roots.
  • Plant grass seed to fill in bare spots in the lawn.
  • Edge and Mulch – start early to prevent weeds and help retain moisture in landscape beds. It is so much easier to edge in the spring than other times of the year because the soil is soft.
  • Prevent deer and other critters – Your hosta and other perennials are just emerging from a long nap. It is time to protect them from deer, rabbits and other critters by applying Liquid Fence or other deer repellent.

May Checklist

  • NOW IS THE TIME TO GARDEN – get out there and enjoy the fresh air, sunshine and beautiful plants!
  • Create a beautiful entrance for your home with container gardens sitting on either side of your main entryway.
  • Prevent damage from lace bugs, Japanese beetles, and other insects as well as disease issues on Rhododendron and Azaleas by applying Bayer Azalea, Camellia, and Rhododendron Insect and Disease Control. It is easy to apply with a sprinkling can and you only have to re-apply every 6 weeks. The product works systemically through the root system to prevent issues for 6 weeks.
  • Grow beautiful container gardens on your patio to enjoy all summer long.
  • Begin to regularly fertilize any annuals that you have planted. If you are using Miracle-Gro or Jack’s Class, it is best to fertilize every 7-10 days. TIP: Set a reminder on your smartphone’s calendar to remember when it’s fine to feed your growing plants.
  • Grow beautiful hanging baskets on your front porch or backyard patio to add curb appeal and blooming color all summer long.
  • Plant a vegetable garden for you and your family to enjoy all summer long. Include tomatoes, peppers, beans, squash and more. Not ready to take on an entire garden? Plant tomatoes and berries in containers on the patio.

June Checklist

  • Plant gardens and containers that you didn’t finish in May so you can enjoy them all summer long.
  • Celebrate Perennial Gardening Month! Plant and enjoy perennials while they are blooming.
  • Plant a succulent garden or bowl with sun-loving miniatures, perennial sedums, rocks, driftwood and more!
  • Prune azaleas, rhododendrons and other spring blooming shrubs after they finish blooming to maximize blooming for next year.
  • Fertilize annuals and container gardens regularly according to the directions for the type of fertilizer you are using. If you are using Miracle-Gro or Jack’s Classic, it is best to fertilize every 7-10 days.
  • Apply HydraBlue to hydrangeas to keep them blue or to intensify the color of blue. Apply garden lime to hydrangeas to make them pink.
  • In the vegetable garden, plant a second planting of lettuce, green beans, and other quick growing crops so you can enjoy them all summer.
  • Trim hanging baskets if they begin to look leggy. This will allow them to stay full and lush.
  • Inspect the plants in your landscape for signs of insect and disease damage so you can treat them as quickly as possible. If you are not sure, put samples in a baggy and bring them in for diagnosis.

July Checklist

  • Continue to regularly water and fertilize annuals, perennials, shrubs and container gardens. Do the best you can as we are all busy and enjoying summer!
  • Cut back and fertilize stringy annuals. Shape up hanging baskets and container gardens by removing dead flowers and long leggy branches. Then fertilize to encourage new growth. They will look a little sad at first but you’ll be glad you did it as they grow out and look nice all summer.

August Checklist

  • Fertilize roses one more time this season. They should not be fertilized after early September.
  • Replace tired annuals or add some to existing gardens with flowering cabbage and kale or garden mums for late summer color.
  • Shop for late season blooming perennials, shrubs and vines so your garden has continuous blooms from early spring through fall.
  • Fertilize lawns in late August.
  • In the vegetable garden, grow a late planting of lettuce, spinach, greens and other quick crops that like cooler temperatures.
  • Cut back and fertilize stringy annuals. Shape up hanging baskets and container gardens by removing dead flowers and long leggy branches. Then fertilize to encourage new growth. They will look a little sad at first but you’ll be glad you did it as they grow out and look nice all summer.

September Checklist

  • Plant winter pansies so you can get them established early. This will help them be strong and healthy next spring.
  • Plant grass seed to fill in bare spots in the lawn.
  • Replace tired annuals with flowering cabbage and kale or garden mums for bright color.
  • Shop for late season blooming perennials, shrubs, and vines so your garden has continuous blooms from early spring through fall.
  • Fertilize your lawn in September (only if you didn’t do it in August). You can treat for pesky weeds at this time too.
  • In the vegetable garden, plant a late planting of lettuce, spinach, greens and other quick crops that like cooler temperatures.
  • Purchase Fall Bulbs for the best selection however it is a little too early to plant them.
  • It is your last chance to apply Round-Up to kill pesky weeds. Temperatures must be over 65º for it to work.

October Checklist

  • Plant bulbs for spring flowers. Tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, alliums and so many more! You’ll be glad you did when they poke their heads through the snow next spring. Remember, fall bulbs (tulips, daffodils, etc.) not April Showers bring spring flowers!
  • Apply Wilt-Pruf to broad leaf evergreens like rhododendrons and azaleas to prevent wind burn and winter injury.
  • Plant mums, pansies, and flowering kale to keep your garden looking its best in October.
  • Shop for late season blooming perennials, shrubs and vines so your garden has continuous blooms from early spring through fall.
  • Clean up annuals, perennials and vegetable garden plants after frost. If possible, compost the remains, however, avoid composting any diseased plants. Diseased plants should be disposed of in trash bags and placed on the curb for trash service.
  • Apply Liquid Fence in areas where deer might browse in the winter. Reapply approx. every 30 days.
  • Remove fall leaves from landscape beds and the lawn.

November Checklist

  • It is not too late to plant bulbs for spring flowers. Tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, alliums and so many more! You’ll be glad you did when they poke their heads through the snow next spring. Remember, fall bulbs (tulips, daffodils, etc.) not April Showers bring spring flowers!
  • Apply Wilt-Pruf to broad leaf evergreens like rhododendrons and azaleas to prevent wind burn and winter injury.
  • Apply Liquid Fence in areas where deer might browse in the winter. Reapply approx. every 30 days.
  • Remove fall leaves from landscape beds and the lawn.
  • Fertilize dormant perennials with organic Plant-tone.
  • Feed evergreens and other acid-loving shrubs with organic Holly-tone to get a jump start on spring.
  • Fill porch pots, window boxes and other containers with evergreens and winterberry for a natural holiday display.

December Checklist

  • Fill porch pots, window boxes and other containers with evergreens and winterberry for a natural holiday display.
  • Create a basket or tray with assorted holiday plants like cyclamen, Christmas cactus, amaryllis, etc. artfully arranged as a centerpiece or accent piece that will continue to grow and look beautiful.
  • Share your love of plants with the gift of plants or bulbs. Amaryllis and Paper white garden kits make beautiful gifts that the recipient can enjoy for weeks to come.
  • If you haven’t done so already do a final leaf clean-up in beds and the lawn.
  • Apply Wilt-Pruf to broad leaf evergreens like rhododendrons and azaleas to prevent wind burn and winter injury.
  • Apply Liquid Fence in areas where deer might browse in the winter. Reapply approx. every 30 days.
  • Fertilize dormant perennials with Plant-tone and Evergreens and other acid loving shrubs with Holly-tone to get a jump start on spring. (Do this if you did not get a chance to
  • Feed the birds. They’ll add color and activity to the winter garden.