garden calendars

Our gardening calendars are great tools to help you know when to pot, plant, and prune your way to an even more beautiful garden.  Select a month below and enjoy.  As always, if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us.

January
May
September
February
June
October
March
July
November
April
August
December

January

  • Garden Color: For cool weather color, plant cyclamen, dianthus, calendula, alyssum, pansies, violas, snapdragon, stock, and poppies.
  • Vegetables: There is still time to plant cool weather vegetables from seed, including lettuce, spinach, Swiss chard, cabbage, carrots, and radishes. Start tomatoes from seed indoors.
  • Spring Planting: Prepare vegetable and flower beds for spring planting by amending soil now with Black Gold Soil Builder compost and soil sulphur.
  • Pruning: After leaves have dropped, prune deciduous trees and shrubs by cutting out (a) diseased or dead branches, (b) branches that detract from the desired shape of the plant, (c) branches that are growing inward, (d) any branches that are in your way. Always know WHY you are pruning!
  • Roses: Prune back existing roses by one half to two thirds. Water twice a week. Do not feed until February. Ask about the date of our Rose Care and Pruning Clinic.
  • Clean-up: This is a great month for clean-up of gardens and landscapes. Remove leaf and branch debris from around plants to discourage future pests and diseases, rake fallen leaves, and remove weeds.
  • Watering: Continue slow, deep, and less frequent watering of established trees and shrubs. Most established trees and shrubs will need irrigation every 3 to 4 weeks.
  • Cold Weather: Continue to cover frost sensitive plants with frost cloth on evenings when we have frost warnings. Remain vigilant about covering over the next two months, as the traditional last date for frost is March 15. (and we’ve had snow in mid April)
  • Lawns: Keep your winter lawn looking beautiful with regular applications of Four Seasons Lawn Food.
  • Weeds: Begin to control next year’s weeds with applications of Amaze preemergent granules. Consult one of our Garden Wizards for more information.
  • Native Bees: See our amazing display of Greg Corman’s Native Bee Nest Sculptures.
  • Citrus and Stone Fruits: Apply season long Fruit, Citrus & Vegetable Insect Control by Bayer Advanced. Kills insects such as thrip and prevents new infestations.

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February

  • Begin feeding established roses with El Toro Flower and Vegetable Food or Magnum Rose Food (for potted roses). Add Epsom salts. Deep water three times a week. A good selection of ready-to-plant roses are available in our Garden Center.
  • Plant cool weather annuals such as pansies, violas, snapdragons, geraniums, gerbera daisies, ranunculus, and petunias.
  • Feed established citrus with El Toro Citrus Food.
  • There is still time to plant cool weather vegetables from seed, such as carrots, peas, radishes, and spinach. Start spring vegetables, such as cucumbers, peppers, and summer squash, from seed indoors.
  • Tomato starts are available for planting this month. Be sure to cover new plants if there is a danger of frost.
  • Most established trees and shrubs should be receiving irrigation about every two weeks. Water slowly and deeply.
  • Be prepared to cover frost sensitive plants on nights when there is a frost warning.
  • Prune deciduous trees and shrubs (if not done in January) before new growth begins, while plants are still dormant.
  • Apply a pre-emergent such as Amaze by Greenlight, to prevent early spring weeds.
  • Start regular feeding of established irises with GrowMore Organic Flower & Bloom fertilizer.
  • Purchase Geraniums toward end of the month for containers. Keep in full sun until it’s really hot, then move them to a shaded area for the summer months.
  • Cut back and divide chrysanthemums. Back to Top

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March

  • Instant color from our most beautiful ever selection of Bougainvillea. Take a stroll through our “park” and enjoy the multicolored selections of this easy to grow vine or bush. Check out the Bambino selection of smaller growing Bougainvillea. Rather than worrying about it freezing consider it an annual. Get nine months of beauty for as little as ten cents a day!
  • Garden Color: Annuals and perennials for spring and summer color are now available. For sunny areas select from petunias, pansies geraniums, gerbera daisies, marigolds, alyssum, lobelia, snapdragons, verbena, stock, nasturtium, dianthus, scabiosa, salvia (many varieties), gazania, ageratum, and hollyhocks. Begonias, dahlias, and caladium are nice alternatives for shady areas.
  • Not just your old fashioned Petunia: New and better petunia hybrids come out every year. New names, new colors, new growing habits. We’ll be happy to show them to you.
  • Vegetables: Plant tomato, pepper, and eggplant starts. Plant seeds of squash, melons, cucumbers, and watermelon.
  • Grafted Tomatoes: You won’t want to miss out on the new Grafted Tomatoes that promise more fruit and longer harvest season (not here yet, but soon). Call for availability.
  • Herbs: Plant cilantro and parsley for early harvest, before the summer heat arrives. Basil, chive, oregano, sage, and thyme may be planted this month.
  • Citrus: Select from our Patio Perfect Dwarf Citrus (arrival within the next two weeks), keeping in mind that there is still a possibility of frost during the first half of the month, so be prepared to cover in the event that temperatures dip into the 30’s.
  • Irrigation: Closely monitor irrigation of established trees and shrubs. Be prepared to increase frequency of irrigation as temperatures warm up. Continue to water slowly and deeply.
  • Pruning: Evergreen trees and shrubs can now be pruned. Be sure to remove all clippings, and water deeply after pruning. Do not prune frost damage from frost tender plants until new growth appears.
  • Weed Control: Apply a pre-emergent such as Amaze by Greenlight if you did not do so last month. This will help prevent weeds from popping up. As weeds do emerge spray with Hi-Yield Killz-All.
  • Roses: Feed established roses with El Toro Flower and Vegetable Food or Magnum Rose Food (for potted roses). Add Epsom salts (Magnesium Sulfate). Spray young buds with a systemic insecticide such as Bonide Systemic Insecticide to prevent thrips and aphids. Deep water three times a week.

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April

  • Garden Wizards: Our staff of Garden Wizards is always here to help you be more successful.
  • Annuals in Bloom: Plant spring and summer blooming annuals such as geraniums, gerbera daisies, marigolds, petunias, carnations, cosmos, lobelia, alyssum, million bells, verbena and periwinkle.
  • Citrus: This is a great month to plant citrus.
  • Blooming Perennials: Plant spring blooming perennials such as African daisies (osteospermum), Buddleia davidii (butterfly bush), gallardia, guara, delphinium, and lavender.
  • Tomatoes: Ask about new grafted tomatoes for a longer harvest.
  • Frost Sensitive Plants: Great time to select and enjoy plants such as bougainvillea, lantana, and hibiscus.
  • Pruning: Prune frost damage from plants once new growth appears.
  • Leaves Dropping: It is normal for evergreen trees and shrubs to drop older yellow foliage in preparation for new spring growth.
  • Irrigation: Established trees and shrubs may need weekly irrigation by the end of the month. Water thoroughly and deeply.
  • Plants in Pots:  May need daily watering as temperatures warm up.
  • Yellow Leaves: Iron chlorosis may be detected on plants such as citrus, roses, and gardenias. Foliage will appear yellow with bright green veins. Treat affected plants with chelated iron. Bring in a sample for accurate diagnosis.
  • Garden Insects: Keep an eye out for aphids and spider mites. Try washing them off with a heavy blast of water. If this fails consult one of our Garden Wizards.
  • Grow your own food from our healthy selection:
  • *Apples, Peaches and Plums
  • *Lemons, Oranges, Grapefruit, Tangerines, Limes and Kumquats
  • *Table Grapes – red and white seedless
  • *Pomegranates
  • *Figs – Mission, Black Jack and Brown Turkey
  • *Artichokes, Eggplant, Cucumbers, Squash, Peppers, Cantaloupe and Strawberries
  • *Tomatoes – Heirloom, Grafted and Traditional
  • *Herbs – Basil, Oregano, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme and more

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May

  • Feed established roses with El Toro Flower and Vegetable Food or Magnum Rose Food (for potted roses). Add Epsom salts. Increase deep watering to every other day. Mulch your roses to help retain moisture.
  • Plant summer annuals such as calibrachoa, celosia, cosmos, golden fleece, marigolds, nierembergia, Wave and Fantasy petunias, periwinkle, and sweet potato vine. For shady areas, plant begonias, caladium, dahlias, impatiens, and pink splash.
  • Plant summer vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers, watermelon, eggplant, and squash. When planting tomatoes, consider trying a variety that is best suited for our hot climate, such as Sunmaster.
  • This is a great month to plant native and desert adapted perennials such as angelita daisy, autumn sage, chocolate flower, gaura, and shrubby bulbine.
  • Citrus fruit drop is normal this month, as it is nature’s way of removing excess fruit that the tree cannot handle. There is no reason for concern if you are watering properly, only a small percentage of developing fruit are dropping, and the fruit that is the size of a quarter and larger is remaining on the tree.
  • Feed established citrus with El Toro Citrus Food or Growmore Organic Citrus and Avocado.
  • Evidence of leaf cutter bees will appear on the new growth of plants such as bougainvillea and roses. You will notice perfect semi-circles cut out of the foliage. The insect uses the new foliage for nest making material, and does not actually ingest any portion of the plant, so it does not make sense to spray the plant with insecticide. The affected plant may look unsightly for awhile, but no permanent damage will be done.
  • You will probably need to increase the frequency of irrigation on established trees and shrubs to about once a week. Continue to water slowly and deeply
  • Remain vigilant about checking for evidence of spider mite, which loves the hot dry weather.

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June

  • Feed established roses with El Toro Flower and Vegetable Food or Magnum Rose Food (for potted roses) at half strength. Add Epsom salts at half strength. Increase deep watering to every day. Mulch your roses to help retain moisture. Apply chelated iron to roses exhibiting an iron deficiency (yellow leaves with bright green veins). Keep an eye out for spider mites. Treat with Bonide Systemic Insecticide. Distorted buds are a sign of thrips damage. It is important to treat buds (with Bonide Systemic Insecticide) at a very early stage, before the damage is visible.
  • A great selection of summer annuals will be available for planting. Varieties include calibrachoa, celosia, cosmos, golden fleece, nierembergia, periwinkle, portulaca, salvia, and sweet potato vine. For shady areas, plant begonias, caladium, dahlias, impatiens, and pink splash. Call our Garden Center for the latest availability.
  • Plant summer annuals from seed. Varieties include cosmos, sunflowers, tithonia, and zinnias.
  • Plant summer vegetables such as Armenian cucumber, eggplant, pumpkin, squash, and watermelon from transplant or seed.
  • Plant summer herbs such as basil, mint, oregano, rosemary, sage and thyme.
  • Plant trees, shrubs, and vines by the beginning of the month in order to benefit from a full summer season of growth.
  • Prune dead branches, or branches that compromise the growth or shape of trees or shrubs, but don’t do any severe pruning at this time.
  • Most established trees and shrubs will need weekly irrigation. Water slowly and deeply.
  • Water established non-native cacti once a week. Established native cactus such as prickly pear and ocotillo should be watered at least once a month (saguaro cactus should not need any supplemental water, unless recently planted). Container cacti may need watering up to twice a week.

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July

  • Feed established roses with El Toro Flower and Vegetable Food or Magnum Rose Food (for potted roses) at half strength. Add Epsom salts at half strength. Keep faded blooms pruned. Remember that roses need ample irrigation. Deep water every day throughout the hot summer months.
  • Plant summer annuals such as angelonia, calibrachoa, celosia, lisianthus, periwinkle, and pentas. For shady spots, try planting begonias, impatiens, pink splash, or coleus.
  • There is still time to plant summer vegetables such as cucumbers, melons, and squash. Plant peppers now for a fall crop.
  • Most herbs can be planted now, but avoid planting cilantro and parsley, which will bolt in the heat.
  • Adequate irrigation is extremely important during the hot summer months. The key to proper irrigation is the slow deep soaking of the entire root area of the tree or shrub. Most established trees and shrubs will need weekly irrigation.
  • The onset of monsoonal rains will bring more weeds. Consider using a pre-emergent such as Amaze by Greenlight to prevent weeds before they appear. If you are already seeing signs of weeds, spray with an appropriate weed killer such as Kill-Zall by Hi-Yield or Weed-Out with Q by Fertilome, while weeds are still small. Consult one our Garden Wizards for the most appropriate weed killer or pre-emergent for your situation.
  • Watch for cochineal scale on prickly pear cactus, which will appear as fluffy white blobs. Try spraying the affected cacti with hard blasts of water. If this is unsuccessful, treat with Sevin Insecticide.
  • Palo verde beetles emerge from the ground, creating holes around palo verde trees. Treat with Bonide Systemic Insecticide, Monterey Once a Year Insect Control, or Sevin granules. Consult one of our Garden Wizards for the treatment most appropriate to meet your needs.

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August

  • Feed established roses with El Toro Flower and Vegetable Food or Magnum Rose Food (for potted roses) at half strength. Add Epsom salts at half strength. Continue to deep water every day. Keep faded blooms pruned. Selective pruning of unwanted or dead branches is o.k.
  • Continue to plant summer annuals, especially for instant color and for containers. Popular varieties include celosia, cosmos, lisianthus, periwinkle, salvia, and zinnias.
  • Prepare vegetable gardens for the fall planting season. Even though we are between seasons, August is a great time to beef up your garden with mulch or compost and soil sulphur.
  • Feed established citrus with El Toro Citrus Food.
  • Continue to water established trees and shrubs about once a week. Water slowly and deeply, allowing water to penetrate to the entire root system of your plants.
  • Be on the lookout for wasteful water use. Check for irrigation leaks, avoid watering when not necessary, and other wasteful water use practices. Water is one of our most precious resources.
  • This is a great month for planting palms, which thrive in our hot climate.
  • Grubs are often present in the garden at this time of year. They will appear as large, fat worms if you go digging down into the soil. If you have a plant that is suddenly dying without any apparent explanation, grubs could be the culprit. You can treat for grubs with the insecticide Sevin. For non-edible ornamental plants, you may consider using a systemic such as Bayer Season Long Grub Control.
  • Summer rains will bring another crop of weeds. Spray with an appropriate weed killer such as Kill-Zall by High Yield or Weed-Out with Q by Fertilome. Consult one of our Garden Wizards for the most appropriate weed killer for your situation.

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September

  • This is the last month to feed your roses (for the remainder of the year) with El Toro Flower and Vegetable Food or Magnum Rose Food (for container grown roses). Feed at full strength. Add Epsom salts at full strength. Continue to water daily. Lightly prune around the 15th
  • Plant cool weather annuals towards the end of the month. Varieties include calendula, dianthus, petunias, snapdragon, and stock.
  • Plant cool weather vegetables, such as broccoli, carrots, lettuce, peas, radishes, and spinach, at the end of the month.
  • Plant Sweet Pea seeds at the end of the month for early spring bloom next year.
  • Citrus foliage may look yellow and/or sunburned after the hot summer, but new growth should be healthy. Water every 7-10 days, along with your other established trees and shrubs, until temperatures begin to cool down. Water slowly and deeply, allowing water to penetrate to the entire root system of your plants.
  • Bulbs are available for fall planting. Varieties available may include anemone, bearded iris, daffodils, Dutch iris, hyacinths (pre-chilled), paper whites, ranunculus, and tulips (need to be chilled 4-6 weeks).When shopping for bulbs, select ones that are of good size, with no soft spots. If you are not planting right away, be sure to store your bulbs in paper bags in a cool, dry area
  • Divide iris that have been in the ground two years or longer. Foliage of iris not being divided should be cut back to a 6” fan shape.

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October

  • Do not feed roses. Deep water every other day. Your rose bushes should continue to bloom until the first heavy frost.
  • Plant cool weather annuals such as alyssum, dianthus, lobelia, petunias, snapdragon, stock, and violas. As it continues to cool down, look for geraniums, pansies, and primrose.
  • Plant cool weather vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, lettuce, and spinach.
  • A wide variety of cool weather vegetables are available and easily grown from seed, including lettuce, mesclun, radishes, peas, and Swiss card.
  • Plant cool season herbs such as dill and parsley.
  • Plant Sweet Pea seeds.
  • Plant wildflower seeds for spring bloom. African daisies, blue bells, California or Mexican poppies, desert lupine, gaillardia, and penstemon are all good choices for planting now. We also carry some great wildflower seed mixes suitable for planting this month.
  • Plant trees and shrubs not sensitive to frost. The winter months will allow for the development of a good root system, supporting new spring growth.
  • Begin to decrease the frequency of irrigation on established trees and shrubs. By the end of the month, you may be down to an irrigation schedule of once every 3-4 weeks.

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November

  • Do not feed roses. Water three times a week until Thanksgiving. Gradually cut back irrigation after that point.
  • A wide variety of cool weather annuals will be available for winter color, including alyssum, Christmas cactus, cyclamen, geraniums, lobelia, pansies, snapdragon, stock, and violas.
  • Plant cool weather vegetable starts such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, spinach, and Swiss chard. Most cool weather vegetables can still be planted from seed.
  • Plant trees and shrubs not sensitive to frost.
  • Established trees and shrubs will need irrigation about once every three to four weeks.
  • Avoid heavy pruning of deciduous trees and shrubs. Some selective pruning is o.k.
  • The first frost usually occurs this month. Be prepared to cover your frost sensitive plants with Easy Gardener frost cloth, which can be left on your plants for two or three days without causing damage.
  • Indoor plants purchased within the last six months may need to be re-repositioned as sun exposure changes with the season.

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December

  • Select Poinsettias, Christmas Cactus, Living Christmas Trees, and Amaryllis.
  • A good selection of cool weather annuals will continue to be available for immediate and late winter/spring color, including petunias and petunia hybrids, alyssum, cyclamen, geraniums, lobelia, pansies, snapdragons, stock, violas, calendulas, stock, dianthus, Iceland poppies, primrose, venidium, godetia, gazania and linaria.
  • RELY ON PANSIES, VIOLAS, AND CYCLAMEN FOR COLOR IN THE DEAD OF WINTER.
  • Check out the new “Frizzy” series of ruffled Pansies; the “Dragon” series of snapdragons; and the “Potunia” petunia – a mounding petunia for containers and borders.
  • Select and plant cool weather vegetable starts.
  • Plant seeds of carrots, lettuce, peas, radishes, and spinach.
  • Plant cool weather herbs such as mint, parsley, rosemary, and thyme.
  • Pick up your free copy of Landscape Plants for the Arizona Desert published by the Arizona Municipal Water Users Association.
  • Irrigate established trees and shrubs about every three to four weeks.
  • Pruning makes a plant want to put out new growth. Avoid pruning now as any new growth is more susceptible to damage from the cold. In addition, foliage left on the plant can provide some protection from frost.
  • Deciduous trees and shrubs (plants that lose their leaves in winter) are best pruned the middle to end of January.
  • Evergreen trees and shrubs should be pruned when danger of frost has passed, often late February into March and April.
  • THE AVERAGE DATE OF THE LAST KILLING FROST IS ABOUT MARCH 15.
  • Have Frost Cloth handy and be prepared to cover frost sensitive plants on evenings when we have frost warnings.
  • Harvest grapefruit this month. Begin testing for flavor at the beginning of the month. Fruit left on the tree will continue to ripen. Most grapefruit should be ready for harvest by Christmas.
  • Do not feed roses. Continue to cut back on watering. You should be down to a once a week schedule by the end of the month.
  • Feed winter lawns regularly with Four Seasons Lawn Food.

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