THINGS TO DO IN YOUR GARDEN IN...

JANUARY

  • Winter and spring months are good times to shop for blooming azaleas and camellias.
  • Prune Japanese maples this month, keeping an open and airy branching structure and removing cross branches. Don't tip prune. Remember to remove less than 30% of the tree to avoid stressing your tree in spring.
  • For best performance, citrus trees need lots of nitrogen. Feed orange, lemon, lime and grapefruit trees six to eight weeks before bloom time in spring. We recommend a nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium fertilizer ratio of 2-1-1, along with trace minerals (iron, zinc and magnesium); use controlled-release granular fertilizer, which won't burn plants. Apply according to package directions.
  • January is prime time to prune deciduous flowering vines, fruit and shade trees, grapes and roses. (For spring-flowering plants such as lilacs and Japanese snowball, wait to prune until after they have bloomed.) Use pruning shears to cut branches or stems up to 3/4 inch in diameter, loppers for branches 3/4 to 1 inch, and a pruning saw for branches more than 1 inch in diameter. Spray fruit trees and roses with dormant oil spray to help rid them of pests and diseases.
  • Consider adding landscape lighting to add beauty and interest year round, but especially during the dark months of winter. Sperbeck's has a wide variety of lighting options for your yard.

  • Just a reminder your third application of dormant spray will be around February 14th. 
  • Trim your hydrangeas, fruit trees, grasses and your roses.
  • You can add mulch around your plants to help keep the roots from freezing.
  • You can use frost cloth to cover and Cloud Cover to spray on your frost tender plants for those freezing nights.


FEBRUARY

  • Give your sweetheart a valentine that will live on long after February 14th. Tie a red ribbon around a lemon tree or put a bow on a bare-root rose. Or choose a flowering plant that can go outdoors after blooming is through. Choices include azaleas, camellias, gardenias hellebore and quince.
  • This is a good month to plant roses, the plants will not be in leaf or flower, but the timing now will give the plant time to send out roots before they have to support a leafy plant.
  • Cut back woody shrubs. To stimulate lush new growth on artemisia, butterfly bush, fuchsia and Mexican bush sage, cut back woody stems to within a few inches of the ground. If left unpruned, plants become leggy and scraggly-looking.
  • Shape evergreen shrubs that do not bloom in spring, cutting back spring blooming shrubs now will remove flowers. Winter pruning will encourage new spring growth.

  • Just a reminder your third application of dormant spray will be around February 14th.
  • Trim your hydrangeas, all of your trees, fruit trees, grasses and your roses.
  • Fertilize your roses with Bayer 3 in 1 for roses and use Formula 49 on shrubs and trees.
  • You can add a pre-emergence around your plants to help prevent weeds from popping up.
  • We have frost cloth and Cloud Cover to spray on your frost tender plants for those freezing nights that we might still have.
  • Time to mix Master Nurseryman's PayDirt into your vegetable garden beds so your beds will be ready for planting in spring.


MARCH

  • Almost all plants, including annuals, perennials, trees and lawns will appreciate a boost of nitrogen now as spring growth starts, so feed with an all-purpose slow-release fertilizer (we use 'Formula 49'). Wait until azaleas, camellias, and rhododendrons have finished blooming before feeding them; then use a formula labeled for acid-loving plants. This task can wait for April if shrubs are still in bloom.
  • To make maximum use of small vegetable planting areas double dig and amend the soil with compost so you can grow your plants closer together and water less. Double digging involves first digging the top layer of soil off with a spade, forming a shallow trench, and then the under-layer (the bottom of the trench is dug with a fork).
  • Start vegetable seeds indoors early in the month for planting out next month. The weather may be turning nice but be patient planting out your vegetable garden. Nights above 50 degrees are important for most summer vegetables especially tomatoes, cucumbers, and melons. Low temperatures will stunt growth. 

  • Fertilize your roses with Bayer 3 in 1 for roses, shrubs and trees with Formula 49.
  • Time to turn on your sprinklers
  • Keep those broad-leaf spring weeds in in check by applying a granular pre-emergent to your planter beds.  You need to put water on the pre-emergent so it will soak into the soil.  Do not apply to beds that you are going to plant.
  • Time to use liquid gold on your plants.  This will give them a head start for growth and bloom.
  • We have frost cloth and Cloud Cover to spray on your frost tender plants for those freezing nights that we might still have.
  • Still time to add Master Nurseryman's PayDirt or Big Harvest to your garden and to rototiller it in, so your garden will be ready for planting.



APRIL

  • Planting of all kinds is in full swing this month. Annuals for warm weather should be added to beds and to fill in where needed. Perennials in small pots in the nursery will grow quickly in your garden. This is a good month to add a citrus tree to your garden.
  • Early in the month, sow in the garden seeds of cool-season veggies such as carrots, chard and spinach. Late in the month, sow seeds of warm-season crops such as beans, corn, and squash; set out seedlings of eggplant, peppers and tomatoes.
  • Tend flowering shrubs. After azaleas, camellias and rhododendrons finish blooming; remove spent blooms, taking care not to damage the new growth just beneath them. Feed the plants with a fertilizer especially developed for acid lovers.
  • Give your irrigation system a thorough check. As temperatures rise, increase the frequency of irrigation. Deep-water established plants often enough to prevent wilt and promote deep rooting, but don't water more than necessary (Check soil moisture around roots with a soil auger or by digging down with a trowel).
  • Eliminate mosquito breeding sites by draining excess water from pipes, gutters, buckets, plant containers and anywhere else that water may stand or collect. Stock ponds with mosquito fish.
  • It is time to start using 2-in-1 and 3-in-1 Rose Systemic for aphids and fungus problems.
  • You can also use Garden spray and Neem oil (just remember if you use Neem oil when it gets above 85 degrees use at night so it has time to dry before the heat hits the plant).
  • Use Diatomaceous Earth for ants, put it down and then water it in, you can use this if you don't have dogs or cats in your yard.
  • DROUGHT HINT: Water your flower beds deeper and not as many times a week.  If you add new plants to your beds you will need to hand water them more often to get them started.


MAY

  • Sow seed of cucumber, eggplant, melon and squash directly in the soil. Thin fruit on apricot, plum, nectarine, peach and apple trees now to produce larger fruit and reduce branch breakage.
  • Set out tropical and subtropicals such as bougainvillea, hibiscus, and mandevilla to be established over the warm season. In areas with winter frost, plant in a protected site like a south-facing wall or beneath an overhang.
  • Consider adding a water feature, large or small, to your garden. Besides adding interest and beauty water features also have other benefits. Birds and pollinators will use it as a water source. The sound of the falling or gurgling water can help to mask the sound of traffic or neighbors. Water features always bring a sense of calm opulence to the garden.
  • Sit outside as often as you can to enjoy this May weather!

  • Fertilize your roses with Bayer 3 in 1 systemic for roses.  Use Formula 49 for shrubs and trees. 
  • Your Azaleas and Hydrangeas need to have Master Nursery Camellia and Azalea fertilizer (4-8-5) applied this month.
  • Add mulch to reduce watering.
  • It's not too late to use Tree and Shrub systemic to keep your trees and shrubs healthy.
  • Keep adding a pre-emergence around your plants to help prevent weeds from popping up.
  • Apply weed and feed on your lawn, a lawn fungicide if needed, grub control, broad leaf and Bermuda control if needed.  Be sure the blades are sharp on your lawn mower to make a clean cut.  Mowing at a higher setting saves water and promotes good lawn health.
  • If you see scale and aphids on your plants you can use Master Nursery Pest Fighter on them.  Also start looking for fungus and powdery mildew and use a fungicide on your plants.
  • Time to use snail and slug bait.  Yellow jacket traps are a good idea this time of year.


JUNE

  • There's still time to get beans, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, peppers, pumpkins, (start now for Halloween), summer squash, and tomatoes in the ground. These warm-season plants grow well as soil heats up but need lots of irrigation, so gauge how many plants you need and can water consistently all summer. Stake or place wire cages over tomato plants so the vining stems are supported as they grow and the fruit won't spoil if it rests on the ground. Feed the plants with a low nitrogen fertilizer when the fruit starts to develop (too much nitrogen encourages rampant foliage rather than more fruit). Take care not to over water. Check the soil before watering, and keep it damp but not soggy. Mulch the tomato plants to conserve moisture.
  • Try planting a few drought-tolerant containers instead of growing thirsty annual flowers in your pots this summer; consider colorful perennial succulents that don't need a lot of water. We carry a wide range of succulents and cacti.
  • Draw honeybees, butterflies and hummingbirds to your garden with flowers that they love. Come into the nursery for a wide variety of nectar rich perennials and annuals that will attract this beautiful wildlife to your garden, many of them California native plants.
  • Water and feed roses. Keep the soil moist to full depth of the roots; about 16 inches, watering deeply every 7 to 10 days or whenever the soil is dry at a depth of 3 inches. If you haven't done so already, apply a 2-inch layer of mulch to conserve water. Fertilize after the first flush of blooms.
  • Dry summer conditions are perfect for a white fungal disease commonly called powdery mildew, which forms on both sides of leaves. Cosmos, crape myrtles, delphiniums, and roses can be quite susceptible to it, especially, if growing in shade. Treat with a plant-based oil such as Neem oil. We also use a product called Bayer 3-in-1, it comes as a hose end spray or systemic solution.

  • Fertilize your roses with Bayer 3 in 1 systemic for roses.  For shrubs and trees use Formula 49.
  • Add mulch to reduce watering.
  • It's not too late to use Tree and Shrub systemic to keep your trees and shrubs healthy.
  • Keep adding a pre-emergence around your plants to help prevent weeds from popping up.
  • Apply weed and feed to your lawn, a lawn fungicide, grub control, broad leaf and Bermuda control if needed.  Be sure the blades are sharp on your lawn mower to make a clean cut.  Mowing at a higher setting saves water and promotes good lawn health.
  • If you see scale and aphids on your plants you can use Master Nursery Pest Fighter on them.  Also start looking for fungi’s and powdery mildew and use a fungicide on your plants.
  • Time to use snail and slug bait.  Yellow jacket traps are a good idea this time of year.


 
JULY

  • For a healthy lawn, mow more frequently now that grass is growing actively, cutting no more than a third of the grass height at each mowing. Switching from a power to a reel mower will give a cleaner cut and reduce noise and pollution.
  • If you didn't already do so in spring, spread a 2-4 inch layer of organic matter (such as fine or shredded bark: Over Garden beds now to conserve moisture, cool plant roots and discourage weeds.
  • Support fruit tree branches. Apple, peach, pear and plum trees may be laden with fruit this month. To prevent limb breakage, use wooden supports to brace sagging branches. Also, regularly clean up and discard fallen fruit, since it may harbor diseases and pests.
  • When temperatures rise, adjust your automatic irrigation systems to water more often if needed and as your water district allows. Check container plants daily. Deeply irrigate mature fruiting and most ornamental trees every other week {every week in hot inland areas}. Mature drought-tolerant trees need deep watering only once a month or so.
  • Summer pruning of new growth keeps wisteria under control and increases flowering next spring. To extend the height or length of the vine, select some of the new streamer-like stems and tie them to a support in the direction you wish to train the plant. Then cut back the rest to within 6 inches of the main branches.
  • Make sure the ground under the canopy of mature native California Oaks gets no irrigation, because summer watering can kill these trees. The danger of root rot is greatest when you water close to the trunk. If you can't keep the entire area under the tree dry, be sure no water gets within 10 feet of the trunk.

  • Fertilize your roses with Bayer 3 in 1 systemic for roses.  For shrubs and trees use Formula 49. 
  • Add mulch to reduce watering.
  • It's not too late to use Tree and Shrub systemic to keep your trees and shrubs healthy.
  • Keep adding a pre-emergence around your plants to help prevent weeds from popping up.
  • Apply weed and feed to your lawn, a lawn fungicide, grub control, broad leaf and Bermuda control if needed.  Be sure the blades are sharp on your lawn mower to make a clean cut.  Mowing at a higher setting saves water and promotes good lawn health.
  • If you see scale and aphids on your plants you can use Master Nursery Pest Fighter on them.  Also start looking for fungi’s and powdery mildew and use a fungicide on your plants.
  • Time to use snail and slug bait.  Yellow jacket traps are a good idea this time of year.


AUGUST

  • For a show of flowers that lasts well into fall in Northern California's mild-winter, try one of the following long-blooming shrubs or shrubby perennials: ablution, blue hibiscus, butterfly bush, cape fuchsia, lavatera, oleander, plumbago and a variety of salvias. Hardiness varies; before buying a plant, check to make sure it's adapted to your climate.
  • Cut flowers to enjoy in the house or to share the love of your garden labor with others. Before placing flowers in a vase, wash the container in hot soapy water to eliminate bacteria and fungi. Then add some home brewed floral food to the water. To make it combine 1 cup lemon-lime soda (not diet), 3 cups warm water, and 1/2 teaspoon household bleach (or mix 2 teaspoons sugar, 2 tablespoons white vinegar, and 1/2 teaspoon bleach in 1 quart water). Fill the vase partway with the solution. Remove lower leaves from stems, recut the stems under water, and arrange the flowers in the vase. When the solution becomes cloudy, replace it with fresh solution (Rinse and recur stems before rearranging).

  • Start deadheading and trimming your flowering plants. Your plants can be cut back 2" to 6". This will help plants re-bloom in the near future.
  • If you think you need to fertilize your plants or lawn use a liquid fertilizer (0-3-1), formula 49 (8-4-4) or EB Stone Ultra Bloom (0-10-10). These are gentle enough to use in the heat that we are having at this time of the year.  Make sure you water before and after you use fertilizer. NEVER FERTILIZE A DRY PLANT!!!
  • Watch your gardens for aphids, spider mites, budworms.
  • Use 3-in-1 Insect disease and mite control or Monterrey Garden Insect spray in the evening when the temperature is around 85 degrees.
  • With this heat it's a good time to add mulch around your plants. This will help hold the moisture.


SEPTEMBER

  • It's a good time to plant a new lawn or flower or vegetable beds, prepare the soil. Dig down 10 to 12 inches with a shovel or rotary tiller then till in a 4-6 inch layer of compost or other organic matter.
  • Add a complete fertilizer to lawn areas this month.
  • September marks the beginning of fall planting season - the ideal time to get many plants into the ground. Our nursery is well stocked now with trees, shrubs, vines and ground covers.
  • Give cool-season annuals a strong start by planting at the end of the month. Keep the soil moist while plants develop and, if weather is hot, temporarily shade new seedlings. Set out Calendula, Forget-me-nots, Iceland and Shirley poppies, ornamental cabbage and kale, pansies, primrose, stock, sweet peas and violas.
  • Cool-season greens like arugula, chard, kale, lettuce and mustard are some of the easiest vegetables to grow from seed and have much better flavor than store-bought types.  Come into the nursery for a variety of seeds.
  • Add fall color to your garden with asters, chrysanthemums, gaillardia, gloriosa daisy, Japanese anemone, lion's tail, purple coneflower and salvia.
  • Set out seedlings of broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, lettuce and spinach. Plant seeds of beets, carrots, leeks, onions, peas, radishes and turnips. If perennials like agapanthus, candytuft, coreopsis, daylilies and penstemon are overgrown or not flowering well, it's time to dig and divide them. You can also divide these plants to increase their numbers in your garden. Use a spading fork or shovel to lift clumps, then cut clumps into sections with a spade, shovel or pruning shears. Replant sections into well amended soil and keep moist while new roots develop.
  • Continue picking your summer tomatoes. Dig or pull up any plants that have finished producing or have succumbed to disease.

  • Fertilize your plants with a liquid fertilizer (0-3-1), formula 49 (8-4-4) or EB Stone Ultra Bloom (0-10-10).  Make sure you water before and after you use fertilizer. NEVER FERTILIZE A DRY PLANT!!!
  • Watch your gardens for spider mites, bud worms and fungus.
  • Use 3-in-1 Insect disease and mite control or Monterey Garden Insect spray.
  • It's a good time to add mulch around your plants. This will help hold the moisture. 


OCTOBER

  • October is a good month for setting out any kind of plant that's not frost-tender. Groundcovers, shrubs, trees and vines all benefit from fall planting, when temperatures are cooling and rain is on the way. Before buying plants, learn their ultimate height and spread. Allow room for them to grow.
  • Many kinds of perennials can go into the ground now, including asters, chrysanthemums, diascia, gaura, geranium (cranesbill), geum and penstemon. So can California natives such as heuchera, monkey flower, Salvia Clevelandii and Western Columbine.
  • Clean up debris. To reduce the number of sites that harbor insects and disease over winter, pull and discard weeds, spend annuals and vegetables. Also clean up all fruit and fallen leaves. Compost only plant debris that is free of disease, insect pests and weeds.
  • Rake out thatch buildup to improve water penetration and to eliminate insect habitat in your lawn.
  • As summer flowers and vegetables give way to new plantings, add old, disease-free plants to compost pile or bin. Also mix in vegetable and fruit waste, Coffee grounds and grass clippings. Chop up large pieces so they break down faster. Keep the pile as moist as a wrung out sponge. Depending on temperature, the size of the material in the pile, and the type of system, compost can take anywhere from six weeks to six months to mature (a barrel composter works faster than an open pile).
  • If blooms on perennials such as asters, bellflowers, callas, daisies, daylilies, helianthus, rudibeckia and yarrow were smaller than normal this year and plants are weak or crowded, it's time to divide them: Dig out each clump so the root ball comes up intact. Gently shake off excess soil and divide with a sharp knife, pruning shears or a shovel. Each division should have leaves and plenty of roots. Replant immediately. 

  • Fertilize your plants with a liquid fertilizer (0-3-1), formula 49 (8-4-4) or EB Stone Ultra Bloom (0-10-10).  Make sure you water before and after you use fertilizer. NEVER FERTILIZE A DRY PLANT!!!
  • Time to start trimming your plants
  • Time to use weed and feed on your lawns.
  • If you have aphids, spider mites or fungus in your garden, use 3-in-1 Insect disease and mite control or Monterey Garden Insect spray.


NOVEMBER

  • Clean up debris and fallen leaves around fruit trees, and remove any dried fruit from branches. To control brown rot on apricots, spray with a Bordeaux mixture (Hydrated lime and copper sulfate) or other fungicide containing copper. For peach leaf curl on peach and nectarine trees, spray with lime sulfur after leaves fall. Apply sprays on dry days when rain isn't predicted for at least 36 hours. Thoroughly cover the branches, stems and trunk as well as the ground beneath the tree.

  • The little bugs are still around so make sure to look for them on your plants and spray as needed.  Once the leaves have fallen off if you see bugs on the branches you can also spray them.  You can use Neem Oil this time of year.
  • Add mulch around your frost tender plants to help protect them when it gets cold.  We also have frost cloth and Cloud Cover for those chilly nights.
  • Trim your roses, trees and plants to get ready for winter.
  • Use weed and feed on your lawn.
  • Use Master Nursery Citrus food on your citrus one last time this year.
  • Time to get your Liquid Cop to spray your fruit trees; their first application is around Thanksgiving, the next one at Christmas and the last one about Valentine’s Day.
  • Clean the leaves as they fall so they don't build up on your lawn and mildew it.


DECEMBER

  • Time for your second (around the 25th) application of dormant spray.
  • You can use Neem oil on those little caterpillars that are hanging around
  • Use weed and feed on your lawn and be sure to rake and remove leaves that could otherwise harm the lawn.
  • We have frost cloth to cover and Cloud Cover to spray on your frost tender plants for those freezing nights we are having.
  • Time to prune your fruit trees.