When is the best time to plant your garden?

This is a question that misses the mark of gardening.  Gardening is not a task but a life style.  Proper gardening is not done for the result of a nice garden but for the enjoyment of building the garden and seeing the changes through the seasons.  My personal experiences flow from the anticipation of spring through to the frost in winter.  Here are some of those experiences.  I point them out to help those who may be missing some of the joy of having any size garden.

Woman planting plants in the garden


Image Source ( Flickr )

End of winter

Assess winter damage and plan for spring activities-

  • What plants will need to be replaced due to freezing.
  • Hardscape repairs such as cracks in the patio or re-pointing of stone or brick walks or walls.
  • Trim dead wood from trees and bushes and clean out beds.  Only trim obviously dead branches for some plants don’t show growth until it gets warm.
  • Pressure wash patio and walks
  • Fill the birdbath


Garden in the Spring

Image Source ( Flickr )


Enjoy the first flowering from bulbs and flowering bushes and trees

  • First cut of grass, including edging, and begin lawn care program of weed and feed.
  • Plant summer blooming bulbs such as Gladiolas.
  • Plant pansies in focal points for early color.
  • Weed.  This is especially important to be sure they don’t go to seed and then multiply the problem.
  • Trim plants of all dead wood and hedges to shape.
  • Replace dead plants.
  • Plant annuals in beds and pots
  • Fertilize and Mulch beds.  Be sure mulch is not piled up against the trunks of trees or wood siding on your home.
  • Have large trees trimmed in manner to prevent them from falling or breaking off and causing damage.  They many, such as flowering fruit trees, should be trimmed in a way that lets more light in for growth.


Summer Garden Plants


Image Source ( Flickr )


Every morning as you go out to water, take in the beauty of the garden and the changes that come from growth and the new perennials that bloom at different times through the year.

  • Water everyday that it doesn’t rain
  • Replace pansies with summer blooming annuals
  • Remove spring flowering bulbs from focal points and store in dry cool place for fall planting.
  • Fertilize annuals weekly and other plants monthly
  • Inspect for insects and diseases.  If present, deal with according to directions on insecticides and fungicides.
  • Deadhead flowers that need it such as Geraniums.
  • Trim flowering shrubs immediately after they flower.  If you wait until the fall, you will cut off the buds that are forming for next year.
  • After flowering cut roses back to the second set of five leaves.
  • Weed frequently to not only keep the garden looking good but to help eliminate them in the future.
  • Stake up any plants that need it.
  • Cut some of your flowers and bring indoors.


Autumn Garden

Image Source ( Flickr )


Possibly the best time of the year in the garden.  The light from the sun is golden and the air is clear.  The colors of your plants are as vibrant as they will ever be.  Your annuals are at their largest and the beds full.  Weeds no longer pose a problem and watering is not necessary as often.

  • This is the best time to see if there are any places that garden sculpture will add a special look to a part of your garden.
  • Take out any annuals that are finished and plant hardy mums in focal points.
  • Plant spring bulbs.  These can be planted deep in the focal point areas so that annuals can be planted over them.
  • Trim back plants like Roses and certain Hydrangeas
  • Rake leaves.


Winter garden flowers

Image Source ( Flickr )


Good gardens have a special look during the winter.  The dried pods and stems of perennials along with the bare trees and look of evergreens give a different character to your landscape.

  • Ponds need to have a pond heater or bubbler to prevent the pond from freezing over.
  • Walks should be de-iced carefully so that excess salt does not build up in the beds.
  • Keep the bird feeder filled
  • Research what possibilities there are for you to improve your garden once the winter is over.


You can tell if you are a true gardener by how you look at the above.  A true gardener looks forward to these tasks as pleasurable experiences not as chores.

One thought on “When is the best time to plant your garden?”

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