Gardening Tips

on a phone? scroll down for lots of lists and care sheets!

Come by the nursery for our free plant lists, care sheets, and planting & pruning guides. We have over 40 FREE information handouts for local gardeners! While you're here, grab a copy of our free monthly garden planner, detailing what to plant, prune, fertilize, and maintain each month in the garden. (or click on the link on our Home Page for the latest Garden Planner!) We have put some of our most popular guides here in the button links to the right.


WATERING - This is one of the most important aspects of plant care and establishment. Most plants (other than annuals which die at the end of the season) take two years to get fully established and will require supplemental water during that time and during extended dry spells thereafter.

For newly planted trees and shrubs, it is best to water deeply and soak the rootball completely at least once a week during the cooler seasons such as spring or fall if we have had less than one inch of water that week. During summer and early fall, you will need to water as much as 2 to 3 times a week if there has been less than one inch of rain. This is where a rain gauge placed in the garden comes in handy!

Perennials, because of their smaller root systems may need to be watered a little more frequently (but not daily). Again, soak the rootball area. Annuals need the most water, especially during hot, dry, windy periods or when they are new in the ground. All of this said, most plants do not want to be in constantly wet soil. If you have a lot of new plants and many or all are doing poorly, be very suspicious of the watering situation. Call us or come by the nursery and we'll help get to the "root" of the problem. ;-)

For more information, click on the Watering Your Garden button to the right (or below if on a phone).

ANNUALS - Annuals die at the end of the growing season either because they are genetically designed to do so or because they are not cold hardy enough to survive a winter your USDA Cold Hardiness Zone.  What you get from annuals: in a word, COLOR! Color that goes and goes all season. Most people plant their annuals between April 15 and Memorial Day, but they are available through June. (See the section on Pansies below for information on these cool-season plants). Most annuals do best with good soil preparation, and regular water and fertilizer. Homewood grows thousands of premium quality annuals for your garden!

PANSIES - Pansies are annuals and are your best bet for colorful, flowering plants that bloom through the cold seasons. Look for ornamental cabbages, golden sweet flag, miniature conifers, leafy cool-season vegetables like chard and kale, and other cool season companion plants to complement your pansy beds. The best time to plant pansies with the best selection is from September to mid-November. Pansies are also available, in more limited quantities, from late February through March. Pansies perform best in well-prepared soil and with regular water and fertilizer.

PERENNIALS - Though they don't typically bloom for as long as annuals, perennials live over in the garden from year to year. Some for just a few years, others for decades! These plants can be put out nearly any time in the year, although the most popular planting time is in April, May, and June. This is the best time to put out tender perennials, those that are just cold hardy to our zone. Fall is also an excellent time to plant perennials. Homewood carries an extensive selection of perennials, many of which we grow ourselves!

LAWN CARE - The best time to plant grass is late August through October, and February through March. Fertilize in February, September, and late November. Spread pre-emergent weed preventers mid-February through mid-March, right around the time the daffodils start blooming. Have your soil tested to determine pH. Many lawns will require applications of pelletized dolomitic limestone to increase the pH for better grass growing conditions. Soil test kits are available at the nursery. Click on the Lawn Care Schedule button to the right for more information.

TREES, SHRUBS, & GROUNDCOVERS - The most popular planting time is late March until mid-May. However, for less maintenance and easier establishment it's best to plant in the fall. Dogwoods, boxwood, and dwarf Alberta spruce, in particular, should be planted in fall. Plants that tend to be more susceptible to winter injury such as gardenias, pittosporum, hardy lantana, palms, pomegranates, and figs, are best planted in mid to late spring. You'll find one of the most comprehensive selections of trees and shrubs in the area at Homewood Nursery. 

VEGETABLES - Cool season veggies such as onions, cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, and lettuce are planted mid-February to mid-March or in August/early September for late fall harvest. Warm season veggies such as tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, and peppers are planted after April 15 through May. Click on the Vegetable Gardening button above right for more information.

BULBS - The time to shop for bulbs is September and October for best selection. The best time to PLANT spring-blooming bulbs, such as tulips or daffodils, in mid- to late November. Incorporating PermaTill into the soil around bulbs will help prevent voles from eating them. Add lime and a fertilizer, such as Bulb-Tone, to increase blooms. Finish by mulching with pine straw or compost.

plants benefit your health and happiness!
it's science, yo.

SOURCES: Hall C and Knuth M. An update of the literature supporting the well being benefits of plants: A review of the emotional and mental health benefits of plants. Journal of Environmental Horticulture. March 2019; 37(1). Salingaros, Nikos. Biophilia & Healing Environments. Healthy Principles for Designing the Built World. (Terrapin, Bright Green LLC. 2015.)