Welcome to Lowe's
Find a Store

Prices, promotions, styles, and availability may vary. Our local stores do not honor online pricing. Prices and availability of products and services are subject to change without notice. Errors will be corrected where discovered, and Lowe's reserves the right to revoke any stated offer and to correct any errors, inaccuracies or omissions including after an order has been submitted.

Upper Midwest Gardening: Gardening Calendar

Brought to you by Lowe's Creative Ideas

Wondering what gardening tasks need to be done and when? Upper Midwest garden contributor Rebecca Kolls shares her to-do list.

Upper Midwest Regional Map

March

  • Repot houseplants with new soil.
  • Sow seeds indoors. Keep moist until germination.
  • Prune fruit trees before bud break.
  • Tune up your lawnmower: change spark plugs, sharpen blades, and add new oil.
  • Cut back ornamental grasses and other perennials left for winter interest.

April

  • Remove tree-trunk protectors once the snow melts.
  • Plant trees or shrubs once the soil is workable.
  • Fertilize lawn once the grass is up and growing.
  • Plant cool-season veggies once the soil is workable: potatoes, lettuce, spinach, and peas.
  • Amend garden soil once it's dry enough to do so.

May

  • Divide fall-blooming perennials.
  • Apply a pre-emergent to control crabgrass when the lilacs are blooming.
  • Plant warm-season crops after the last frost (typically mid-May).
  • Control slugs with products containing iron phosphate.
  • Deadhead spring tulips, but let the foliage die back naturally.

June

  • Plant summer-blooming bulbs early this month.
  • Prune spring-blooming shrubs once flowers fade.
  • Mulch flowerbeds as temperatures warm.
  • Weed 30 minutes a day to keep weeds away.
  • Stake taller flowers such as delphiniums and peonies.

July

  • Harvest baby/new potatoes once plants bloom.
  • Stake tomatoes early. Remove suckers and apply mulch.
  • Plant cool-season crops at the end of the month.
  • Deadhead annuals to keep them coming back.
  • Pinch out herbs to make them bushier.

August

  • Plant perennials now to get rooted for winter. Divide spring-blooming perennials: astilbe, iris, bee balm, black-eyed Susan, coneflower, hosta, and campanula.
  • Continue harvesting vegetables daily. Pick up and use (or compost) fallen fruits from garden.
  • Replace tired potted flowers with cool-weather fall mums, pansies, ornamental kale, and cabbage.
  • Core aerate your soil for terrific results next season. Leave plugs on the grass to decompose naturally.

September

  • Plant spring bulbs for glorious color next year. If you have a squirrel problem, plant alliums, daffodils, and hyacinth -- squirrels turn up their noses at the smell.
  • Fall is best time to start a new lawn or repair an old one. Use seed specifically suited for your area.
  • Collect seeds from heirloom flowers and vegetables -- dry two weeks on paper towels and then store in airtight containers in a cool, dark place.
  • Continue planting deciduous trees and shrubs; they can be planted as long as soil is workable.
  • Harvest warm-season crops before frost: tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, melons, and squash.

October

  • Dig up summer bulbs, such as dahlias, elephant ears, and gladiolus, and store them in a box filled with sawdust or peat moss. (Glads can be stored in paper bags.) Keep in a cool but frost-free location.
  • Water evergreens until the ground freezes hard. Use a slow trickle of water to allow it to soak into the soil.
  • Mark dead or dying tree limbs to be pruned in December.
  • Fall is the best time to fertilize grasses in the upper Midwest. Use a winterizing fertilizer for best results.
  • Continue mowing your lawn as long as the grass is growing.

November

  • Plant paperwhite narcissus now for holiday blooms. Place bulbs tightly, points up, in a container with potting soil. Cover bulbs, leaving the top 1/3 exposed. Set in a sunny location and water every week.
  • Once the ground freezes hard, mulch around perennials and newly planted shrubs.
  • Protect the bark of young trees with tree wrap, burlap, or tree collars to prevent sunscald.
  • Tie up branches of arborvitae to prevent breakage from heavy, wet snow.

December

  • Prune oak trees during dormancy to prevent the spread of oak wilt disease; prune other trees and shrubs you marked earlier in the season.
  • To get your Christmas cacti to bloom, place it near a window. The night chill will coax it into bud.
  • Missing spring? Invest in indoor-blooming houseplants: African violets, orchids, kalanchoe, and amaryllis will cheer you up.
  • Let your houseplants rest. Don't feed, and water sparingly unless indicated otherwise.