Gardeners Calendar

Penn Hills Lawn & Garden is always happy to share our gardening expertise to help make your lawn and garden look its best. Simply click-on the icons below for gardening tips for each month of the year.

JanuaryFebruaryMarchAprilMayJuneJulyAugustSeptemberOctoberNovemberDecember
  • Now is the time to feed the birds in your landscape.  Natural food sources are scarce at this time of year, and many birds rely on feeders to survive. Use suet cakes along with birdseed to provide protein and fat for the birds.
  • Water is also important for birds, so if you have a birdbath in your garden, be sure to use a de-icer to prevent the water from freezing. Penn Hills Lawn & Garden has a nice selection of birdseed, houses, feeders and other supplies to choose from.
  • Brush or sweep heavy snow off evergreens to prevent breakage.
  • Apply an anti-desiccant such as Wilt-Pruf to azaleas, rhododendrons, hollies and other broad-leafed evergreens to minimize moisture loss during the cold, windy winter. Do this when the temperature is above 45 degrees F. It is important to protect these broad-leafed evergreens for they have more surface area of leaf tissue, which can lose moisture from the drying effects of the wind.
  • January or February is the time to prune fruit and shade trees if necessary.
  • Protect your landscape from hungry deer. Stop in to learn which repellant will work best for you.
  • This is a great time to apply mushroom manure and other organic soil conditioners to your garden. Apply 2″ deep in vegetable gardens and let the nutrients soak into the soil.
  • If you have containers that are not being used throughout the winter, and you can not bring them indoors, be sure to turn them over to keep them from collecting water that could freeze and crack the container.
  • On icy sidewalks and driveways, use a good quality ice-melting product such as calcium chloride. Do not use salt or rock salt for they may damage concrete or plant material.

Lawns

  • January and February are ideal months to lime the lawn if you have not done so in recent years. Lawns prefer a pH range of 6.2 – 6.8 which typically requires liming in our area. If needed, apply 50 lb. of lime per 1,000 square feet of lawn area. This will raise the pH 1/2 point. If you need to apply more lime, wait six weeks between applications.

Houseplants

  • Enjoy indoor gardening and stop in to find a new plant to brighten your home or office
  • As a general rule, do not feed your houseplants in the winter for this is their resting period. Begin feeding them more regularly in late March
  • Check the leaves of your houseplants for insect problems like scale, mites and mealy bugs. If you detect a problem, bring in a sample and one of our plant specialists will diagnose the problem and recommend the appropriate control.   For more information on houseplants visit the houseplant section of this site.
  • Continue feeding birds in your garden.  Water is also important for birds, so if you have a birdbath in your garden, be sure to use a de-icer to prevent the water from freezing.
  • February is an ideal time to prune fruit trees.
  • Late February / March is also the time to spray fruit trees, roses and other trees and shrubs with a dormant spray. Dormant spray should only be applied if the temperature is above freezing. Dormant sprays are recommended if your plants had a problem the previous year. Examples include hemlock woolly adelgid, pine bark adelgid, eyounomous scale, spruce mites and other pests. Since some dormant sprays are for insects (Dormant Oil) and others are for diseases (Lime Sulfur), and still others combine the two, we recommend that you speak with one of our plant specialists about the appropriate control for your particular plants.
  • Brush or sweep heavy snow off evergreens to prevent breakage.
  • Apply an anti-desiccant such as Wilt-Pruf to azaleas, rhododendrons, hollies and other broad-leafed evergreens when the temperature is above 45 degrees F. These evergreens have more surface area of leaf tissue, which can lose moisture from the drying effects of the cold wind.
  • January and February is the time to prune shade trees if necessary.
  • Protect your landscape from hungry critters with one of our repellants.  Ask us about Green Screen to keep deer and rabbits from munching on your plants.
  • If you have containers that are not being used throughout the winter, be sure to turn them over to keep them from collecting water that could freeze and crack the container.
  • Don’t forget to keep Ice Melter handy for sidewalks and driveways.  Remember that rock salt can damage concrete as well as your plants, so stop in and grab some calcium chloride.
  • If the ground begins to thaw, now is a good time to have your soil tested.  Simply choose the area you would like tested; for example, your lawn, garden, or a landscape bed.  Dig down 6 inches, but do NOT touch the soil with your hands because that will change the Ph.  Put your soil in a zip loc bag and bring it into the garden center.  Contact us for fees.

Lawns

  • To keep your lawn looking its best, it is important to maintain the proper pH level. Again, February is a great time for a soil test! It is also an ideal time to lime the lawn. Lawns prefer a pH range of 6.2 – 6.8. If your tests show a level lower than 6.0, you should lime your lawn. Apply 50 lb. of lime per 1,000 square feet of lawn area. This will raise the pH point. If you need to apply more lime, wait six weeks between applications.
  • You can also apply a slow-release fertilizer and begin seeding your lawn.  The seed will lie on the ground until the soil temperature is warm enough for it to germinate. The late winter / early spring rains will help work the seed into the soil and provide the necessary moisture to help germination.

Starting Seeds Indoors

  • In February seed starting supplies begin to roll in!  Stop in and choose from a variety of flower and vegetable seeds, many of which can be started indoors this month.
  • You can start your vegetable seeds indoors now for Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Leeks, Onions and Spinach in mid to late February.

Additional Information

For more information on gardening successfully, stop in and talk with a member of our staff.  We understand that everyone has individual tastes and needs, and we would love to work with you to achieve your own personal gardening goals.  February is the perfect time for planning, and we are ready to dig in and help!

Workshops and seminars will begin in the month of February, so be sure to visit the workshop and events page of this site for upcoming dates.

  • March means that Spring is upon us and it’s time to get your garden into shape. It’s time to mulch and edge your landscape beds and fertilize your existing plants.
  • We recommend fertilizing your trees and shrubs with Espoma Organic Fertilizers.  As the weather begins to change, and we see higher temperatures towards the end of the month, you can begin fertilizing.  Feed your evergreens with Holly Tone, and for non-acidic plants use Tree Tone, or Plant Tone.  For all of your new plantings, we recommend using Bio Tone. This will encourage root growth and help get the plant off to a vigorous start.
  • Prune roses and cut back liriope and ornamental grasses before new growth begins.
  • If needed, now is the time to spray fruit trees, roses and other trees and shrubs with a dormant spray. Dormant spray should only be applied if the temperature is above freezing. Dormant sprays are recommended if your plants had a problem the previous year. Examples include hemlock woolly adelgid, pine bark adelgid, eyounomous scale, spruce mites and other pests. Since some dormant sprays are for insects (Dormant Oil) and others are for diseases (Lime Sulfur), and still others combine the two, we recommend that you speak with one of our plant specialists about the appropriate control for your particular plants.
  • Fertilize bulbs with a slow-release fertilizer such as Bulb Tone.
  • Remove all existing weeds from landscape beds.  Apply Preen to garden beds to prevent new weeds from germinating.
  • Plant early vegetables such as onion sets, rhubarb, asparagus, lettuce, spinach, kale and potatoes weather permitting
  • It’s time to start seeds indoors for summer annuals and vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers, impatiens, etc.
  • Apply Bonide Annual Tree & Shrub Systemic Insect Control. Systemic insecticide is absorbed through the roots to all parts of the plant, even new growth, and won’t wash off.  It kills insects with one application, and prevents new infestations.  

Lawns

  • March is a great time to get your lawn into shape by liming, seeding, fertilizing and preventing crabgrass and other weeds. Basic tips are provided here, but for more in depth instructions, please stop in and talk with a member of our staff.
  • Seed the lawn with a good quality grass seed that is suited for the conditions of your lawn.  Remember though that the first step in lawn care fertilization is crab grass prevention.  Be sure that if you are re-seeding that you choose a crab grass preventer specifically for re-seeding.  Otherwise, when using most crab grass preventers, you will need to wait 3 months before seeding the lawn.
  • If needed, lime the lawn to raise soil pH. Lawns prefer a pH range of 6.2 – 6.8. If your tests show a level lower than 6.0, or you have not limed the lawn in the past two years, you should lime at the rate of 50 lb. of lime per 1,000 square feet of lawn area. This will raise the pH 1/2 point. If you need to apply more lime, wait six weeks between applications.  We can certainly test your soil to determine if you need lime.

House Plants

  • Now is the time to begin fertilizing your houseplants.  Feed houseplants with a good quality indoor plant food such as Jack’s Classic (water-soluble powder) or Osmocote (slow-release granular).
  • If needed, re-pot root bound houseplants to a larger pot. The garden center stocks a full line of containers, including terra cotta, ceramic and plastic. Use Espoma Mix when repotting houseplants.
  • Check the leaves of your houseplants for insects or any other problems. If needed, bring in a representative sample and one of our plant specialists will diagnose the problem and recommend the appropriate control. Visit the houseplant section of this site for more detail.

Additional Information

March Reminders:

Penn Hills Lawn & Garden offers a wide variety of workshops and seminars. Please check the current schedule on the workshop page of this site.

Ask about our all new Garden Coaching which brings the expertise of the garden center right to your home.  Our Garden Coach will assess your landscape challenges and suggest solutions.  Call us for full details on fees and scheduling.

  • Color is everywhere this month…that is of course if Mother Nature is in a good mood!   Be aware that the weather will be a key factor in all that can be done during the months of April & May.  When in doubt, please contact us for planting tips and more.
  • April bloomers include Azaleas, Rhododendrons, Dogwoods, Redbuds and Magnolias.
  • Other landscape plants with interest now include, Forsythia, Pussywillow, Cottoneaster, Harry Lauder’s Walking stick, and Spirea.
  • If you didn’t fertilize in March, we recommend fertilizing perennials and flowering shrubs and trees with Espoma Organics.  Just ask us which products you need
  • Don’t forget the Espoma Bio Tone for all your new spring plantings. This will encourage root growth and help get the plant off to a vigorous start.
  • If you haven’t done Spring clean up, be sure to weed your beds and clean up debris.  Before adding fresh mulch to your flower beds, apply a weed preventer such as Preen, or corn gluten meal if you prefer an organic solution.
  • If you haven’t already, prune roses and cut back liriope and ornamental grasses before new growth begins.
  • Plant pansies, violas and primroses for early spring color in the landscape; weather permitting of course!
  • Start tuberous begonias and canna bulbs indoors to be ready for May planting. We have a great selection of summer flowering bulbs in stock.
  • Many pest problems begin to appear in April. If you have plants that you suspect may be facing a pest problem, bring in a representative sample to our store speak with one of our plant specialists. We will diagnose the problem and recommend the appropriate control. Listed below are some of the problems that can appear this month.  Remember, you need to be certain what your individual plant problem is to insure that you are treating it with the correct control product.  Our staff is eager to assist you with a proper diagnosis.
  • Watch out for tent caterpillars in cherries, crabapples and plums. When the caterpillars are small (less than 1″ long), you can spray with BT (Thuricide Bacillus Thuringiensis).  It will not harm beneficial insects which is very important in the landscape.
  • Bark beetles and borers can affect landscape plants such as pines, fruit and shade trees.
  • Leaf gall and flower gall on azaleas can be controlled with Copper Sulfate.
  • Fruit trees should be on a regular spray program.
  • Boxwood leaf miner and boxwood psyllid can be controlled in late April or early May by spraying Sevin.
  • Juniper scale can be controlled in April by using Malathion. 

Fruit and Vegetable Gardens

  • Time to plant the following vegetables outdoors: Asparagus, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Chinese Cabbage, Cauliflower, Celery, Chives, Collards, Horseradish, Kale, Lettuce, Mustard Greens, Onions, Parsley, Parsnips, Peas, Potatoes, Rhubarb, Spinach and Swiss Chard.  Again, keep an eye on the weather to determine if you need frost cloths or row covers.  Stop by to pick up row covers in times when frost may appear.
  • Mix organic matter into your vegetable garden. We recommend mushroom compost, cow manure, peat moss, and / or Super Fine soil conditioner as well as lime if needed.  Do not till or spade the vegetable garden if the soil is wet. It will clump and become very hard to work all summer. Soil should crumble as you work with it.

Lawns

  • April is a great time to get your lawn into shape by liming, seeding, fertilizing and preventing crabgrass and other weeds.
  • Seed the lawn with a good quality grass seed that is suited for the conditions of your lawn.  Stop in to discuss your individual lawn care needs.
  • If you haven’t already, fertilize your lawn with  Crabgrass Preventer Plus with Green Up to control crabgrass before and AFTER it germinates while also feeding the lawn.  Remember that if you are seeding, you can NOT apply Crabgrass Preventer.  If you need to re-seed, you can use Jonathan Green’s New Seeding Lawn Fertilizer instead.
  • If needed, lime the lawn to raise soil pH. Lawns prefer a pH range of 6.2 – 6.8. If your tests show a level lower than 6.0, or you have not limed the lawn in the past two years, you should lime at the rate of 50 lb. of lime per 1,000 square feet of lawn area. This will raise the pH 1/2 point. If you need to apply more lime, wait six weeks between applications.
  • Stop grub damage by using one of these products: Merit, or Milky Spore. Apply Merit in mid-late Aril to prevent Grubs.

Additional Information

For more information to help you garden more easily and successfully, stop in the garden center and talk with one of our staff members that can assist you with your gardening questions.

  • To celebrate Easter, Penn Hills Lawn & Garden has colorful Easter flowers and many other plants and gifts.
  • Secretary’s Week occurs this month so be sure to pick-up a plant to bring into the office.
  • Celebrate Arbor Day and Earth Day this month by planting a tree in your landscape. If you have children, this is a great way to introduce them to gardening.
  • Keep an eye out for details on our Easter Event!  The Easter Bunny always hops into our store with treat bags for the kids!
  • May is a great time to plant! When planting, we recommend using Bio Tone Starter Plus for everything you plant!  It gets plants off to a vigorous start by supporting root growth and plant development.
  • Trees & Shrubs that provide color in the month of May include Azaleas, Kousa Dogwoods (towards the end of the month), Fringe Tree, Spirea, Sweetbay magnolias, Weigela, Oakleaf hydrangeas, Rhododendrons, Viburnum, Kwanzan Cherry Trees & Flowering Pear Trees. Visit the garden center to see these beautiful plants in bloom.
  • It’s a great time to plant annuals, perennials and all trees and shrubs. Penn Hills Lawn & Garden has many beautiful annuals to choose from, including geraniums, begonias, marigolds, petunias, vinca and many other plants. We strive to provide some unique varieties as well.  Perennials that provide interest in the month of May include, salvia, poppies, columbine, coral bells, foam flower and many more.
  • We recommend fertilizing annuals, perennials and flowering shrubs and trees with Espoma Brand Plant Foods and Fertilizers. For all flowering plants, Super Bloom is a MUST!  With its high levels of phosphorus it will keep your plants full of beautiful blooms!
  • We recommend feeding all your evergreens (hollies, boxwoods and yews) and deciduous trees (maples, oaks and ash) with Espoma Brand Products.
  • Time to plant tuberous begonias, gladiolus and canna bulbs directly into the soil.  Be aware that you MUST wait until fear of frost has passed before planting.
  • Apply Preen, to garden beds to prevent weeds from germinating.
  • Plant colorful annuals and perennials to hide fading bulb foliage. 

Pest Control

Various pest problems can occur in May. If you have plants that you suspect may be facing a pest problem, bring in a sample and speak with one of our plant specialists. Our staff if eager to help you diagnose your plant problems Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.  We will diagnose the problem and recommend the appropriate control. Listed below are some of the problems that can appear this month.  It is important to be sure that you are using the proper control product for your particular issue.  We are happy to take the guess work out of it for you, so be sure to talk with a member of our staff before choosing a control product.  This can save you time and money!

  • Treat dogwoods for borers with Borer Miner Killer.
  • If necessary, treat boxwood for leaf miner and psyllid with  Bayer Advanced Tree & Shrub Insect Control
  • Treat hemlock woolly adelgid, Azalea lacebug and other pests.
  • To control deer and other critters from eating your precious landscape plants, see a member of the staff to discuss your options.
  • As pest and diseases become a problem, don’t hesitate to contact our staff, or bring in a sample for a diagnosis.
  • Time to plant apple, pear, peach and all other fruit trees. Fruit trees require two different varieties to pollinate properly. Be aware of this and ask one of our staff members to guide you in selecting varieties.
  • Fruit trees need to be sprayed on a regular schedule, although you do not spray your fruit trees when the blossoms are wide open.
  • Time to plant strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries. Penn Hills Lawn & Garden has these plants in stock, along with information on how to plant and care for them. Visit the garden center and discover these interesting edible plants.
  • Time to plant the following vegetables outdoors: beans, corn, cucumber, eggplant, melons, peppers, pumpkins, squash, tomatoes.  Again, keep an eye on the weather!  If you need row covers please stop by and we will be happy to assist you.
  • Fertilize fruits and vegetables with a good quality, slow-release vegetable food such as Espoma Garden Tone.  See the complete line of Espoma Organics for all of your fertilizing needs.

Lawns

  • If you haven’t fed your lawn this spring, fertilize now with Jonathan Green Weed and Feed to control broadleaf weeds while also feeding your lawn .
  • Time to apply a grub control such as Merit or Milky Spore to the lawn if necessary. You need to water these products in thoroughly to effectively treat the grubs.
  • If you do not want to feed your lawn, then a straight weed control product is available at our store. If you are battling with a specific weed, please bring in a sample for us to identify.  We are happy to help you find the right product for your specific needs.

Tips on applying weed killer: 

  • Do not apply weed controls on newly seeded areas.
  • Do not apply weed controls on windy days.
  • Do not apply weed controls near or on the edge of waterways.
  • Do not allow children or pets to play on lawns freshly applied with weed controls. It is best to wait one week.
  • Always follow the label directions.
  • Do not mow two days before or after application
  • Apply to moist grass
  • Do not water one to two days after application
  • Delay application if rainfall is expected within 24 hours
  • Do not seed for 4 weeks

House Plants

  • Once the fear of frost is over, you can move houseplants outside to the deck or patio and enjoy them outdoors for the summer. It is best to gradually introduce them to more direct sunlight to prevent the leaves from being burned.
  • For more information on houseplants, visit the houseplants section of this site, or contact a member of our staff.

Additional Information

May Reminders:

  • Treat mom to a beautiful plant from Penn Hills Lawn & Garden for Mother’s Day.
  • The garden center will be at May Market at Phipp’s Conservatory this month!  Watch our calendar of events so that you can stop and see us at our booth.
  • We have thousands of beautiful annuals in stock. However, listen to the weatherman through early May and if there is a frost warning, be sure to cover these tender plants with a sheet, towel or frost cloth (NOT PLASTIC).
  • Spruce up your Memorial Day picnic with beautiful color from Penn Hills Lawn & Garden’s excellent selection of annuals, perennials, trees and shrubs.
  • Join us for a workshop or seminar.  Visit our calendar of events for all details.
  • June is a great time to plant! Plants and trees that provide color in the month of June include, Hydrangeas,  Butterfly Bush, Mock Orange and Roses, and Quince. Visit the garden center and see these beautiful plants and more in bloom.
  • It’s a great time to plant annuals, perennials and all trees and shrubs. Penn Hills Lawn & Garden has many beautiful annuals to choose from, including geraniums, impatiens, marigolds, petunias, vinca, salvia and many other plants. See us for some unique annual varieties as well!  Perennials that provide interest in the month of June include Daylilies, Astilbe, Rudbeckia, Yarrow, Foxgolve and much more.
  • We recommend fertilizing annuals, perennials and flowering shrubs and trees with Espoma Brand Plant Food. For flowering plants, Super Bloom is a MUST!  With its high levels of phosphorus, it will keep your plants full of blooms!
  • We recommend feeding all your evergreens (hollies, boxwoods and yews) and deciduous trees (maples, oaks and ash) with Espoma Brand products.
  • Check all plants, especially newly planted ones, for water on a regular basis. Water deeply and thoroughly as needed.
  • Gator bags provide a great way to keep trees watered during hot and dry months. These bags, which can hold up to 20 gallons of water, are secured to the trunk of the tree, where they release the water slowly to the root ball over the course of 15-20 hours.
  • Spruce up your summer landscape with beautiful color in containers. Our staff can assist you in selecting combinations of annuals, perennials and shrubs that work wonderfully together. We have a tremendous selection of window boxes, hanging baskets and planters. Be sure to use Espoma Potting Mix when planting and a water-grabbing polymer such as Soil Moist to reduce the frequency of watering.

Pest Controls

  • Various pest problems can occur in June. If you have plants that you suspect may be facing a pest problem, bring in a representative sample to one of our plant specialists. Our staff is eager to assist you with your plant challenges Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.  We will diagnose the problem and recommend the appropriate control. Listed below are some of the problems that can appear this month along with the proper controls.
  • Spray roses to control insect and disease problems.
  • Spray for bagworms on arborvitae and other evergreens.
  • Watch for mildew in roses, dogwoods, lilacs, crape myrtles and perennials.
  • Spider mites can be controlled on Alberta spruce, hemlocks and other plants.  See our staff for suggested products for these insects
  • Lacebugs can be controlled on azaleas, and other plants during the months of May and June
  • Treat hemlock woolly adelgid, euonymus scale and other pests in June.
  • To control deer foraging on your landscape plants visit us to discuss repellant options.
  • Fruit trees should be on a regular spray program.
  • Control slugs and snails on hosta and other plants this month. 

Additional Tips for June

  • It’s a great time to plant apple, pear, peach and all other fruit trees. Some fruit trees require two different varieties to pollinate properly. Be aware of this and ask one of our nursery professionals to guide you in selecting varieties.
  • You can also plant vegetables in containers and grow them on decks, patios or other small spaces. Use Espoma Potting Mix when planting.
  • Fruit trees need to be sprayed on a regular schedule, but avoid spraying your fruit trees when the blossoms are wide open.
  • It’s a great time to plant strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries. Penn Hills Lawn & Garden has these plants in stock, along with information on how to plant and care for them. Visit the garden center and discover these interesting edible plants.
  • Fertilize fruits and vegetables with a good quality, slow-release vegetable food.
  • Time to stake tomatoes and spray them if necessary to prevent disease problems.
  • In mid to late June, you can control borers in squash, cucumbers and melons

Lawns

  • June is the time to apply a fungicide to the lawn to control turf diseases such as brown patch, dollar spot and others.
  • If needed, apply a weed control to the lawn to kill actively growing weeds.

Tips on applying weed killer:

  • Do not apply weed controls on newly seeded areas.
  • Do not apply weed controls on windy days.
  • Do not apply weed controls near or on the edge of waterways.
  • Do not allow children or pets to play on lawns freshly applied with weed controls. It is best to wait one week.
  • Do not apply weed controls when temperatures are above 85 degrees F.
  • Always follow the label directions.
  • Do not mow two days before or after application
  • Apply to moist grass
  • Do not water one to two days after application
  • Delay application if rainfall is expected within 24 hours
  • Do not seed for 4 weeks

House Plants

  • If you haven’t done so, you can move houseplants outside to the deck or patio and enjoy them outdoors for the summer. It is best to gradually introduce them to more direct sunlight to prevent the leaves from being burned.
  • Hibiscus, Jasmine, Oleander and Mandevilla are just some of the flowering tropical plants you can add to your deck, patio or balcony.  Stop in to see our selection of tropical plants
  • See the houseplant section of this site for detailed information on houseplants 

Additional Information

  • Treat dad to a beautiful plant or a gift certificate from Penn Hills Lawn & Garden for Father’s Day.
  • Get ready for those summer barbecues and spruce up your summer landscape with beautiful color from Penn Hills Lawn & Garden’s excellent selection of annuals, perennials, trees and shrubs.
  • Be sure to keep watching our events calendar for seminars, workshops and all the happenings at Penn Hills Lawn & Garden.
  • Plants and trees that provide color in the month of July include, Spireas, Hydrangeas, Hypericum, Butterfly bush and Knock Out Roses. Visit the garden center and see these beautiful plants and more in bloom.
  • Penn Hills Lawn & Garden stocks thousands of perennials throughout the summer so stop and add some to your garden. Perennials that provide interest in the month of July include Daylilies, Rudbeckia, Upright Phlox, Veronica, Ligularia, Tickseed, Gallardia and much more.
  • Check all plants, especially newly planted ones, for water on a regular basis. Water deeply and thoroughly as needed. Gator bags provide a great way to keep trees watered during hot and dry months. These bags, which can hold up to 20 gallons of water, are secured to the trunk of the tree, where they release the water slowly to the root ball over the course of 15-20 hours.
  • Spruce up your summer landscape with beautiful color in containers and hanging baskets. Our staff can assist you in selecting combinations of annuals, perennials and shrubs that work wonderfully together. We have a tremendous selection of window boxes, hanging baskets and planters. Be sure to use Espoma Potting Mix when planting and a water-grabbing polymer such as Soil Moist to reduce the frequency of watering.
  • To keep your annuals blooming, don’t forget the Super Bloom!  Its high levesl of phosphorus will keep your containers and landscape beds full of flowers!
  • Remember that mums need cut back on the 4th of July to provide fall color.
  • Do not prune azaleas and rhododendrons after the second week of July for they soon will begin setting their buds for next year’s blooms.

Pest Controls

Various pest problems can occur in July. Listed below are some of the problems that can appear this month.  If you suspect you are having an issue with a particular plant in your landscape, we encourage you to bring in a sample to be certain that the proper diagnosis is made.  This will insure that you are treating your problem with the correct control product.

 

  • If needed, set Japanese beetle traps, but keep them away from the garden.
  • Use Diatomaceous Earth to control crawling insects such as cockroaches, ants, slugs, silverfish, earwigs, fleas, spiders, millipedes, centipedes, and carpet beetles. Use indoors and outdoors.
  • Time to control aphids, lacebugs, bagworms, birch borer, fall webworm, Japanese beetle, obscure scale,  euonymus scale, pine needle scale, rhododendron borer, apple tree borer, spider mites. Stop by the garden center with a representative sample and our staff will instruct you on the proper control measures.
  • Use Round-Up to kill weeds and grasses in brick patios and walks.
  • Stop birds from making a mess on your patio or automobile finish by placing our plastic owls or owl decoy’s in your garden. This also works to protect fruit from bird attacks.
  • Spray roses to keep black spot and other problems under control.
  • Spray for bagworms on arborvitae and other evergreens.
  • Spider mites can be controlled on Alberta spruce, hemlocks and other plants.  Stop in with a sample to be certain what is plaguing your plants so the proper diagnosis can be made.
  • Lacebugs can be controlled on azaleas, and other plants now
  • If necessary, treat dogwoods for borers this month.
  • Treat hemlock woolly adelgid, euonymus scale and other pests use
  • To control deer foraging on your landscape plants, visit the repellant section of our store for solutions.
  • Fruit trees should be on a regular spray program.
  • Control slugs and snails on hosta and other plants

Additional Tips for July

  • Fertilize fruits and vegetables as needed with a good quality, slow-release vegetable food
  • Stake tomato plants or use tomato cages.
  • If necessary, spray tomato plants and other vegetables to control diseases. See our staff for advice.
  • Start seeds for fall vegetables this month. This includes broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and many others.

Lawns

  • Apply a fungicide to the lawn to control turf diseases such as brown patch, dollar spot and others.
  • Apply to the lawn to keep it nice and green throughout the summer months.
  • If needed, apply a weed control to the lawn to kill actively growing weeds.

Tips on applying weed killer: 

  • Do not apply weed controls on newly seeded areas.
  • Do not apply weed controls on windy days.
  • Do not apply weed controls near or on the edge of waterways.
  • Do not allow children or pets to play on lawns freshly applied with weed controls. It is best to wait one week.
  • Do not apply weed controls when temperatures are above 85 degrees F.
  • Always follow the label directions.
  • Do not mow two days before or after application
  • Apply to moist grass
  • Do not water one to two days after application
  • Delay application if rainfall is expected within 24 hours
  • Do not seed for 4 weeks

Additional Information 

For more information to help you garden more easily and successfully, stop in the garden center and talk with a member of our staff

  • Get ready for your 4th of July parties by sprucing up your summer landscape with beautiful color from Penn Hills Lawn & Garden’s excellent selection of annuals, perennials, trees and shrubs. We even have red, white and blue blooming plants for you to choose from. If needed, add fresh mulch to your landscape for that extra clean look.
  • Stop in and ask how you can keep Mosquitoes from crashing your party!
  • Check the Workshop & Events calendar to sign up for our next workshop or seminar
  • Plants and trees that provide color in the month of August include crape myrtles, Pee Gee hydrangeas, Viburnums, Hypericum and Butterfly Bush. Visit the garden center and see these beautiful plants in bloom.
  • Plant ornamental grasses such as Miscanthus, and Hardy Pampas grass for contrast. August is a good month to choose ornamental grasses because they are in bloom.
  • Check all plants, especially newly planted ones, for water on a regular basis. Water deeply and thoroughly as needed. Pick up a copy of our free brochure, Proper Planting & Watering Instructions.
  • Gator bags provide a great way to keep trees watered during hot and dry months. These bags, which can hold up to 20 gallons of water, are secured to the trunk of the tree, where they release the water slowly to the root ball over the course of 15-20 hours.
  • Remember to dead head plants in borders and containers regularly.
  • Feed the plants in containers with Super Bloom to keep them fresh and blooming.

Pest Controls

Various pest problems can occur in August. If you have plants that are having a problem, bring in a representative sample and speak with one of our plant specialists. We will diagnose the problem and recommend the appropriate control. Listed below are some of the problems that can appear this month.  Please remember that it is important to choose the appropriate control product to insure that the problem is treated effectively.  We are happy to take the guesswork out of it for you!  Simply stop in with your sample to discuss your specific needs.

  • Use Diatomaceous Earth to control crawling insects such as cockroaches, ants, slugs, silverfish, earwigs, fleas, spiders, millipedes, centipedes, and carpet beetles. Use indoors and outdoors.
  • Time to control aphids, lacebugs, birch borer, fall webworm, obscure scale, oystershell scale, euonymus scale, pine needle scale, rhododendron borer, apple tree borer, spider mites. Stop by with a representative sample and our staff will instruct you on the proper control measures.
  • Use Round-Up to kill weeds and grasses in brick patios and walks.
  • Stop birds from making a mess on your patio or automobile finish by placing our inflatable owls or inflatable snakes in your garden. This also works to protect fruit from bird attacks.
  • Spray roses to keep black spot and other problems under control.
  • Spray for bagworms on arborvitae and other evergreens.
  • Spider mites can be controlled on Alberta spruce, hemlocks and other plants.
  • Lacebugs can be controlled on azaleas  aother plants
  • If necessary, treat dogwoods for borers.
  • Treat hemlock woolly adelgid, euonymus scale and other pests
  • Fruit trees should be on a regular spray program.
  • Control slugs and snails on hosta and other plants

Additional tips for August

  • Fertilize fruits and vegetables as needed with a good quality, slow-release vegetable food
  • Stake tomato plants, or use tomato cages to support large plants.
  • If necessary, spray tomato plants and other vegetables to control diseases. See our staff for advice.

Lawns

  • If your lawn is in bad shape due to drought stress, insects, weeds or other reasons and you are considering a total renovation, August is the time to get started. Consult one of our lawn specialists if you are planning a total lawn renovation. We can teach you the steps for renovating the lawn.
  • August is the best time to control grubs in the lawn.
  • If needed, apply a fungicide to the lawn to control turf diseases such as brown patch, dollar spot and others.
  • Apply Green Up to the lawn to keep it nice and green throughout the summer months. Jonathan Green also carries Summer Survival for your lawn to keep it at its best.
  • Water the lawn in dry spells, but a few good soaks will be better than many sprinklings that do not penetrate deeply.
  • If needed, apply a weed control to the lawn to kill actively growing weeds.

Tips on applying weed killer:

  • Do not apply weed controls on newly seeded areas.
  • Do not apply weed controls on windy days.
  • Do not apply weed controls near or on the edge of waterways.
  • Do not allow children or pets to play on lawns freshly applied with weed controls. It is best to wait one week.
  • Do not apply weed controls when temperatures are above 85 degrees F.
  • Always follow the label directions. Do not mow two days before or after application
  • Apply to moist grass
  • Do not water one to two days after application
  • Delay application if rainfall is expected within 24 hours
  • Do not seed for 4 weeks

Additional Information

Penn Hills Lawn & Garden wants to be your place to learn and grow, and we have workshops and seminars each and every month!  Be sure to visit the Workshops and Events page of this site for more details.

  • Replace faded summer annuals with mums, asters, pansies and other gorgeous fall flowers.
  • Pick up spring flowering bulbs now for the best selection and plant any time before Christmas. You’ll be glad you did – by taking a little time to plant daffodils, tulips, hyacinths and other favorites this fall, you’ll be welcomed with a burst of beautiful color come spring. We carry a wide array of time-honored favorites and exciting new varieties.  The best time to plant is after the temperatures stay consistently low.  That way, the bulbs do not get “confused” and begin popping up in the fall.
  • Divide and transplant bearded iris, peonies, daylilies and other spring and summer flowering perennials.
  • Wait until mid-November to prune. If you prune now, it will stimulate new growth, which may not have enough time to sufficiently mature prior to an early freeze.
  • Clear Summer bedding and prepare for Spring bedding plants
  • Lift and store Dahlias after first frost (this could be October depending on the weather)

Lawns

  • September is the best month of the year to make your lawn dense, dark green and healthy. Repair bare patches and over seed your existing lawn.
  • If your lawn is suffering because of dense, heavy clay soil, this is a good time to aerate the ground and top dress with compost. This can be done at the same time as seeding and fertilizing.
  • Apply Jonathan Green’s Winter Survival to the lawn to provide a well balanced formula for winter turf protection.  Iron, sulfer and slow-release nitrogen help keep the lawn a deep green color.  Wither Survival is ideal to use with Fall seeding

Pest Controls

  • Use Diatomaceous Earth to control crawling insects, such as cockroaches, ants, slugs, silverfish, earwigs, fleas, spiders, millipedes, centipedes and carpet beetles. Use indoors and outdoors.
  • Use Round-Up to kill weeds and grasses in brick patios and walks.
  • Stop birds from making a mess on your patio or car by placing our inflatable owls or inflatable snakes in your garden. This also works to protect fruit from bird attacks.
  • Spray roses to keep black spot and other problems under control.
  • Spray for bagworms on arborvitae and other evergreens.
  • Spider mites can be controlled on Alberta spruce, hemlocks and other plants.
  • Lacebugs can be controlled on azaleas and other plants.
  • If necessary, treat dogwoods for borers.
  • Treat hemlock woolly adelgid, euonymus scale and other pests.
  • Fruit trees should be on a regular spray program.

Fruit and Vegetable Gardens

  • Plant lettuce, cabbage, cauliflower, beets, radishes and other fall crops.
  • Garlic, onions, lettuce, cabbage, cauliflower, beets and radishes can be planted now for harvest next year.
  • Pot up herbs for winter interest
  • Cover late fruiting strawberries to extend the season

September Reminders 

Join us for a workshop or gardening seminar.  Check the Workshops and Events page of this site for details.

  • Fall is a great time to plant trees, shrubs, bulbs, perennials, and grass seed. Plants that are planted in the fall enjoy cooler temperatures and ideal growing conditions that allow roots ample time to grow into the surrounding soil. Penn Hills Lawn & Garden carries only the healthiest, most beautiful plants from the country’s finest growers. Be sure to use Bio Tone Starter at the time of planting.
  • Plants and trees that provide color in the month of October include Burning Bush, Ornamental Cabbage and Kale, Pansies Viburnum, Crape Myrtles, and Pyracantha,
  • There are lots of perennials with interest now including Anemone, Chrysanthemums, Perennial asters and Ornamental grasses.
  • Spring blooming fall bulbs are in stock and now is the time to plant them. Plant iris, tulips, crocus, daffodils and many others for glorious spring color.
  • Add a touch of fall to your home and landscape with hardy mums.
  • Do not prune azaleas, rhododendrons and other spring flowering shrubs because they have already set their buds for next year’s blooms. If you feel these shrubs do need to be pruned, however, you can prune them now, but you will sacrifice next spring flowers.
  • Time to feed your plants with a good quality slow release plant food.
  • We recommend feeding evergreens (hollies, boxwoods and yews) and deciduous trees (maples, oaks and ash) with Espoma Brand Fertilizers.
  • Time to transplant peonies or divide them if you wish to multiply your plants.
  • Protect vulnerable shrubs for winter.
  • Protect newly planted evergreens that were planted in late summer of fall.
  • Collect and compost leaves
  • Cut down the tops of herbaceous (soft stem) perennials

Lawns

  • October is a great time to lime, seed and fertilize your lawn. You can seed a new lawn in early October or reseed (overseed) an established lawn this month to make it thicker and healthier.
  • If you need to, you can lime, fertilize and seed your lawn all in the same day. Otherwise, seed and fertilize the same day and then lime later in the fall.
  • If needed, fall is a great time to aerate and/or dethatch the lawn. If you decide to do one or both of these, they should be done prior to seeding.
  • If you do plan to aerate, dethatch or rototill (for total renovation), thoroughly soak the soil a day or two before you start your project or perform your project a day or two after a good rain.
  • Now is also a good time to control weeds growing in the lawn, however you cannot weed kill and seed the same day. If you choose to kill weeds in the lawn first, you must wait at least three weeks to seed your lawn. Or, if you seed first, you will need to wait until the new seed has germinated and been mowed at least twice before applying a weed killer.
  • If you haven’t applied Jonathan Green’s Winter Survival, now is the time!  It provides a well balanced formula for winter turf protection.  Iron, sulfer and slow-release nitrogen help keep the lawn a deep green color.  Wither Survival is ideal to use with Fall seeding.

October Reminders

  • Penn Hills Lawn & Garden has pumpkins, cornstalks, straw bales and gourds for Halloween and fall decorating.
  • Our fall seminars and workshops continue, so be sure to check the calendar on this site.
  • Keep checking the Workshops and Events page of this site for full details!
  • Fall is a great time to plant trees, shrubs, bulbs, perennials, and grass seed. Depending on the weather, we have seen temperatures that have allowed us to plant up to the middle of November.  However, it is important to pay attention to weather changes to insure the successful planting of any tree or shrub.  Plants that are planted in the fall enjoy cooler temperatures and ideal growing conditions that allow roots ample time to grow into the surrounding soil. Penn Hills Lawn & Garden Center carries only the healthiest, most beautiful plants from the country’s finest growers. Be sure to use Bio Tone Starter at the time of planting.
  • Plants and trees that provide color and interest in the month of November include Pyracantha, Red Twig Dogwood, Birches, and Harry Lauder’s walking stick.
  • Ornamental grasses provide wonderful interest at this time of year.
  • Spring blooming fall bulbs are in stock and now is the time to plant them. Plant iris, tulips, crocus, daffodils and many others for glorious spring color.
  • Do not prune azaleas, rhododendrons and other spring flowering shrubs because they have already set their buds for next year’s blooms. If you feel these shrubs do need to be pruned, however, you can prune them now, but you will sacrifice next spring flowers.
  • If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to feed your plants with a good quality slow release plant food. We recommend fertilizing perennials and flowering shrubs and trees with Espoma  fertilizers
  • We recommend feeding evergreens (hollies, boxwoods and yews) and deciduous trees (maples, oaks and ash) with Espoma products as well
  • Time to transplant peonies or divide them if you wish to multiply your plants.
  • Time to divide and transplant any of your perennials if necessary. 

Lawns

  • November is a great time to fertilize the lawn. Jonathan Green’s Winter Survival is a great choice to protect your lawn all winter long.
  • You can still overseed established lawns in November, but in all likelihood the seed will germinate next spring.
  • November is a great time to lime the lawn if needed to raise the pH level of the soil. You can lime, fertilize and seed your lawn all in the same day.  Don’t forget that we provide soil testing so you can see what your levels are.

Fruit and Vegetable Gardens

Remove all old vines of beans, squash, etc. to the compost pile and then spade or till the garden. Sow winter rye and do not mow it.

You can apply a dormant spray on fruit trees in November but make sure the temperature is above freezing at the time of application.

Additional Information

  • For more information to help you garden more easily and successfully, stop in the garden center and speak with a member of our staff.
  • Stop by and pick-up a beautiful plant or decoration for your Thanksgivings day gathering. We also have great hostess gifts available
  • Don’t forget to enter the 12 Days Before Turkey Contest!  See details in the events section of this site!
  • Pre Season Spring Bonds go on sale on Black Friday!  Spend $37.50 now, and redeem each bond in the Spring for $50 in merchandise!  That is a 25 % savings!  They make great gifts for the gardener on your shopping list

Happy Holidays!

The holiday season is here. All of us at Penn Hills Lawn & Garden would like to wish you and yours a safe and happy holiday season.

Visit us this Christmas and discover the magic of the holiday season. We have beautiful live and fresh cut Christmas trees, wreaths, roping, poinsettias and holiday plants. Inside our Christmas Shop you will find gorgeous ornaments and great holiday decorating and gift giving ideas.

Caring For a Cut Christmas Tree

Penn Hills Lawn & Garden stocks an incredible selection of fresh cut Fraser Fir Christmas trees. Proper care of your Christmas tree is the best assurance against a short life due to loss of moisture, loss of color, and needle drop. Here are some tips to keep your tree fresh and beautiful so that you can enjoy it throughout the holiday season.

  • When you purchase a cut tree from Penn Hills Lawn & Garden, we will put a fresh cut on the bottom. If you are going straight home and will put the tree up and in water within two hours, this cut should be sufficient. If you are not putting the tree up within two hours, the tree should be stored in a cool, shady place in a bucket full of water. You can also sprinkle the foliage and bark daily with water to protect it from the drying winds. A tree will not recover once it has dried out. When you are ready to decorate, put a fresh cut on the bottom of the tree and immediately place it in the stand and fill with water. Keep this filled each day since the warm temperature and dry air in the home will cause the tree to absorb water very rapidly.
  • There are several formulas that claim to fireproof or increase the life of the tree, but we have no statistics to support or deny these claims. If you have used something successful in the past, that is fine, but we agree with the County Fire Marshall that it is most important to “obtain a fresh tree, give the butt a fresh cut, water daily and remove the tree when the needles become brittle and fall off.” This will also make clean up easier!

Here are a few pointers for safety:

  • Be sure the tree is well supported and is away from the source of heat such as radiators, air ducts and TV sets. This will keep the loss of moisture to a minimum.
  • Open flames should never be used on or about Christmas trees.
  • Check electric lights and connections. Worn, frayed wires or electric cords must not be used.
  • Do not use combustible decorations or flammable reflectors.
  • Keep wrapping paper and other flammable material from accumulating under the tree. Turn off lights on the tree whenever no one will be in the room for any length of time.

Caring for a Live Christmas Tree

  • A live, balled and burlapped (B&B) Christmas tree can be your most economical and ecological purchase of the Yuletide season.
  • If properly cared for, a live Christmas tree can give you and your family joy and beauty for many years to come. If you observe the following guidelines, you should be successful with a live tree.
  • If you prefer, you can dig the hole before Christmas when the ground is easier to work and the hole will already be prepared.
  • When you are ready to dig the hole, measure the root ball and dig the hole slightly shallower than the ball is deep, but make the hole about twice as wide as the root ball.
  • Cover the soil with plastic and cover the hole with plywood.
  • When you get the tree home, if possible let it set for a day or so in a garage or up against the warmest side of the house. This will help acclimate the tree to the warmer conditions of the inside of the home.
  • If you can, spray the tree with Wilt Pruf before you bring it inside the home (and again before moving it back outdoors).
  • Then bring the tree inside and place the tree in a large tub, half barrel or even a snow saucer that the children use for sledding. Keep the root ball moist, even if you have to pour water on the root ball every day. But make sure the tree is not sitting in standing water. Placing ice cubs on top of the ball are good way to allow moisture soak down into the root ball.
  • Do not place the tree near a heating vent.
  • Do not flock the tree with artificial snow.
  • Do not fertilize the tree.
  • Try not to keep the tree indoors for more than 14 days.
  • After the holidays, take the tree back out to the garage or up against the warmest side of the house for a day or so to help acclimate the tree to the colder outdoor temperatures.
  • Then take the tree to where it will be planted. Dig your hole now or remove the plywood if you dug the hole before Christmas. Set the tree in the hole so that the top of the root ball is sitting slightly higher than ground level.
  • Begin backfilling the hole, firmly tamping around the root ball as you proceed.
  • Bring the soil up to the shoulder of the ball but not on top of the ball. Cut the string from around the trunk and cut the burlap away from the top of the root ball.
  • When finished planting, water thoroughly. Please see a member of our staff for proper care instructions.

Care of Christmas Plants

Christmas gift plants provide color during the winter holidays. With proper care, their flowers and fruits will often live through the winter. Several general rules apply to all indoor plants during the winter.

  • Water less than you would during the summer, and stop fertilizing.
  • Empty water from saucers after an hour.
  • Most plants with showy flowers and fruits need bright light, so do not display them in a dark location for long periods of time.
  • Avoid drafts, heat ducts and locations where temperatures are likely to fluctuate greatly. If plants are very close to windows, remove them at night to prevent chilling. However, most plants do prefer cooler temperatures during the winter then at other times of the year.

Below is a description of the optimum growing conditions for two popular Christmas gift plants.

Poinsettia

The poinsettia, Euphorbia pulcherrima, is the traditional Christmas plant. Its showy bracts may be red, pink or white.

Light: Sunny window facing S or E

Temp: 65-72 F

Humidity: Normal house

Water: Water thoroughly when soil is almost dry, 1″ from surface

Uses: Can be used as an indoor plant all year and with proper care, can be forced to bloom again.

Christmas Cactus

The Christmas cactus produce flowers in November and December.

Light: Bright light, but not direct sun

Temp: 60-70 F

Humidity: Normal house

Water: Keep soil slightly moist to the touch one inch below the surface.

Uses: Hanging basket or pot plant year-round.

Additional Information

  • Our Holiday Open House is a favorite of staff and customers alike.  Be sure to see the calendar on this site for the date and times.
  • Pre-Season Spring Bonds make excellent gifts for the gardener on your shopping list.  Each bond costs just $37.50, but can be redeemed in the Spring for $50 in merchandise.
  • Be sure to sign up for our e-newsletter for announcements of special sales and events