Natural Yard Care Seasonal Maintenance Calendar

  1. Spring
  2. Summer
  3. Fall
  4. Winter

March - May

Flower and vegetable gardens

  • Prepare new planting beds and gardens by mixing in 1-3 inches of compost.
  • Pull weeds when they first start growing, while soil is moist and roots are short, before they go to seed.
  • Buy plants that resist disease and use less water.
  • Pest problems? Call the Garden Hotline at 206-633-0224 for advice, or visit

Tree and shrub beds

  • Prepare new tree and shrub beds by mixing compost into the entire bed (not just into the planting holes). Or plant trees in native soil and mulch well.


  • Start mowing, about 2 inches high for most lawns, or 1 inch for bentgrass lawns. "Grasscycling" (leaving the clippings on the lawn) serves as free fertilizer.
  • For lawns in poor condition: aerate, overseed, and top-dress with 1/2 inch of compost.
  • Fertilize lawns if needed in May with "natural organic" or "slow release" fertilizer.


  • Prepare sprinkler systems by testing, adjusting, and repairing leaks.
  • Lay out soaker hoses in beds, and cover with mulch.
  • Check soil moisture at plant roots before watering. Don't water until they need it.


  • Harvest compost from your bin. Throw any uncomposted sticks or stalks back in for another cycle.

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