The Best Time To Plant Your Landscape – Here’s What You Need To Know

Gardening season is upon us and you might be wondering when to plant your landscape. It’s a tricky thing, because there are so many variables that go into planting a garden: temperature, soil moisture, frost risk and more. 

So we’re going to break it down for you—starting with the best time for planting trees and shrubs. 

Then we’ll cover everything from seeds to perennials, lawns and bulbs so that no matter what time of year it is or where in the country you live, this guide will help ensure your plants grow up big and healthy!

How and When to Plant Trees and Shrubs
Key Takeaways
Sustainable and eco-friendly landscaping practices are not only good for the environment but also for your wallet.
Native plants are a great option for sustainable landscaping as they require less water and are adapted to local soil and weather conditions.
Composting yard waste and using it for mulch or fertilizer can reduce waste and promote healthy soil.
Creating a garden design calendar based on planting schedules can help you optimize your garden’s yield and keep your plants healthy.
Selecting the right plants for your yard based on sunlight and water needs is crucial for maintaining a healthy and beautiful garden.

Know Your Zone

There are several factors to consider when planting a new landscape, and one of the most important is knowing your zone. The USDA has divided the United States into zones based on average annual minimum temperatures and defined growing ranges for various plants so you can figure out which plants will thrive in your area and what soil type you have. 

For example, if you live in Zone 8a (average minimum temp: -5 F) and have sandy soil, it wouldn’t be wise to plant rhododendrons or other “cold-sensitive” plants like azaleas; instead focus on hardy perennials like hostas or astilbes that can withstand frost as well as drought-resistant shrubs like boxwood or junipers.

If you want to create a beautiful, eco-friendly outdoor space but don’t know where to start, our guide on How to Create a Beautiful, Eco-Friendly Outdoor Space is exactly what you need. Discover sustainable landscaping practices and tips for planting to make your outdoor space a green oasis.

Pick The Right Fertilizer

Fertilizer is the most important thing you can do for your lawn. It will not only help it grow faster, but it will also improve the overall appearance of your lawn. 

The three main components that fertilizer contains are nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (nitrogen NPK). These three elements are essential in making sure your grass looks healthy and green as if it were going through a growth spurt.

Nitrogen helps to promote new growth on plants by increasing meristem cells which are responsible for producing more leaves or stems. It also plays an important role in strengthening roots so they can absorb water betterthe result being that water reaches the root system quicker than before! 

Phosphorus plays two roles: one is encouraging stronger roots during its “growing” period; secondly it makes sure that any diseases won’t affect those roots later on down the road! 

Lastly we have potassium which usually goes hand-in-hand with nitrogen–it helps increase resistance against disease because these two elements work together when applied together properly (especially if combined with iron).

Type of FertilizerSuitable PlantsBrand Suggestions
Organic FertilizerMost plantsDr. Earth, Espoma
Liquid FertilizerVegetables, flowers, container plantsMiracle-Gro, FoxFarm
Slow-release FertilizerPerennials, shrubs, treesOsmocote, Jobe’s Organics
All-Purpose FertilizerAll plantsScotts, Jack’s Classic

This table provides a data-driven comparison of different types of fertilizers based on the plants they are most suitable for and provides brand suggestions for each type. Organic fertilizers like Dr. Earth and Espoma work for most plants, while liquid fertilizers like Miracle-Gro and FoxFarm are ideal for vegetables, flowers, and container plants.

Slow-release fertilizers like Osmocote and Jobe’s Organics are best suited for perennials, shrubs, and trees, while all-purpose fertilizers like Scotts and Jack’s Classic can be used for all plants. Selecting the right fertilizer for your plants is crucial for giving them the nutrients they need to thrive.

Prune Shrubs and Trees

Now that your plants are in the ground, it’s time to prune. Pruning is a way to shape and control the growth of shrubs and trees. Pruning helps keep plants healthy, attractive and productive.

You’ll want to decide whether you want pruning done on an annual basis (once a year), bi-annually (twice a year) or every three years. 

This can vary based on your plants’ maturity level within their environment as well as what each plant requires for proper care and maintenance, so consult with professionals if necessary!

Sustainable landscaping can save you money and help the planet at the same time. Check out our 10 Surprising Tips for Sustainable Landscaping and learn about eco-friendly ways to water plants, use fertilizers, and more.

Plant Seedlings And Annuals

The best time to plant a wide variety of seeds and seedlings is from February through May. However, many plants will begin growing in the fall as well. 

If you want to grow your own flowers, vegetables or herbs, then look for specific information about when to plant them depending on what you’re trying to grow.

Plant Spring Bulbs

If you’re looking for a way to brighten up your home, consider planting spring bulbs. The best time to do this is in the fall months.

Bulb plants are often used as a ground cover and are also ideal for rock gardens or along pathways because of their low-growing nature. It’s important to plant them properly so that they don’t dry out during their dormant season, which means watering them only once per month until they start growing again in springtime.

Planting bulbs in the spring can be risky because it takes about two weeks for them to grow roots before they start blooming—and if there’s no rain during this time period (which is likely), then your flowers won’t make it through winter! 

This is why we recommend planting them right after Labor Day: Your flowers will still have time before cold weather arrives but won’t need any extra care since there aren’t any leaves on trees yet either!

Plant Perennials

Perennials are a great choice for anyone who wants to beautify their yard but isn’t interested in spending too much time or money on it. 

They require less maintenance than annuals, and some (like hostas) even come back for years and years on end.

A perennial is defined as a plant that will live more than two years. When you’re planting perennials, you’ll want to make sure that the soil is warm and moist enough for them to grow in—and then wait patiently until spring or fall when you can enjoy their blooms!

Botanical NameCommon NameBloom TimeSun ExposureSoil TypeBrand Suggestions
AgapanthusLily of the NileJune – AugustFull sun to part shadeWell-draining soilEasy to Grow
EchinaceaConeflowerJune – SeptemberFull sun to part shadeWell-draining soilDavid’s Garden Seeds
RudbeckiaBlack-eyed SusanJuly – SeptemberFull sun to part shadeWell-draining soilProven Winners
SalviaSageMay – SeptemberFull sunWell-draining soilBluestone Perennials
SedumStonecropAugust – OctoberFull sunWell-draining soilHigh Country Gardens

This table provides a data-driven comparison of some popular perennials based on their botanical names, common names, bloom time, sun exposure, soil type, and brand suggestions. Agapanthus (Lily of the Nile) blooms in June to August and prefers well-draining soil with full sun to part shade. Echinacea (Coneflower) blooms in June to September and prefers well-draining soil with full sun to part shade.

Rudbeckia (Black-eyed Susan) blooms in July to September and prefers well-draining soil with full sun to part shade. Salvia (Sage) blooms in May to September and prefers well-draining soil with full sun.

Sedum (Stonecrop) blooms in August to October and prefers well-draining soil with full sun. These perennials are great options for adding color and texture to your garden year after year.

Plant Summer Shrubs And Trees

  • Early spring: Plant deciduous shrubs, vines, and trees that bloom in spring.
  • Late spring/early summer: Plant established deciduous and evergreen shrubs and trees.
  • Mid-summer: Install fruiting vines on trellises or arbors and place potted herbs in containers to create a living wall of color.

Mid-fall: Add fall color by planting trees with autumn foliage colors such as red maples or golden locusts; plant flowering perennials that bloom in the fall such as heucheras, daylilies (Hemerocallis), ornamental grasses and sedums – these plants are available at select nurseries mid-August through October 1st in most areas of the country.

To build an eco-friendly and sustainable garden, you need to know about the latest landscaping practices. Our guide on The Top 15 Sustainable Landscaping Practices covers everything you need to know, from water conservation to planting native species.

Grow New Lawns From Seed Or Sod

If you’re looking to start a new lawn, you have two options: sod or seed. Sod is easier to install than seed and more affordable, but it’s not always the best choice for your garden.

  • Sod is easy to install. It’s rolled out like carpeting and can be installed on most surfaces with little preparation.
  • It’s less expensive than planting from seed (around $1 per square foot compared to $2-$3).
  • Sod produces a thicker lawn that requires less watering and fertilizer than grass grown from seed (soil conditions permitting).
  • Planting sod is environmentally friendly since there’s no need for harmful pesticides or fertilizers used in growing grass seeds—plus there are no additional trips required because the entire process takes place in one fell swoop!

Establish New Lawns by Plugs or Sprigs

If you’re looking for an easy, fast way to establish a new lawn on your property, plugs and sprigs are the way to go. They’re pre-grown and ready to be put in place. 

You don’t need to wait for them to grow like you would with seed (which can take several weeks). 

And since they already have roots established when you buy them, watering is no longer necessary! Some people even refer to these as “plug-in” plants because they’re so easy: just dig a hole with your trowel and stick ’em right in there!

Selecting the right plants for your yard can make all the difference in creating a beautiful and healthy garden. Refer to our guide on Expert Tips for Choosing the Right Landscaping Plants and learn how to choose plants that suit your garden while meeting your sustainability goals.

Replant Bare Patches in Existing Lawns

If you’ve got bare patches in your lawn, now’s the time to plant new seed or sod. In order to prevent weeds from taking over, it’s important to mow often and fertilize regularly. You can also help retain moisture so that the grass doesn’t dry out by adding a layer of mulch around your new plants.

Cool-Season Grasses (Bentgrass, Perennial Bluegrass, Annual Bluegrass, Creeping Red Fescue)

Cool-season grasses (Bentgrass, Perennial Bluegrass, Annual Bluegrass, Creeping Red Fescue) are ideal for lawns and can thrive in areas with cool climates. These grasses tend to grow best during the spring and fall seasons when temperatures are cooler.

As you’re deciding what to plant in your landscape, ask yourself if it will grow well in your area. If you live in an area with warm summers and cold winters, then consider planting warm season plants like Bermuda Grass or Zoysia Grass. The same goes for plants that thrive in wet environments—they’ll need plenty of water!

Grass TypeScientific NameSun ExposureWater NeedsRecommended UseBrand Suggestions
BentgrassAgrostis stoloniferaFull sun to part shadeHighGolf courses, athletic fieldsPennington, Scotts
Perennial BluegrassPoa pratensisFull sun to part shadeHighLawns, athletic fieldsJonathan Green, Barenbrug
Annual BluegrassPoa annuaFull sun to part shadeHighTemporary winter lawns, overseedingOutsidepride, SeedRanch
Creeping Red FescueFestuca rubraFull sun to part shadeLow to moderateNaturalized or ornamental lawns, shade gardensMountain View, Hancock Seed

Warm-Season Grasses (Buffalo Grass, Bermudagrass, Centipedegrass, Seashore Paspalum, St. Augustinegrass)

Warm-Season Grasses

Buffalo Grass

If you live in a warmer climate, you have several options when it comes to grasses. Buffalo grass is one of the more popular choices because it doesn’t require much maintenance and is highly drought tolerant.


Bermudagrass can tolerate high temperatures and does well even in poor soil conditions. This type of grass also requires less water than other types of lawns. However, it may not be right for everyone as it requires frequent mowing or trimming because its blades grow very long if left untreated.

Centipedegrass is another type of warm-season turfgrass that’s fairly easy to maintain but needs regular mowing throughout the summer months since its blades grow quite tall and wide (approximately two feet high). 

Seashore Paspalum is a good option if you want something low maintenance with little irrigation or special care requirements; however, this variety will not tolerate heavy traffic like other types do so if you’re expecting lots of foot traffic (like kids playing outside), consider another option instead! 

St Augustinegrass also grows well in warm climates but tends to be more expensive than other types due to its popularity among homeowners looking for an attractive alternative from traditional lawns

To get the most out of your garden, it’s important to know when to plant and what crops to grow. Our When to Plant What: A Garden Design Calendar offers guidance on planting schedules and provides suggestions on the best crops to suit your needs. Follow our calendar and transform your garden into the perfect outdoor space.


Your lawn is one of the most important things in your life. It’s where you relax and enjoy yourself. It’s also a reflection of who you are as a person, so it should be treated with care and respect. 

If you want to learn more about lawn care or if there’s something specific that we can help with, please reach out to us today! We have years of experience dealing with all kinds of problems related to lawn care (including irrigation). We’re happy to help!

Further Reading

If you’re interested in learning more about landscaping and gardening, here are some useful resources to check out:

Is Summertime the Best Time to Landscape Your Home?: Learn whether summer is the best time to start your landscaping projects according to this ABC News article.

What Time of Year is Best to Landscape a Garden?: Check out Redcliffe Gardeners’ article on the best time of year to start your garden landscaping and the types of plants that grow best in different seasons.

Best Time to Plant Trees, Shrubs, and Flowers for Best Results: Direct Native Plants provides guidance on the best time to plant trees, shrubs, and flowers based on different regions and weather conditions in the United States.


Q: What is sustainable landscaping?

A: Sustainable landscaping is an approach to designing outdoor spaces that focuses on reducing waste, conserving water, using native plants, and being mindful of the environment.

Q: What are some eco-friendly landscaping practices?

A: Some eco-friendly landscaping practices include using drought-resistant plants, directing water runoff to gardens or rain barrels, and composting yard waste.

Q: How do I select the right landscaping plants for my yard?

A: Consider factors such as area, sunlight, and water needs when choosing plants for your yard. You can also consult with a local nursery or landscaper for expert advice.

Q: What are the benefits of landscaping with native plants?

A: Landscaping with native plants supports local ecosystems, reduces the need for pesticides and fertilizers, and promotes biodiversity.

Q: When is the best time of year to plant trees and shrubs?

A: The best time to plant trees and shrubs varies depending on the species and region. In general, it’s best to plant in the fall or spring when temperatures are milder and rainfall is more abundant.