Seattle Landscaping Ideas: 12 Monthly Tips for Year-Round Success

The Akina Designs team has put together a month-by-month guide to tackling all of your landscaping projects - from hardscaping to fruit trees and rain barrels to pruning, we've got you covered!

Seattle Landscaping Ideas: 12 Monthly Tips for Year-Round Success

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Seattle Landscaping Ideas (Transcript)


January is historically the cloudiest month of year which means super-saturated, pliable soil. It’s a great time to think about hardscaping projects like retaining walls, patios, arbors, and more.

Site soils are so saturated, it’s also easy to tell how drainage will affect your project during the rainiest months of the year.


February is fruit tree season! Plants are dormant, but the ground is soft enough for planting your favorite fruit tree, whether it is apple, peach, cherry or plum.

February is also a great time of year to start your veggie (or edibles) seeds indoors, giving them a head-start for planting outdoors in the spring.


March is for planning! Designing, diagramming, and prepping for summer projects are all on the menu for March.

While you’re figuring out your plans for the year, it’s also a great time to do some spring cleaning – cutting back perennials, pruning Roses (late Feb/early Mar) and removing any dead or diseased plant material to make room for new, healthy growth.


April showers bring May flowers, but really, April is fine for flowers, too. It might be a bit early to start planting veggies outdoors, but now is the time to prep your veggie beds or build new raised beds. Hold off on planting anything that isn’t hardy under a cloche, though, since it’s still cool as a cucumber out there.

To appease your senses, consider fragrant vines or plants for your entryway beds, next to a frequently used pathway, or under a window.


May means it’s time to get busy planting annuals. You can start planting vegetables, bulbs, flowers, pots, and baskets. Since it’s International Compost Awareness Month, many local stores are giving away a free bag of compost!


As we see the dry summer months on the horizon, now is the time to double-check your irrigation – make sure it’s functional and test all hoses and irrigation systems to verify that they’re working before we hit our Mediterraneansummer months.

It’s better to water in the morning, allowing foliage to dry and the plants a chance to soak up the water before the hottest part of the day.


July is our warmest, driest, and sunniest month. One way to conserve your watering efforts is to plant in zones: put thirsty plants next to thirsty plants, and drought-tolerant hardier plants next to drought-tolerant plants.

Incorporate natives that can handle our dry summers and wet winters to achieve a low-water landscape.


August is your month to kick back, relax, harvest, and enjoy the bounty of the hard work you’ve put into your landscape this year.

Fruits and vegetables should be producing like crazy this month. Break out the canning supplies!


Before our Mediterranean summer switches back to monsoon season, it’s a good time to think about saving water. You may want to install a raingarden and/or rain barrels before the wet winter months come, in order to collect water for reuse or let the plants purify the water before it flows into our waterways.


October is when we focus on cleaning up our landscapes for the year. Pruning, trimming, and raking are all at the top of the agenda. Consider using fallen leaves as a layer of mulch in your planting beds. They will eventually break down, adding much needed nutrients to the soil.

Follow the 1/3 rule for pruning, making sure you remove no more than 1/3 of the plant per pruning session/season.


November is Seattle's wettest month with an average of 6 inches of rain. Because the ground isn't frozen and there's plenty of free water, it's a great time to plant trees so that their roots can be established. In addition, the City of Seattle's Rainwise program offers rebates for cisterns and raingardens in certain areas of the city.

Akina Designs is a licensed Rainwise contractor for Seattle- we'd love to help you figure out the best solution for your space.


While December isn’t a busy month for planting, it’s important to think about what plants will look good through this month when the rest of the landscape is dark and dreary.

Redtwig Dogwood, Coralbark Maple, and Maidenhair grasses (cut back in the spring instead of the fall) are three great examples of plants that look attractive during our coldest and darkest month of the year.

Tip of the Month

happy lawnmower
Mow your lawn to about 2-3 inches in height and if you have been mowing regularly, leave the clippings. This willl provide nutrients (free fertilizer!), as well as help with water retention. Your lawn will be looking thick, lush, and ready to tackle the summer heat!

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Akina Designs
4742 42nd Ave SW #503
Seattle, WA  98116
(206) 937-9800
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