In general, fertilize at the beginning of the growing season. It is important to fertilize appropriately depending on each plants needs. Check with your local garden center about what works best for each plant.
Mulch helps minimize weeds, keeps the soil moist and loose, and adds essential nutrients. Organic mulch is best - try wood chips and shavings, shredded bark, pine needles, cottonseed or cocoa-bean hulls, chipped oak leaves or peat nuggets. Apply in the spring just as the soil warms and before weeds start to grow. (Mulch can also be applied anytime during the growing season provided weeds are removed and soil surface is lightly cultivated). Spread 2" to 4" over the bed, leaving some space open around the base of each plant. Replace mulch as it deteriorates during the year.
The actual frequency of watering will depend on your soil and climate as well as the age of the plant. Try watering a few mornings a week - water slowly at the base of the plant, until the soil is wet 12" to 18" deep. Soaker hoses are an efficient way to get water directly down to the roots.
For more information about specific pests and controls for your area, check with your local garden center.
Prune to Promote Blooms
Although it isn't always necessary, pruning is a great way to maintain the shape of a plant. To learn more about pruning, click here