To keep my gardening chores organized, I developed a gardening calendar for USDA Hardiness zone 5b associated with major holidays to help me remember important milestones. Here’s my calendar for 2018:
Valentine’s Day, February 14: Prune fruit trees; repair garden implements and birdhouses; plant onion sets, lettuce, spinach, radishes either in garden or in deck containers.
St. Patrick’s Day, March 17: Plant potatoes, snow peas, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli; start tomato and pepper seedlings; prune roses; work compost into raised garden beds.
Easter, April 1: Plant tree seedlings and native wildflowers; mark locations for spring bulbs that need dividing in fall.
Earth Day, April 23: Plant spinach, peas, and lettuce; start to pinch mums back once a week.
Mother’s Day, May 13: Last frost day. Leave seedlings and delicate plants outside for a few hours the first few days to get them used to outside conditions.
Memorial Day, May 28: Last day to plant from seed in garden so plant pumpkins, cucumbers, and zucchini.
Father’s Day, June 17: Last weekend to plant perennials.
Independence Day, July 4: Last day for planting beans and for pinching back mums so they bloom bushy this fall.
Labor Day, September 3: Harvest crops; add compost; start getting raised garden beds winter-ready.
Columbus Day, October 8: Trim deck plants, move them inside house for winter.
Halloween, October 31: First fall hard frost. Add compost to raised beds.
Veterans Day, November 11: Clean and store pots, garden implements; mark envelopes with saved seeds; check for spring bulbs on sale.
Thanksgiving, November 22: If ground is frozen, mulch garden beds.
Winter, December 21: Water first year mums, pansies once a month through winter. Make sure winter birds have defrosted water to drink.
Christmas, December 25: Make a note on who admires your Christmas cactus to give starts to next year.
New Year, January 1: Spray inside plants for hitchhiking bugs; remove dead branches; mark garden catalogs for possible projects.
Charlotte Ekker Wiggins is a gardener, beekeeper, and sometimes cook. For more, visit gardeningcharlotte.com. Published by Kaleidoscope Weekly with permission. Copyright, 2018, all rights reserved. This column may not be copied, published, reprinted, rewritten, or redistributed. Contact Charlotte at email@example.com.