It’s hard enough to keep track of gardening chores for USDA Hardiness zone 5b, let alone when it is best to do them. I use national holidays to keep track, so here is my basic 2019 gardening calendar:
New Years, January 1: Check inside plants for hitchhiking bugs.
Martin Luther King Day, January 17: Check inside plants are getting sunlight needs met. If not, move them around. Water newly-planted mums monthly to keep roots hydrated.
Valentine’s Day, February 14: Repair birdhouses; clean garden implements; wash flower pots.
President’s Day, February 20: Prune fruit trees; plant onion sets, lettuce, spinach, radishes.
St. Patrick’s Day, March 17: Plant potatoes, peas, Brussels sprouts and broccoli; start tomato and pepper seedlings inside. Check mums for new growth.
First Day of Spring, March 20: Work compost into raised beds. Plant more lettuce, spinach, radishes, onions; prune roses.
Easter, April 21: Plant tree seedlings and native wildflowers. Mark locations for bulbs that need dividing so I can find them later. Pinch an inch off mums weekly to keep them bushy.
Earth Day, April 22: Plant last of my spinach, peas, lettuce and trees.
Mother’s Day, May 12: Last frost day so everything can get moved outside.
Memorial Day, May 27: Last day to plant pumpkins, cucumbers, zucchini, compact fruit trees, bushes, and perennials.
Father’s Day, June 16: Last day for planting perennials.
Independence Day, July 4: Plant beans; last weekend for pinching back Mums.
Labor Day, September 2: Harvest fall crops; check for bugs; add compost.
Columbus Day, October 14: Trim deck plants; move them inside house.
Halloween, October 31: First hard frost; add mulch.
Veterans Day, November 11: Clean and store pots, garden implements;
toss out torn gardening gloves; mark envelopes with saved seeds; update garden diary.
Thanksgiving, November 28: Buy bulbs on discount.
Winter, December 21: Look for first gardening catalogs in the mail!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.