Sunday, December 7, 2008

Zone 7 garden calendar.

This may bore everyone else, but I needed a place to compile a list of monthly gardening to-dos, and, well, here it is for zone 7:

January
Order catalogs.

Discarded evergreen boughs make a wonderful winter mulch.

Check pesticides and make sure they are stored in a secure, well-ventilated area.

Give your garden year round interest. Visit local gardens and observe the winter habits of trees, shrubs and perennials, noting your favorites for future planting projects.

Plan new landscape designs and this year's garden.

Winter is a perfect time to sit down with a good garden book and sharpen your gardening skills.

Clean and disinfect pots and containers used when starting seeds.

Use a good ice melter, as salt can damage concrete and plants, especially needled evergreens.

Remove dead, diseased and damaged wood as soon as it is observed.



FEBRUARY

Before you work in your garden, make sure the soil is dry enough to crumble in your hand. If it's too wet, wait for it to dry out.

Thoroughly clean and oil your garden sprayer. Replace any worn out parts.

Edge garden beds.

Lawn mowers and other power equipment should receive spring maintenance before the growing season begins.

Put a note-taking station in your garden shed or garage for shopping and "To Do" lists.

Check pesticides and make sure they are stored in a secure, well-ventilated area.

Give your garden year round interest. Visit local gardens and observe the winter habits of trees, shrubs and perennials, noting your favorites for future planting projects.

Check hoses and sprinklers for leaks; a small leak can result in great quantities of wasted water and higher utility bills.

Plan new landscape designs and this year's garden.

Winter is a perfect time to sit down with a good garden book and sharpen your gardening skills.

Trees and shrubs in containers need to be repotted or root pruned every three to five years in the spring.

Trees and shrubs in containers need to be top-dressed each spring before new growth starts.

Mulch garden beds two to three inches deep with an organic mulch.

Clean and disinfect pots and containers used when starting seeds.

Use a good ice melter, as salt can damage concrete and plants, especially needled evergreens.



MARCH
Before you work in your garden, make sure the soil is dry enough to crumble in your hand. If it's too wet, wait for it to dry out.

Make sure to cover tender plants when frosts are forecast.

Edge garden beds.

Put a note-taking station in your garden shed or garage for shopping and "To Do" lists.

Check pesticides and make sure they are stored in a secure, well-ventilated area.

Scout for pillbugs and earwigs and treat as necessary.

As fall clean-up time approaches, start a compost bin. Once composted, debris can become a rich soil additive for your garden.

Turn new clay pots upside down, and use them as pedestals for already mossy pots. The moss will spread more quickly, and turn the new pot into an attractively aged one.

Instead of dragging a hose around the garden, use a water bottle with a strong stream setting to spray aphids and other pests off of plants.

Trees and shrubs in containers need to be repotted or root pruned every three to five years in the spring.

Trees and shrubs in containers need to be top-dressed each spring before new growth starts.

Mulch garden beds two to three inches deep with an organic mulch.

Remove dead, diseased and damaged wood as soon as it is observed.

Plant hanging baskets close to or just after danger of frost. If done just before the last frost date, bring inside if frost is predicted. Consider a soil additive to help retain moisture, usually available as crystals.


APRIL

Before you work in your garden, make sure the soil is dry enough to crumble in your hand. If it's too wet, wait for it to dry out.

Make sure to cover tender plants when frosts are forecast.

Edge garden beds.

Put a note-taking station in your garden shed or garage for shopping and "To Do" lists.

Check pesticides and make sure they are stored in a secure, well-ventilated area.

Scout for pillbugs and earwigs and treat as necessary.

As fall clean-up time approaches, start a compost bin. Once composted, debris can become a rich soil additive for your garden.

Turn new clay pots upside down, and use them as pedestals for already mossy pots. The moss will spread more quickly, and turn the new pot into an attractively aged one.

Instead of dragging a hose around the garden, use a water bottle with a strong stream setting to spray aphids and other pests off of plants.

Trees and shrubs in containers need to be repotted or root pruned every three to five years in the spring.

Trees and shrubs in containers need to be top-dressed each spring before new growth starts.

Mulch garden beds two to three inches deep with an organic mulch.

Remove dead, diseased and damaged wood as soon as it is observed.

Plant hanging baskets close to or just after danger of frost. If done just before the last frost date, bring inside if frost is predicted. Consider a soil additive to help retain moisture, usually available as crystals.



MAY

Edge garden beds.

Save excess seed for next year.

A cool, wet hand towel or bandana draped over the back of the neck will provide some relief during hot weather. Remember to drink plenty of water and wear sunscreen!

Check pesticides and make sure they are stored in a secure, well-ventilated area.

Before going on vacation, make any last minute insecticide or fungicide treatments, weed garden beds, and arrange for someone to water.

Scout for pillbugs and earwigs and treat as necessary.

To reduce mosquito populations, make sure bird baths and pet bowls are changed frequently. Mostquito larvae in garden ponds can be controlled with cakes of Bacillus thuringensis or by introducing populations of damselfly and dragonfly.

Many watering recommendations mention plants receiving one inch of water a week. Put a rain gauge in your garden to help measure this.

Attractive pails or baskets placed around the garden make handy places to dispose of the results of quick deadheading, weeding, and cleaning sessions. These can be emptied when you have time.

Containers will need extra attention during summer months. Be sure to check daily for water and fertilize regularly.

Instead of dragging a hose around the garden, use a water bottle with a strong stream setting to spray aphids and other pests off of plants.

Make a home for insect-eating toads in your garden.

Mulch garden beds two to three inches deep with an organic mulch.

Remove dead, diseased and damaged wood as soon as it is observed.

Tightly shaped hedges should be pruned after the second flush of growth in the summer, if needed.


JUNE

Edge garden beds.

Save excess seed for next year.

A cool, wet hand towel or bandana draped over the back of the neck will provide some relief during hot weather. Remember to drink plenty of water and wear sunscreen!

Check pesticides and make sure they are stored in a secure, well-ventilated area.

Before going on vacation, make any last minute insecticide or fungicide treatments, weed garden beds, and arrange for someone to water.

Spray kudzu with an herbicide, or mow all foliage.

Scout for pillbugs and earwigs and treat as necessary.

To reduce mosquito populations, make sure bird baths and pet bowls are changed frequently. Mostquito larvae in garden ponds can be controlled with cakes of Bacillus thuringensis or by introducing populations of damselfly and dragonfly.

Many watering recommendations mention plants receiving one inch of water a week. Put a rain gauge in your garden to help measure this.

Attractive pails or baskets placed around the garden make handy places to dispose of the results of quick deadheading, weeding, and cleaning sessions. These can be emptied when you have time.

Containers will need extra attention during summer months. Be sure to check daily for water and fertilize regularly.

Instead of dragging a hose around the garden, use a water bottle with a strong stream setting to spray aphids and other pests off of plants.

Make a home for insect-eating toads in your garden.

Mulch garden beds two to three inches deep with an organic mulch.

Remove dead, diseased and damaged wood as soon as it is observed

ightly shaped hedges should be pruned after the second flush of growth in the summer, if needed.

Raise the cutting height of your lawnmower to 1 to 1 1/2 inches in mid-summer to help your lawn survive the heat and dry periods.



Garden calendar HERE.