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How to Make a Garden Calendar for your Zone

Published March 07, 2012        by Sarah

If you’re a novice gardener, you’ll need to know what your gardening zone is before you can start planting. What’s a zone? It’s a number that tells you which plants will thrive in your area at which times of the year. You can find zone information at sites like Better Homes and Gardens online at http://www.bhg.com. Look on the map and you’ll find your area along with its zone. You’ll also find this information on most seed packets or plant starts in the nursery. Understanding where you are is an absolute must to developing that perfect green thumb.

Create a calendar for yourself, and you’ll know which plants will grow best at which times of the year. Once you know your zone you can devise a year-long gardening calendar that works for you. No two gardeners have exactly the same plans or tasks ahead of them, so create a calendar based on what you like and what you need to accomplish.

Get a blank calendar template off the web at a site like http://www.great-printable-calendars.com/. Print out each month in a format that you like. Make sure there’s room enough to write so that you can jot notes about what you want to do in your garden.

Vegetable Garden Calendar
Photo Credit: Savvy Gardener

It is going to be up to you to research your zone and find out exactly which activities to add and which plantings need to go in the ground at certain times. But you can easily look up a favorite plant—for instance daffodils—and see that you should plant them in late fall and expect them in early spring. That will go for most areas. But specialized plants that are affected by climate will need more research.

Here are some examples you might add to your gardening calendar.

January:

Feed birds and set out water in a bird bath

Prune trees

Start plants indoors for early spring planting

February:

Start looking through seed catalogs and ordering

Visit garden shop for planting suggestions

March:

Get ideas for flower beds

Start any cool season vegetables outside

Get strawberries, grapes and strawberries planted

April:

Prepare the soil

Start planting frost-hardy vegetables

Trim back bushes

Start planting flowers

May:

Get the rest of the plants in the ground

Mulch and weed garden

June:

Water plants

Buy discounted plants at garden center

Start harvesting vegetable and fruit

Weed

Take care of any garden pests or diseased plants

July:

Water early so sun doesn’t bake off water

Deadhead flowers

Continue to harvest vegetables and fruits

Put together nice fruit gift baskets for friends or family

Can fruits and vegetables in abundance

August:

Start saving seeds you can use again from annuals

Label any seeds that are saved after drying them

Continue to can vegetables

You can see how you can add tasks by month. For the fall, depending on your area, you might want to include the covering or bringing in of plants that can’t stand the cold. You may also want to plant bulbs that will bloom in spring and dig up and store any of the less hardy bulbs that need to come indoors. Other tasks would include putting your garden to bed and cleaning your gardening tools for the winter.

Because each zone is unique, research the facts for what needs to be done in your area. You’ll be able to tell a lot by the zone you’re in.

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