Monday, February 18, 2019

Zone 6 & 7 Monthly Garden Tasks - Full Year

Gardening can seem like a daunting project when you're not sure what to focus on each month. I've compiled a month by month breakdown of what to be focusing on in your garden through each month of the year. This breakdown is based off the basic frost dates for Zone 6 and 7 gardeners. My hope is that you'll find this a useful tool to keep you on track throughout the year!

Spring Garden // Zone 6 & 7 Monthly Garden Tasks - Full Year // www.thejoyblog.net

March

Indoor seed starting is here! Early in the month start seeds indoors for beets, broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, and cabbages, as well as any flowers that need to be started early. Plant peas outside even if it's snowy and cold. They can handle it! At the end of the month, start peppers, and eggplant indoors. Plant out bare root plants. Any shrubs or perennial plants available at garden stores can be planted out as well. Remove mulch from strawberry plants, and clean up all plants in the garden. Once soil thaws, garden can be worked and seeds/transplants for radishes, beets, broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, spinach, lettuces, cabbages, and carrots can be planted outdoors. Onion starts can be planted late in the month as well.

April

Add compost to garden, and continue outdoor sowing of cool-season crops including beets, peas, broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, spinach, lettuces, cabbage, carrots, radishes, etc. Thin seedlings  to appropriate spacing after they've emerged. Any seedlings of these that you started indoors can be planted out this month after hardening them off. Start tomato seeds indoors early in the month. Continue garden cleanup, rake up old leaves, clean up dead parts of plants, and prune any spent spring shrubs/flowers. Divide any perennials that need it, and on warmer days (above 50°F), start setting out tomato, pepper and eggplant seedlings to harden them off. If needed, add bird netting to garden to protect small seedlings from being pulled up.

May

Plant cucumber, cantaloupe, beans, corn, squash, cucumber, melon transplants or seeds outside. Sow more cool-season vegetables outside. Finish hardening-off tomatoes and transplant mid-late month. Finish cutting back the dead parts on perennial flowers and plants. Remember to water garden and lawns. Apply fertilizer to jumpstart the vegetable garden. Start planting summer annuals. Mulch to prevent weeds. Start mowing the lawn this month, and water when it's dry. Harvest any cool season vegetables that are ready.

Summer Garden // Zone 6 & 7 Monthly Garden Tasks - Full Year // www.thejoyblog.net

June

All veggie crops can be planted in the ground now. Plant more carrots, beets and beans to spread out the harvest time. Any bolted lettuce, spinach or radishes can be pulled out. Continue harvesting cool season vegetables. Keep up on weeds and pull them when they're small and easy to pull out. Dead head any flowers to encourage re-blooms. Water garden thoroughly at least once a week to ensure it survives as the weather heats up. Divide irises and replant.

July

Make sure to regularly harvest fruits and vegetables to keep the plants growing and producing. Plant annuals and perennials at any time to fill in blank spots in the garden. Lightly fertilize tomatoes and peppers, as they'll be loading up with fruit. Water plants early in the morning or late in the day to reduce water evaporation. Deadhead annuals and perennials to encourage new growth. Inspect all plants for insect or disease damage, and treat as necessary. Start sowing cool weather vegetable seeds indoors for fall gardening. Pinch back herbs to encourage more growth.

August

Keep up on harvests of fruit and vegetables regularly to encourage steady production. Plant fall foliage bloomers like mums. If you're fertilizing your roses, fertilize them for the last time this year. If your lawn is still growing in the hot weather, make sure not to cut it too short. Keep up on weeding so they don't go to seed and spread. This is a great time of year to plant evergreens, because they'll have enough time to develop healthy roots before the freeze. If you are growing fall vegetables, keep planting them throughout August, these would be similar to what you grew in spring, including: lettuce, kale, radishes, spinach, and beets. August is generally warm, so make sure plants are staying hydrated.

Fall Leaves // Zone 6 & 7 Monthly Garden Tasks - Full Year // www.thejoyblog.net

September

September is a great time to plant new trees because it allows them to develop healthy roots before springtime. This is also the perfect time to plant grass seed. Pot up herbs from your garden if you want to bring them indoors for the winter. Any houseplants that were moved outside earlier in the year need to be brought in to avoid damage from the colder nights. Any perennials that have multiplied can be divided and replanted. Watch for frost forecasts, it's still a little early but frost can happen. Tomatoes that have slowed ripening due to colder nights can be picked green and ripened on a windowsill inside. Save any flower and vegetable seeds from your summer harvests for next year. Top up your garden soil by adding compost.

October

If weather is dry, continue watering trees until the ground freezes. Mulch to protect plants during winter. If grass is still growing, continue mowing. Clean up yard for winter by removing weeds, deadheading and cutting perennials to the ground, and getting rid of diseased plants, or plants that had pest issues all year. Insects can overwinter if affected plants are left in the garden.. Harvest any vegetables that are sensitive to frost (pretty much anything that couldn't be grown in early spring.) Plant any spring bulbs you've acquired. Plant garlic. To avoid lawn damage, rake leaves and either remove from yard or shred and compost. They can also be used as mulch for winter protection. Empty and shut off sprinkler system.

November

If your lawn is still growing, continue mowing it. After the ground freezes, add mulch to flower beds to help protect them for winter. Remove dead plants from your vegetable garden to eliminate overwintering for pests. Continue raking leaves to use for compost and to clean up lawn and avoid grass damage. Store any harvests for the winter. Bring in garden hoses, and close off outdoor faucets. If you're using stone pottery outdoors, empty it and store it in a shed, garage, or indoors. If you must leave it outside in the elements, flip it upside down to avoid filling it up with water that will freeze and thaw and crack the pots. If you have birds in the area, set out feeders so they have something to eat all winter. Clean garden tools and store them for winter. 

Winter Garden // Zone 6 & 7 Monthly Garden Tasks - Full Year // www.thejoyblog.net

December

December is a slow month. Take time to do an inventory of your seeds, and store any you've saved. Move any fragile houseplants away from cold windows. Monitor houseplants for disease or problems. Using a damp cloth or paper towel, wipe dust off large-leafed houseplants.  If snow gets too heavy on outdoor trees, shake or knock it off to avoid any breakage. To protect your lawn in winter avoid walking on frozen grass. Check any fruits and vegetables you've stored for damage or disease and throw out the bad ones to keep the others safe from damage.

January

January is all about planning, and low-maintenance projects for the garden. Map out your plans for what you want to grow this year, and start ordering or purchasing seeds. Most seed distributors sell out quickly, so buying early ensures you get the things you want! If heavy snow is bending any of your dormant outdoor trees and plants, knock it off, so they don't break! Also, don't forget the birds, by putting out birdseed and water for them. Indoor plants can dry out in the dry heat from furnaces, group them together to increase humidity levels around them.

February

February is all about prepping for spring! Finalize your garden plans this month, and finish collecting any seeds you want. Gather all your indoor seed starting equipment, and sanitize all of last years pots for use this year. Indoor plants may be growing rapidly right now, so fertilize, and repot any that are becoming root bound. Wipe dust from plants with large leaves, and consider giving them all a lukewarm shower in the bathtub that resembles their rainforest conditions. To see in-depth post about February tasks, click here.


Using this basic guide, you can keep on task throughout the year, and always stay ahead of the garden game. If you have any changes, suggestions, or additions, please let me know. Zone 6 and 7 gardeners should be approaching the early beginnings of their gardening season right as we speak, so bookmark this post and come back often to stay on track!

++ Happy gardening, everyone!


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