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Gardening – Monthly Gardening & Planting Guide



A Monthly Guide to Gardening

Note: Gardening guide for each month of the year. This a vegetable planting guide for the South & Eastern regions of the U.S.

You will notice the Hardiness Planting Zones have been converted to the regional areas. For clarification, follow the chart below.

  • Zone A – Southern most areas from Florida extending thru South Texas.
  • Zone B – Southern portion of Georgia, Alabama & Mississippi, Northern Louisiana & Central Texas.
  • Zone C – South Carolina, North & Central Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi…South & Central Arkansas & Oklahoma and Central & Northern Texas.
  • Zone D – All area of North Carolina & Tennessee. Central & Northern areas of Arkansas & Oklahoma.
  • Zone E – Southern & Central areas of Virginia, W. Virginia, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri & Kansas.
  • Zone F – All areas of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois & Iowa.
  • Zone G – All Eastern states horizontally above Pennsylvania across to Minnesota.

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JANUARY

Manage your garden with this month by month gardening guide. If your plot was not cleaned up, manured, and plowed in December, do it now. Take soil samples and send to nearest soil-testing laboratory. Make a growing plan. Buy the year’s seed supply now. Depend on standard or well known varieties. Try a few of the new ones to see how they perform, but main plantings should be the tried and true ones.Plant in hotbeds in Zones C, D, and E, and in cold frames in A and B: cabbage, broccoli, lettuce, and cauliflower seed if you plan to grow your own plants.

In zones A and B plant carrots, onion seed, mustard, lettuce, Irish potatoes, English peas (if not planted in December), parsley, spinach radishes, tender greens, and turnips. Fix up all the rows needed for February plantings. Do any December gardening jobs left undone.

In Zones A and B, sow tomato seed in hotbeds or flats indoors to grow plants for later setting. For information as to time of setting plants or putting in the seed of various herbs.

FEBRUARY

Before February, garden soil should have had an application of manure (and lime, if soil test shows it is needed) and ground broken broadcast. If this has not been done, get busy at once. Harrow ground until in fine seedbed condition. Lay off enough rows to make plantings this month and next, and put down commercial fertilizer. Fix up rows at least two to four weeks ahead of planting.

In Zones A, B and C plant the following some time during the gardening month, weather conditions permitting: cabbage plants, Bermuda onion plants, cauliflower plants, broccoli plants, onion seed, onion sets, beets, carrots, lettuce seed or plants, Swiss chard, English peas, mustard, Irish potatoes, turnips, tender greens, spinach, and any other hardy vegetables you wish to grow.

In Zones A and B, first planting of English peas should have been made in December or January, using the hardier, smooth-seeded kinds, such as Early Alaska. During this gardening month make a second planting, using wrinkle-seeded or less-hardy kinds.

If not planted in hotbeds, cold-frames, or boxes during January, tomato, pepper, and eggplant seed should be put in at once in Zones A, B, and C, and in other zones the latter part of this gardening month or early next. In Zones D and E, plants from seed of cabbage, broccoli, lettuce, and cauliflower, planted in hotbeds or boxes in January, should be reset in boxes or cold frames.

Allow 2 to 2 1/2 inches each way, to get strong, stocky plants. If you prefer to buy plants (of cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower) from growers, set them now in Zones A, B, and C. In Zones D and E, order such plants late this month and get them in during March. They will stand light freezes of 20 to 25 degrees.

In Zones A, B, and C, apply a pound of nitrogen fertilizer per 100 feet of row to those vegetables that are up and growing well. Even where ground is quite rich this feeding will pay well. In all zones, if you plan to plant rhubarb, asparagus, strawberries, dewberries, blackberries, or raspberries, order plants now and set as soon as possible, if the job was not done earlier.

Prune and fertilize berries and grapes this gardening month or next. Where a winter cover crop was grown in the garden, cut the material into fine pieces this month or next with disk harrow before turning under. Cover crop may be allowed to stand a little longer on those parts of the garden not to be planted until April or May. They should, however, be turned under at least two or three weeks before vegetables are to be planted.

It is best to make the first planting of vegetables at the earliest safe date, but none should be put in before the ground is thoroughly broken. No crop can do it’s best on poorly prepared ground, and this is especially true when gardening vegetables.

MARCH

Any of the hardy vegetables listed for February planting for Zones A, B, and C should be planted at once if anything prevented putting them in last gardening month. In Zones A and B, it will usually pay to take a chance on a planting of some of the frost-tender vegetables, such as bush snapbeans, pole snapbeans, okra, roasting ear corn, butter-beans (pole and bush), cucumbers, squash, and tomatoes. These will be safe in most years in all of Zone A and much of Zone B. Even if killed by a late frost, not much will have been lost, and a second planting may follow immediately.

In Zones D and E, plant the following this month: cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, lettuce, Bermuda onion plants, radishes, Irish potatoes, rape, English peas, mustard, turnips, and spinach. Sow in hotbed: tomato, pepper and eggplant seed. Sidedress with nitrogen fertilizer (1 pound to 100 feet of row): lettuce, onion, cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower plants as soon as they have started to grow. Destroy weeds and grass as soon as they show above ground. Be sure to cultivate shallow. Deep cultivation will injure the vegetables by destroying feeder roots.

To get most from gardening, plant something else in space where a crop has been harvested. For instance, in Zones A and B some of the early plantings of radishes, lettuce, turnip greens, and mustard will soon be off the ground. Follow with other vegetables suggested for your area. Follow this same plan throughout the year in all areas. Fix up rows of any part of the garden not already planted or prepared for later planting. If not done during February, bed sweet potatoes in Zones A and B. Also bed them in Zone C and the lower half of Zone D.

APRIL

In Zones A, B, and C, plant any of the tender vegetables. However, in upper part of Zone C and above, wait until May to set eggplant, as it is extremely susceptible to damage from nights that are even cool. Where first planting of the following has not been made in Zones A, B, and C, put in this month: squash, table peas, okra, cantaloupes, bush and pole butterbeans, bush and pole snapbeans, cucumbers, sweet and hot peppers, sweet corn, roasting car com, tomatoes, watermelons. New Zealand spinach, and any other frost-tender vegetables desired such as peanuts and popcorn.

In Zones D and E, plant any of the following that were not planted in March: beets, carrots, roasting ear corn, spinach, cabbage plants, Bermuda or other varieties of onion plants, cauliflower plants, broccoli plants, lettuce plants, Irish potatoes, beans, cucumbers, cantaloupes, and watermelons. Plant tomato seed in bed for plants to set the second crop. Bed sweet potatoes for plants.

Keep all weeds and grass down. Vegetables cannot fight these pests and produce best yields. Never cultivate deep. There is no use cultivating for any purpose other than killing weeds and grass and to prevent a crust from forming. Any further cultivation often damages rather than helps. This is true all year and should be kept in mind.

Watch for insect and disease pests, and spray or dust as recommended with Garden Pest Control. Be constantly alert to combat these enemies.

Sidedress with 1 pound of nitrogen fertilizer to 100 feet of row, any vegetables that are not dark green in color and growing vigorously. Remember that poorly fed vegetables not only give poor yields, but that which is produced poor in quality and flavor, with less vitamins, protein, and other food elements.

When thinning leafy vegetables, such as turnips, beets, kale, and rape, use the tops for greens. Some of the thinned beet plants may be set in rows, 3 or 4 inches apart, if you need more.

Set sweet potato plants in Zones A, B, and C (and D last half of April).

May

If not already set, put out eggplant sweet and hot pepper plants in all zones. Make second setting of tomato plants in Zones A, B, and C. Plant in the whole territory any of the following not already put in: squash, cucumbers, roasting ear corn (second planting in Zones A, B, and C), cantaloupes, watermelons, okra, lima beans (bush and pole), snap beans (bush and pole), New Zealand spinach, sweet potatoes, and edible soybeans.

Mexican bean beetle is likely to show up this gardening month. Watch closely for this and other pests on all crops and dust or spray at right time. As early crops are harvested, remove old stalks or vines, plow ground, put in more fertilizer, make up new rows, and plant as needed. Renew old strawberry rows as soon as picking ceases this month or next, depending on your area. To promote rapid growth of new plants, put on nitrogen fertilizer or high-grade complete fertilizer as soon as new rows have been made.

In making rows for planting vegetables, let beds be flat or not more than a third to a half as high as those for early-spring planting, It usually pays to stake and prune early tomatoes.

Where water is available, it will pay to irrigate most vegetables during dry spells. Soak ground thoroughly and leave alone until moderately dry again. Frequent or light applications do little or no good, and often do harm. Put mulch around long season crops like tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, lima beans, and okra before dry weather.

The whole garden should be planted by the end of this gardening month. Space for future plantings will be available from harvesting of earlier planted vegetables.

A good plan to follow with bush snapbeans is to make another planting as soon as last planting is up and growing well (every two to three weeks.

JUNE

Set tomato plants for a late crop, or plant seed in hills in rows where they are to remain and thin out. Mulch tomatoes and most other vegetables. Use straw, hay, grass clippings, sawdust, motes from cotton gin, or other available material. This will conserve much moisture, and reduce necessary cultivation to keep down weeds and grass. Put it on 2 or 3 inches thick. Mulching is especially helpful in reducing damage to tomatoes by blossom-end rot.

Make a setting of vine cuttings from earlier crop to produce seed potatoes. This reduces black rot and other seed-borne diseases on next year’s crop. Work out and fertilize strawberries and brambles as soon as through picking. Prune out old bramble canes. Thoroughly break and harrow ground for fall crop of Irish potatoes. Plant these in Zones D and E late this gardening month or first half of next gardening month.

Make two plantings of bush snapbeans during the month. Make a second planting of bush lima beans, pole snapbeans, and pole lima beans. Put in another crop of roasting ear corn, okra, beets, carrots, and cucumbers. Make a liberal planting of table peas, such as Purple Hull, Blackeye, and Crowders. To assure plenty for fall use, make another planting of sweet peppers. If parsnips and salsify were not planted in May, put in some this month.

Use a nearby branch bottom or other low and moist place for most June, July, and August plantings. If you are not able to put water on, planting in such a place may mean the difference between success and failure with these summer plantings.

To help get a stand of such small-seeded vegetables as carrots, during hot, dry weather the following plan will prove effective: Plant seed in usual way. Spread sacks on top of rows and wet down. Keep well moistened, but not saturated, until seedlings come through. Remove sacks as seedlings crack through ground. Keep soil moist at least until plants become well established.

In Zones D and E, heavy plantings should be made during the month. As much as possible should be made in the other /ones. Extent to which these will be profitable dope nils largely on weather conditions, whether you are able to apply water during droughts, and the availability of low, moist ground for [these plantings. Keep up dusting or spraying schedules for control of garden pests.

July

In all zones the following may be planted, success depending on weather, availability of water, and moist ground for plantings snap beans (pole and bush), lima beans (pole and bush), carrots, table peas, tomato plants or seed, cabbage, collards, rutabaga turnips (latter part |of the month), roasting ear corn early in the month (early-maturing varieties), table peas (early in month), Irish potatoes, parsnips, salsify, and tomatoes.

Remove stalks and vines of any harvested crops and prepare and fertilize ground for further plantings.

Make effort to provide water for irrigation. With plenty of water and mulching, the garden may be as successful in midsummer as in spring.

Set celery plants in Zones D and E for fall crop. What is planted and successfully sown from this month’s plantings will largely determine what you will eat out the garden in early fall. July is one of the most difficult months of the year or the gardener, but it will pay to do the best possible.

If you plan to save planting seed for next year, start work this month With such crops as tomatoes, peppers, peas, beans, and okra. Select from the best fruits and best plants. Keep up dusting and spraying schedules for control of insects and diseases.

AUGUST

This is a very important month in the garden. What is planted now will determine what you will get from it during fall and early winter.

In Zones A, B, and C, the following may be planted: cabbage, collards pole and bush snap beans, bush lima beans (early in month), beets, broccoli cauliflower, carrots, lettuce, English peas (late in month), Irish potatoes, tomatoes (early in month), squash, Chinese cabbage, turnips, and rutabagas

In Zones D and E, plant cabbage collards, beets, bush snap beans, lettuce, turnips, Chinese cabbage, radishes, turnips for greens, kale and mustard.

In Zone E, sow winter cover crops in row middles. Small grain does well for this purpose. Plant in usual way, and have not only a cover crop but some excellent fall and winter greens. This same plan may be followed in other zones by planting late in month or during September.

For head lettuce during late fall; sow seed early this month and irrigate or plant in shaded bed and transplant in rows in open as soon in September as plants are large enough and weather conditions are suitable. For planting cold frames, sow seed late this month and transplant in frames during October or early November.

SEPTEMBER

In Zones A, B, C, and D, plant any of the following that were not put in last month: spinach, mustard, tender-green, Seven Top turnips for greens, turnips, rape, kale, lettuce, onion sets, onion seed, radishes, Swiss chard, beets, carrots, and Chinese cabbage.

In Zones A, B, and C, a last planting of bush snap beans may be made early this month with a good chance of their being ready for use before frost. To help save moisture, mulch heavily any vegetable now growing. Also push them along by side-dressing with nitrogen fertilizer.

In Zones A and B, many of the frost-tender vegetables may still be planted. Check State Planting Guides for your area.In all except Zone E, plant cover crops this month or next. And remember that any greens, such as kale, turnip, rape, or mustard, will serve this purpose.

In Zones A, B, and C, onion seed sowed now will produce green onions for use during late fall and winter. Use thinnings for green onions, leaving one plant each 3 to 5 inches to produce mature onions early next summer. To assure abundant green onions during winter, also make a liberal planting of sets. But depend on seed for mature onions.Keep on watch for insects on late planted crops. Fertilize strawberry plants.

OCTOBER

In Zones A, B, and C, there is still time to plant lettuce, turnips, beets, onion sets and seed, shallots, spinach, kale, and rape.

In Zones A and B, plant celery seed to grow plants for setting in January or February.Dig and store sweet potatoes before frost kills vines.

In all zones except E, plant cover crops as outlined in September, if not already planted. Fertilize strawberry beds 30 days before frost in your area for better fruit bud formation. Make new plantings.

Just ahead of first frost, pick and store in a dry, cool place fully matured tomatoes and peppers. Then pull up whole plants and hang tops down. Immature fruits will develop considerably after this and can be used as needed.

In Zones D and E, clear off all old stalks and vines as soon as a killing frost comes and give a heavy broadcast application of stable manure. Delay this job in other zones until frost arrives. Plow and leave in the rough that portion not growing cover crops.

NOVEMBER

If not planted during October, put in some spinach and kale for winter use in Zones A, B, and C.Clean up all refuse from garden; manure, and then plow where ground is not growing anything, is not too sloping, or is not a deep sand. Do not harrow, but leave rough until a few weeks before planting. This not only puts the ground in good condition for next year, but destroys many harmful insects that have gone into ground to spend the winter.

In Zones A, B, and C, set strawberry and small fruit plants this month and next, preferably this month. Cut and burn asparagus tops as soon as frost has killed them. Then ‘mulch row and middle heavily with Stable manure.If available, give broadcast application of stable manure this month or next to small fruits and grapes. Prune muscadine grapevines as soon as the leaves fall, or before Christmas. Vines bleed worse when pruned in late winter.

DECEMBER

In all five zones make preparation for next year’s crops. All old stall vines, weeds, and grass should be removed and used in a compost pile. They are also valuable chopped to pieces and turned under but it is best to remove any diseased vines or plants and burn them or let them rot thoroughly in a compost pile. After cleaning up thoroughly, turn under a broadcast application of stable manure, leaving ground rough and uneven. If ground is sloping enough to cause erosion, do not plow during December.

Repair fence where needed, as few chickens or other livestock can do great damage to garden.

Where next month is not too early to plant some hardy vegetables, fix up rows. Weather may be unsuitable to fix them just before time to plant. Pull, cut off tops, and bank surp turnips. They will not become pilthy and stringy as quickly when banked as when left in rows, even where cold is not severe enough to damage them. Handle surplus carrots the same way. Provide whatever covering is needed to protect cabbage, collards, and other hardy vegetables.

Leave parsnips and salsify oyster plant in rows and pull as wanted, freezes damage them little. Set asparagus and rhubarb roots. The former will do well almost anywhere in the South. Rhubarb does best only in higher altitudes, though even in Lower South it can be grown in a limited way.



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