Gardening involves tasks that can be done routinely at the same time every year. This keeps you going and keeps you gardening, no matter the season. The following monthly guide is loosely based on a Zone 6 region, so you may need to adjust the timing to fit your specific plant hardiness zone.
This is a print worthy calendar with the basics to keep your garden on task without being an overwhelming list. Post on a refrigerator or by a household calendar to check monthly. This will help keep the spring gardening season stress free since the garden has been prepared all year.
This is the time to begin your garden plan and order seeds. Those with established gardens should be looking a year ahead, so seeds ordered this year will be primarily for the next. Your garden plan should include rotation and soil-building based on your notes and ideas. Now is also the time to plant fruit trees, bushes, and canes.
This is when soil preparation begins. Begin warming the soil by spreading plastic over it, or get your cold frames ready. Some very early plants like garlic can be planted now too.
Continue the soil preparation and complete other improvements such as repairing broken trellises, fences, and walkways. Many who start seeds indoors will do so this month.
Sow the early varieties and mulch to protect the seedlings as they emerge. Transplant those cold tolerant species you’re growing this year.
This is when the first (and often worst) of the pests begin to hatch and arrive. Now is the time to start getting them before they become a problem. Later plantings can also take place this month.
Weeds, early harvests, mulching, composting… this is a busy month!
The peak of the season for growing. Your work is all about maintenance and control. Keep the weeds at bay, water regularly as the heat is beginning to get unbearable, and complete your early harvests. Harvested areas that are done producing can be pulled and the soil amended for the next round of plantings.
Typical harvest season for most vegetables, this is the busiest time of the year for the gardener. You likely have little time left for other maintenance activities, but your hard work for the past two months will now pay off.
This is where the full transition to a fall garden commences. Clean all debris and plants and add soil amendments as needed (compost definitely).
Begin preparing the garden for winter. Add organic matter to the compost bin to over-winter, start cover crops, or mulch those areas currently not producing.
Some late harvests (potatoes, etc) may now be pulled completely from the garden. Catch up on your garden notes and complete the October work to winterize the garden.
Add more organic matter to the beds. Go through your journal and make notes on the observations and trends you see from this season. This will begin your plans for next season… in January.
Want to learn more about month by month gardening calendars?
Here are some great resources for detailed gardening monthly calendars:
Monthly Garden Calendar from University of Tennessee. This site links to a PDF for a 22 page detailed printable monthly gardening calendar, including indoor gardening.
Monthly Garden Calendar from Oregon State University Extension Service