Gardening by Holidays
Over the years, I have developed a gardening calendar based on holidays. Here’s my calendar for 2012:
St. Patrick’s Day May 17: Plant potatoes, peas, brussell sprouts and broccoli in garden; start tomato and pepper seedlings inside.
First Day of Spring May 20: Work more compost into raised garden beds. Plant more lettuce, spinach, radishes, onions. Prune roses.
Easter April 8: Plant tree seedlings and native wildflowers. Update garden diary for bulbs I need to divide and move this fall; mark locations so I can find them this fall.
Earth Day April 22: Planting last of my spinach, peas and lettuce in the garden. Time to cover the garden with tulle to keep deer out.
Mother’s Day May 13: Last day of frost so everything can get moved outside. I’ll leave seedlings in their containers outside for a few days before moving them permanently into the garden.
Memorial Day May 28: Last day to plant anything from seed in the garden for this year, which means pumpkins, cucumbers and zucchini go in. Compact fruit trees, bushes and perennials also get planted so they can benefit from June showers.
Father’s Day June 17: Last weekend to plant perennials. Check garden centers for end of season plant sales.
Independence Day July 4: Last day for planting beans for the season. It’s also the last weekend for pinching back Mums so they bloom bushy this fall. There’s little planted past this point that will survive Missouri’s hot summer. Update garden diary.
Labor Day Sept. 3: Harvest fall crops; check for bugs; add compost, and start getting raised garden beds ready for winter. Also time to offer sugar water to my honeybees since little pollen is available.
Columbus Day Oct. 8: Trim deck plants. Start moving them inside house for winter. Give them a good hose bath first to discourage hitch-hiking bugs. Trade plants with friends for holiday gifts.
Halloween Oct. 31; First fall hard frost. All plants that are going towinter over should be settled inside. Halloween weekend is also a good time to add compost to raised bed gardens and make sure bird feeders are
mended and ready for winter.
Veterans Day Nov. 11: Clean and store pots, garden implements; toss out torn gardening gloves; mark envelopes with saved seeds; update garden diary on what worked well this year and what I want to do differently or try next year. If there’s been a hard frost, good time to mulch plant beds so soil temperature doesn’t fluctuate.
Thanksgiving Nov. 22: Buy bulbs on discount. Make bulb gardens for winter gifts; store in basement refrigerator.
Winter, Dec. 21: Look for first gardening catalogs in the mail!
New Years Jan. 1: Check inside plants for hitchhiking bugs; trim dead leaves. Check bulb gardens. Pour over garden catalogs.
Jan. 17 Martin Luther King Day: Make sure inside plants are all getting sunlight needs met. If not, move them around. Review garden diary from last year for what worked and what didn’t. Trade garden catalogs with other gardening friends.
Valentine’s Day February 14: A time when mid-Missouri usually has a few warmer days mid-winter and soil can be worked without using a pick ax.
Good time to check check birdhouses for repairs; clean garden implements; wash flower pots; order local shrubs and trees from George O. White Nursery. Prune fruit trees.
President’s Day February 20: Plant onion sets in the garden. (I pop a few into the deck containers, too!) Plant my deck containers with lettuce, spinach, radishes…it’s almost spring!
Charlotte Ekker Wiggins writes about her gardening adventures at http://www.bluebirdgardens.com/gardening_to_distraction. Copyright 2012 all rights reserved.