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When you only have the weekends– or part of them– to devote to your garden, it’s really easy to turn Saturday and Sunday into marathon weekends. This monthly gardening calendar breaks down key gardening activities you should do each month. It will help you allocate your gardening chores over the weekend in a more organized way.

By planning your gardening activities with this monthly gardening calendar you’ll find more time during the weekend to actually relax and ENJOY your garden. Make sure that your plantings are getting their weekly inch of water. You can purchase a simple, inexpensive rain gauge or a more elaborate electronic weather station to help you with this.

The following monthly garden calendar has been composed for those of you living in USDA Plant Hardiness Zone 5-7. Spring usually arrives here the first week of April when the forsythia blooms. If you live farther north or south, make sure you adjust the times accordingly!

Monthly gardening calendar for busy gardeners

January

  • Week 1: Cut off the boughs of Christmas trees and greenery and lay them over perennial beds to keep the ground frozen during the January thaw.
  • Week 2: Study photographs of your garden and make plans for additions or deletions. Browse through your gardening books. Order catalogs.
  • Week 3: If it’s mild enough to be outdoors, begin pruning deciduous shrubs and trees.
  • Week 4: Order seeds for vegetable garden. Prowl around outside and pull any cool season weeds you spot. Continue pruning if weather permits.

February

  • Week 1: Browse through flower catalogs and order perennials. Outdoors be on the lookout for early bulb. Draw mulch back if necessary.
  • Week 2: Lightly prune spring flowering shrubs and bring the branches indoors for forcing.
  • Week 3: Take a lawnmower into the shop for sharpening and tune-up. Inspect, repair and sharpen tools.
  • Week 4: Inspect gardens for cool season weeds and eradicate before they set seeds. Prune berry plants.

March

  • Week 1: Prune needle-leaf evergreens, if needed. Remove winter damage to branches. Begin removing protective winter mulches.
  • Week 2: Begin spring cleanup, raking leaves and debris left over from fall cleanup. Cut back dried stocks of perennials. Start new compost heap.
  • Week 3: Continue spring cleanup. Mow the lawn short, and remove the clippings. Apply lawn nutrients and lime, if necessary. Order fall blooming bulbs.
  • Week 4: Cut back ornamental grasses and little rope; my winter damage ground covers. Prune obviously dead or damaged branches on shrub roses. Mow the meadow garden.

April

  • Week 1: Loosen soil in vegetable beds if the ground isn’t saturated. Add compost. Begin sowing staggered plantings of cool season vegetables.
  • Week 2: Continue preparing vegetable garden. Continue sowing staggered plantings. Photograph garden, especially bulbs, for reference. Prune summer flowering shrubs. Sow annual seeds in the meadow garden.
  • Week 3: Renew mulch under shrubbery. Begin dividing perennials. Continue sowing staggered plantings. Deadhead bulbs. Mow grass, setting blades for spring height.
  • Week 4: Continue sowing staggered plantings. Continue dividing perennials. Renew mulch in perennial beds.

May

  • Week 1: Begin planting perennials and shrubs. Take out hoses and inspect. Prune spring-flowering shrubs after the flowers have faded.
  • Week 2: Purchase vegetable seedlings. Begin planting warm season vegetables. Continue planting perennials and shrubs. Photograph garden for records.
  • Week 3: Continue planting vegetable garden. Purchase and begin planting flowering annuals.
  • Week 4: Finish planting flowering annuals. Finish pruning spring-flowering shrubs. Divide spring blooming bulbs as foliage turns yellow.

June

  • Week 1: Mow grass. Set blades for summer height (higher). Cut back dead bulb foliage and finish dividing spring bulbs. Begin summer watering routine, if necessary. Stake tomatoes, vines and perennials.
  • Week 2: Photograph gardens for records. Design new planting areas in preparation for Fourth of July plant sales. Strip off sod. Compost sod.
  • Week 3: Turn over the soil in new planting area working in compost, peat moss and other soil improvements.
  • Week 4: Deadhead perennials. Eradicate young warm-season weeds before they get large.

July

  • Week 1: Attend Fourth of July plant sales. Plant new garden. Harvest currants and raspberries.
  • Week 2: Photograph gardens for records. Finish planting new garden.
  • Week 3: Deadhead perennials. Plant cool season fall vegetable seeds. Begin harvesting blueberries, tomatoes peppers.
  • Week 4: Eradicate warm-season weeds.

August

  • Week 1: Study garden photos taken in spring and summer. Order spring-flowering bulbs dormant perennials and dormant woody plants from catalogs.
  • Week 2: Deadhead perennials. Shop for and plant cool season vegetable transplants.
  • Week 3: Plant fall blooming bulbs.
  • Week 4: Begin harvesting fall raspberries. Inspect gardens for weeds, especially cool-season weed seedlings; eradicate.

September

  • Week 1: Mow lawn, setting blades for fall height (lower). Sow grass seed for new lawns or to repair bare patches. Apply fall nutrients to lawn.
  • Week 2: Begin planting mail-order or locally purchased shrubs, trees and perennials. Photograph gardens for records. Sow seeds for meadow garden.
  • Week 3: Continue planting shrubs and trees. Divide overgrown perennials, such as iris. Plant lily bulbs.
  • Week 4: Shop for spring blooming bulbs. Root-prune shrubs you intend to move or transplant in Spring.

October

  • Week 1: Tidy vegetable garden.
  • Week 2: Plant spring blooming bulbs.
  • Week 3: Finish bulb planting. Cut back perennials if desired, only after frost kills the tops. Remove frost-killed annuals.
  • Week 4: Begin raking and shredding leaves. Clean up vegetable garden, composting healthy plants and discarding suspect ones and trash.

November

  • Week 1: If fall has been drier than usual, water shrubs and flower borders deeply to prepare plants for winter. Cut back dried perennials if desired. Allow attractive seed pods to stand over winter.
  • Week 2: Continue raking and shredding leaves. Till shredded leaves into vegetable garden.
  • Week 3: Continue raking and shredding leaves. Lower mower blade and perform final lawn mowing.
  • Week 4: Final major leaf raking and shredding. Bag some shredded leaves or store under tarp to be used later as mulch. Compost the rest.

December

  • Week 1: Cut back yellow asparagus fronds. Apply lime to lawn, if needed. Water newly planted woody plants if November was dry.
  • Week 2: Inspect and repair tools. Put in storage.
  • Week 3: Apply winter mulch of shredded leaves to frozen ground in perennial beds, shrub borders and woodland garden.
  • Week 4: Relax.

Resources

Here are a few of my recommendations to easily tackle this list

Order Trees, Plants & Bulbs Online:

Wrapping Up

I hope you enjoy this monthly gardening calendar so that your weekends don’t turn into marathon gardening weekends. Make sure that your plants are getting their 1″ of water weekly, and if you live outside of USDA Zones 5-7, adjust the dates accordingly!

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Monthly gardening calendar for busy gardeners
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