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Mountain Gardening: Gardening Calendar

Brought to you by Lowe's Creative Ideas

Wondering what needs to be done in the garden? Mountain Region contributor Jodi Torpey can help you time your tasks.

Mountain Regional Map

March

  • Keep rabbits away from trees with chicken wire wrapped around trunks and stems; bury the wire 6 inches deep.
  • Start vegetable seeds indoors for tomatoes, hot peppers, and eggplant. Treat gray snow mold damage by removing dead grass, raking, and lightly fertilizing.
  • Prune juniper branches damaged by heavy snow; remove branches to a vertical shoot.

April

  • Plant spring bulbs and roots; add lilies, dahlia, cannas lilies, and peonies.
  • Check for the yellow-speckled or streaked grass blades that signal mites.
  • Core aerate turf to reduce the risk of necrotic ring spot.
  • Add animal manure to the vegetable garden only if it's been aged at least 6 months.

May

  • Prune climbing roses to shape or remove dead canes. Plant fruit trees such as apples, plums, and sour cherries.
  • Slowly acclimate vegetable transplants before planting; wait to plant until nighttime temperatures warm sufficiently.
  • Spray wasp nests with permethrin if they're too close to an entryway or play area.

June

  • Prune spring-blooming shrubs such as forsythia, honeysuckle, lilac, and weigela.
  • Feed flowering and fruiting plants with a high-phosphorus fertilizer.
  • Prune plantings to reduce the risk of powdery mildew.
  • Control flea beetles with insecticides, Diatomaceous earth, or neem or horticultural oil.
  • Keep container plants and hanging baskets well watered and fertilized to keep them blooming through the season.

July

  • Plant morning glory seeds for a splash of color in your late summer garden.
  • Be sure trees and shrubs receive adequate moisture to prevent leaf scorch.
  • Watch tomato plants for signs of tomato spotted wilt virus; remove infected plants.
  • Divide clumps of bearded irises after plants finish blooming by digging, cutting into leaf fans, and replanting.

August

  • Keep picking squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, beans, and peppers.
  • Continue to deadhead annuals.
  • Donate extra vegetables and herbs to a local food bank.
  • Keep up with watering on all trees and shrubs.
  • Plant a fall vegetable garden with cool-season vegetables such as parsnip, kale, and turnips.
  • Remove and discard (don't compost) diseased plant parts.

September

  • Pot tender cacti and succulents and bring inside for the winter.
  • Whirl basil into pesto and freeze in ice cube trays for winter storage.
  • Stop deadheading roses.
  • Ripen green tomatoes indoors in a paper bag or make green tomato bread.
  • Apply fertilizer to cool-season turf while it's still green. Plant colorful cool-weather flowers such as mums, violas, and pansies.
  • Harvest and save the seeds of your favorite vegetables and flowers.

October

  • Rake up all garden debris, especially diseased leaves.
  • Use a shovel to turn under organic material, such as compost or manure, in the garden bed.
  • Plant spring-blooming bulbs such as daffodils and tulips. Add or replenish mulch to prevent frost heaving.
  • Let birds enjoy seed-producing plants such as sunflowers and coneflowers.
  • Cover tender vegetable plants at night to extend the gardening season.
  • Add a top dressing of organic compost to flowerbeds.

November

  • Use fallen leaves, pumpkins, and a homemade scarecrow for decorating.
  • Water trees, shrubs, and new plantings when temps are over 40 degrees during the day.
  • Pull carrots, beets, turnips, and other root vegetables after the first killing frost.
  • Crush homegrown dried sage to use in Thanksgiving dressing.

December

  • Grind dried paprika or hot peppers into powder or flakes.
  • Brush heavy snows off tree limbs to keep them from breaking.
  • Position colorful spotlights on ornamental grasses to add a holiday touch to the garden.
  • Create a front-door wreath using dried seed heads and other natural elements from the garden.

See more tips for the Mountain Region.