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If you pray for rain, make sure you carry an umbrella.
Grow along with me with

No, this is not a page about gardening during Christmas. It is, however, a schedule to do gardening tasks when holidays occur. This is a method I use to help me remember certain chores at the right time of the year. It is set up for Zone 8b with a frost free date of March 6 and a frost date of December 6, so you'll need to make adjustments for other zones. Zone 8b is the upper Gulf Coast region and it runs San Antonio east to the Atlantic at the Georgia-Florida line.

As you can tell, the schedule is under construction, so "grow" along with me. Feel free to make suggestions, corrections and even criticisms, they are all welcome.

"Grow along with me"
New Years Day, January 1st
  1. Remove and pack away all outdoor Christmas lighting. Check for frayed wiring and bad bulbs. Make the corrections now while you remember them.
  2. Take the once-live Christmas tree to a county recycling location or place at the curb for city pick-up.
  3. Make notes for items that will need repairing in the spring, such as caulking, painting.
  4. Make plans for the vegetable garden or flowerbeds for the spring. Order plants, bulbs and seeds from seed catalogs.
  5. Plant trees in January. Do not fertilize the first year.
  6. Spray fruit trees with dormant oil.
  7. Plant tulips and hyacinths which have been chilled for 6 weeks.

Plant these vegetables now: Mustard

Martin Luther King, Jr., Birthday, January 15th
  1. Treat any fire ant mounds in and around flowerbeds or the lawn.
  2. Start vegetable and flower seeds indoors
  3. Heavy prune fruit trees and crepe myrtles
  4. Transplant shrubs and trees now.
  5. Plant bare-rooted rose bushes.
  6. During the rest of January, as weather permits, turn garden and ready for spring planting.

Plant these vegetables now: broccoli seeds, cabbage, carrots, collards seeds, endive, kohlrabi seeds, lettuce, onion sets, parsley plants, English peas and turnips

Groundhog's Day, February 2nd
  1. Divide Daylilies at this time if they are large clumped and fertilize
  2. Place new azaleas in the landscape, as needed. Do not fertilize azaleas now
  3. Mow lawn to clean up debris. Do not scalp the lawn but use a medium height mower deck.
  4. Start new compost pile.

Plant these vegetables now: beets, broccoli plants, Swiss Chard, collard plants, kohlrabi seeds, radishes, turnips

Saint Valentine's Day, February 14th
  1. Prune roses, and fertilize with a good rose food. Work 1/4 cup epsom salts into the soil around each plant.
  2. Plant summer flowering bulbs now.

Plant these vegetables now: potatoes, radishes, spinach

Texas Independence Day, March 2
  1. Mow the lawn for the second time with a medium height mower deck.
  2. Fertilize shrubs using a balanced fertilizer, according to the package directions.
  3. Plant potted poinsettias into the landscape. Begin color conditioning in October.

Plant these vegetables now: bush green beans, pole green beans, sweet corn, cucumbers, tomatoes

Saint Patricks Day, March 17
  1. Fertilize azaleas and camelias with azalea-camelia fertilizer after flowering. Water well. Pruning is usually not needed, but now is the time to do it to remove scragglers.
  2. Mow the lawn and fertilize with a premium 15-5-10 or 20-5-10, watering in well.
  3. Plant second planting of green beans.

Plant these vegetables now: pole lima beans, muskmelons, pepper plants, pumpkins, summer squash, winter squash

April Fools' Day, April 1
  1. Raise mower deck one notch when mowing the lawn this month.

Plant these vegetables now: eggplant, okra, watermelon

Easter, April 4

  1. Hide some Easter Eggs in the lawn.
  2. Invite some children and have an Easter Egg Hunt.
  3. Place potted Easter lilies in sunny or partial-shady location. Water liberally and check for drainage.

Roses--Do not fertilize newly planted bushes until after they have bloomed. On Valentine's Day begin feeding each plant with a handful of 12-24-12 fertilizer on a monthly schedule or a liquid fertilizer every two weeks. Also once in the spring put 1/4 cup epsom salt around each bush. Regularly spray with a fungicide to control black spot. A fertilizer with a systemic insecticide is easy to use and can also be used to fertilize crape myrtles.

Beans, Bush-plant 2nd of March 3 or 4 inches apart in rows 18 inches apart and 1 inch deep. Soil should be very loose. Succession plantings every 2 weeks lengthens the harvest season. Fertilize lightly with a balanced fertilizer every 4 weeks after germination. Harvest before the seeds begin to swell in the pod.
Beans, Pole-plant 2nd of March 3 or 4 inches apart on a fence or trellis and 1 inch deep. Plant lima beans during the last half of March. Soil should be very loose. Fertilize lightly with a balanced fertilizer every 4 weeks after germination. Harvest before the seeds begin to swell in the pod.
Beets-plant 1st of February in 12 inch wide rows. Thin seedlings to 4 inches apart. Soil should be alkaline.
Corn-Plant during March. Place 2 seeds 1 inch deep every 18 inches in rows 2 feet apart. For better pollination, plant in blocks rather than one long row. When seedlings are 8 inches tall, side dress with a high nitrogen fertilizer and again 4 weeks later with a balanced fertilizer. When weeding, pull additional soil around the plants for extra support as they are shallow-rooted. Water well. When the silks turn brown, pierce a kernel with thumbnail and harvest if the juice squirts out.
Cucumbers--plant during March. Plant seeds 3 inches apart in rows 36 inches apart or 6-8 seeds per hill spaced 4 feet apart. Planting depth is 1/2 inch. Fertilize with a balanced fertilizer every 4 weeks. Keep very well watered. Cucumbers can be allowed to grow on a fence or trellis to conserve space.
Eggplant-set out transplants about 12 inches apart during April, after the temperature has warmed and there is no danger of frost. Keep watered when young but can tolerate some dry conditions later on. Harvest the fruit at anytime until the skin gets dull. Leave 1 inch stem when harvesting and eat as soon as possible as it does not keep well.
Muskmelons--plant March 15 through April 15. Plant seeds 1 inch deep every 12 inches in rows spaced 3 to 4 feet apart. They need ample water and a side-dressing of 5-10-5 fertilizer after they begin to vine. Harvest when the fruit has changed from green to yellow and the cantaloupes smell like cantaloupes
Okra--plant okra seeds when all danger of frost has past, about 1 to 2 feet apart. Harvest pods when they are 2-3 inches long. Store pods several days in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.
Peppers--plant pepper plants between March 15 and April 15 and again the last part of June. Place them 18 inches apart in rows 2 feet apart. As the fruit begin to form, fertilize with a 5-10-5 fertilizer.
Potatoes-plant in February. Buy only certified seed potatoes. Cut into pieces the size of an egg containing 2 or 3 eyes. Spread out and let air dry for several days. Plant 12 inches apart in rows 2 feet apart in well-drained soil, eyes up, and cover with 3 inches of soil. Work a balanced fertilizer into soil when plants are 10 inches tall. As they grow up continue to pile loose soil or mulch around plant. The potatoes will grow as side shoots from the main stem. Developing potatoes must be covered to assure that light does not reach them as the light causes the potataoes to turn green, which is poisonous. When flowers appear on the top, you may carefully harvest some of the new potatoes. When the tops die back, you can dig the rest.
Pumpkins--Plant last of March through middle of April. Plant 2 inches deep and space plants 3 feet apart. Bush types can be grown 2 feet apart. Water and fertilize regularly. Store pumpkins in 50°-60°F.
Radishes-plant in February. Plant radish seeds 1/2 inches deep in 12 inch wide rows. Thin seedling to 4 inches apart. Do not over-fertilize.
Spinach-plant seeds February 14 in rows 12 inches apart. Thin seedling to 4 inches apart. Harvest entire plant or individual outer leaves. Cut entire plant when seed stalks appear.
Squash--Plant both summer and winter squash between the middle of March to the middle of April. Plant in well drained soil that has a lot of organic matter in it. Plant bush squash 24 inches apart. Vining squash should be planted in groups of 4 or 5 seeds that are 4 feet apart. Seed depth is 2 inches. Harvest summer squash when you want to. Harvest winter squash when shells are hard and leave several inches of stem attached.
Tomatoes-on March 2nd plant seedlings about 20-24 inches apart. Provide for some support, either a stake to tie limbs to or a tomato cage. Lightly fertilize with a 1-2-1 fertilizer every 4 weeks. Keep well watered.
Watermelon-plant after April 1. Plant seeds 1 inch deep every 12 inches in rows spaced 3 to 4 feet apart. They need ample water and a side-dressing of 5-10-5 fertilizer after they begin to vine. Harvest when the underneath of the melon has changed from white to yellow and the tendrils closest to the fruit turn brown and dry up. The skin becomes dull and hard and has a dull sound when thumped.
Recommended Gardening Sites:
Better Homes and Gardens

Questions or Suggestions?

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