The Vegetable Garden

Zones 7-8 Garden Calendar and Monthly Garden Tips

Monthly To-Do List To Keep You On-Track All Year With Your Garden Activities For Zones 7-8

January

  • Start a garden record book now, allowing space to record the dates of first and last frosts, sowing seeds, planting, transplanting, time of bloom, first fruits, fertilizing, problems with pests, and other information. Over a period of years, this will be an invaluable record.
  • Make a garden plan. Plan the garden to include various vitamin groups.
  • Consider planting a few new varieties along with the old favorites.
  • Plant the amount of each vegetable to be planted, including enough to can and freeze. Allow about 1/10 acre of garden space for each member of the family.
  • Buy enough quality seed for two or three plantings to lengthen the season of production.
  • Take soil samples if you have not already done so, and take them to your county extension office for analysis.

  • Apply manure or compost and plow it under if you did not do so in the fall.
  • Apply lime, sulfur and fertilizer according to the soil-test results and vegetable requirements. Buy 100 pounds of fertilize for each 1/10 acre to be planted (if manure is not available, buy at least half again more). Use 5-10-10 or 6-12-12 analysis, depending on soil test and vegetable requirements.
  • Get plant beds or seed boxes ready for growing plants such as tomato, pepper and eggplant. Have beds ready for planting in early February.
  • Check on your compost pile and make sure it is ready for use in the spring.
  • Go by your county extension office and get copies of Extension Service gardening publications.

February

  • Plant seed boxes. Peppers and eggplants will take eight weeks to grow from seed to transplant size, while tomatoes will take six weeks. When the seedlings form their third set of true leaves, transplant them to individual containers.
  • Prepare land for planting - winter and early spring plantings belong on a ridge (raised bed) for better drainage and earlier soil warm-up.
  • If nematodes were a problem last year, make plans to plant another crop less susceptible to nematodes in the infected area.
  • Make early plantings of your choice from the following: carrots, collards, lettuce, mustard, English peas, Irish potatoes, radishes, spinach and turnips.
  • Use "starter" fertilizer solution around transplanted crops such as cabbage.
  • Replenish the mulch on strawberries.
  • Seed herbs for April planting. Make a list of the ones that are best to buy rather than seed, such as French tarragon and rosemary.