Tips On Gardening

Basic tips on gardening, covering an entire year month by month from organic matter to planting times.

Always check with your local greenhouse as to growing times and zones for your areas. The following tips are basic generic tips.

During the month of January, you can add beneficial elements to your soil such as compost, manure, peat, or any other organic material. This is also a good time to plan your garden layout and order your seeds and plants if you order from catalog. During January, you can also prune your fruit-trees. January is also a good time to sow shallots in order to have a good harvest of winter greens. If you plant shrubs and trees in January they will also have a sufficient time to establish good root systems. Many winter shrubs have beautiful colors such as honeysuckle and winter jasmine.

During the month of February, you can begin starting your seeds indoors. Herbs, flowers and some vegetables can be planted inside during the month of February. Always check your packages to make sure of the germination and growth times for your particular seeds that you are planting. Seeds such as nasturtium can be planted outside towards the end of February depending upon your location. The month of February is also a great time to check your gardening tools and tillers to make sure they are all in working order. February is a great time to plant sweet peas, mint and potatoes.

During the month of March, you should begin to loosen and turn the soil. In doing so at this time you will help to aide in aeration and drainage, making sure the soil is not to wet or to dry when you begin to cultivate it. If you cultivate the soil while it is too wet or dry, you may very well ruin the soils natural structure making it poor for planting. Always add some nutrients back into your soil when you begin cultivating such as lime and fertilizers. Many of the more prolific annuals can be transplanted during late March such as: Sweet William, dianthus, snapdragons, calendula and alyssum. Many herbs should also be transplanted or planted during this time period such as radishes, parsnips, turnips, carrots, artichokes, lettuces, kale and cabbages.

During the month of April, you can begin deciding where you will put all your flowers. Be sure to pay close attention to the colors so you get the most out of your plantings. You will want to try to get your yellow, orange and red blooming flowers to the front part of your flowerbed, and place your blues and silvers towards the middle of the bed and all other colors at the back. Weeds are also going to begin popping up during the month of April so begin quickly pulling them as you see them. This month is also a good time to prune rose trees.

During the month of May, you can put out your remaining transplants and it's best to put them out on a cloudy day with little wind. This is not always possible due to schedules and such as that, but if possible wait until you have a cloudy calm day to transplant or wait until very late in the afternoon, early evening. This is also a good time to apply mulching since it helps with soil temperature and moisture content in the soil. This is also the month to think about placing all the annual plants that you will be purchasing from the greenhouse etc., or maybe you are wanting to cut down your yearly planting and have decided to go with perennials. Perennials that require little work and flower every year are: coneflower, coralbell, bleeding hearts, hosta, veronica, daylily and dianthus.

During the month of June, which is commonly referred to as the month of roses you need to carefully check all plants and beds for signs of mildew. This is also going to be a very busy time for weeding and keeping the plants moist. Watering will be very important during this month as will the use of the hoe. Weeds will prosper and take control of your garden or flowerbed if you do not keep active with the removal of them during this month. Many perennial flowers can also be cut away and a second blossoming can be garnished from most.

During the month of July, you can begin to dry your herbs such as thyme and sage. And harvest the parsley and even possibly get in a second planting of parsley. Other vegetables that are done producing towards the end of July first of August can be turned over and the ground covered with some organic mulch or manure. This is also a good time if you want greens during the winter to plant them. July is almost the best time to gather cuttings from your plants for next year.

During the month of August, you should keep the garden as clean and well watered as possible. Remove all weeds as they show up and keep picking the fruits and vegetables as they ripen. Many peppers and tomatoes will at their peak during the first weeks of August and into early September, they will be showing signs of stagnation. This time of the year is also the best time for planting your winter spinach and cabbage plants. This is also the best time for you to remove all your annual flowers that have stopped flowering. Dig them up and get rid of them.

During the month of September, if you have planted Michaelmas daisies or Chrysanthemums you will want to keep the ground around these plants well weeded because the month of September is generally the greatest time for these plants to blossom. Their colors will be at their peak during this month. If you have planted parsnip, it is also the time to hoe up that area, harvest the last of them, and clean up the bed. Pears, apples, peaches, will also be ready for picking at this time. Some apples may have already reached their peak time for picking towards the end of August but most will be ready in September.

During the month of October, your gardening season is pretty well over. This is the time for cleaning up all the waste, dead plants, and getting your garden bed ready for next year. You might still have some plants such as kale, broccoli and melons in the ground so clear the area around these plants keeping the weeds down as much as possible. Pile all the other dead plants you have taken out in a pile for burning the following year. Any leaves that fall into the garden bed should not be left on top of the soil. You should turn them into the soil so they can decompose easier and provide valuable nutrients for the ground.

During the month of November, you can begin tending to the transplanting of evergreens, rosebushes, and small trees. All vines and bushes should be looked over, pruned and cut back if necessary. All soil in the garden and flower beds that do not have something planted should be turned and some organic matter applied to those areas to help the ground during the winter and thus it will also be healthy come spring.

During the month of December, all areas of the garden or flowerbeds that are not snow covered should be spread with manure. You may also plant roses at this time if you live in a mild climate area. All fertilizers and manures should also be worked into the soil around shrubs, evergreens and fruit trees during the first week of December or last week of November depending on the climate of your area. All dead leaves should be removed from any of your winter plants.

Happy Gardening!

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