To keep my gardening chores organized, I developed a calendar associated with major holidays. I use a Missouri Department of Conservation Natural Events Calendar, which includes when hummingbirds migrate, chiggers start biting, etc.
I also use some of the holidays as reminders to check on my garden progress.
Here's my calendar for 2013:
New Year’s Jan. 1: Spray inside plants for hitchhiking bugs; remove dead branches. Mark garden catalogs for possible projects.
Jan. 21 Martin Luther King Day: Check plants wintering inside are getting enough sunlight; move them around and give watered down fertilizer. Review garden diary from last year. Trade garden catalogs with other gardening friends.
Valentine's Day February 14: Good time to check birdhouses for repairs; clean garden implements; wash flower pots; order local shrubs and trees from George O. White Nursery. Prune fruit trees.
President's Day February 18: Plant onion sets in the garden. I pop a few into deck containers, too! Plant deck containers with lettuce, spinach, radishes...it's almost spring!
St. Patrick's Day March 17: Plant potatoes, snow peas, brussel sprouts and broccoli in garden; start tomato and pepper seedlings inside on warm surface.
Spring March 21: Work more compost into raised garden beds. Plant more lettuce, spinach, radishes, onions. Prune roses.
Easter March 31: Plant tree seedlings and native wildflowers. Update garden diary for bulbs I need to divide and move this fall; mark locations so I can find them.
Earth Day April 22: Planting last of my spinach, peas and lettuce in garden. Time to cover garden with tulle to keep deer out.
Mother's Day May 12: Last day of frost so everything can get moved outside. I'll leave seedlings in their containers outside for a few days before moving them permanently into the garden.
Memorial Day May 27: Last day to plant anything from seed in garden for this year, which means pumpkins, cucumbers and zucchini go in. Compact fruit trees, bushes and perennials also get planted so they can benefit from June showers.
Father's Day June 16: Last weekend to plant perennials. Check garden centers for end of season plant sales.
Independence Day July 4: Last day for planting beans for the season. It's also the last weekend for pinching back Mums so they bloom bushy this fall. There's little planted past this point that will survive Missouri's hot summer. Update garden diary.
Labor Day Sept. 2: Harvest fall crops; check for bugs; add compost, and start getting raised garden beds ready for winter. Also time to offer sugar water to my honeybees since little pollen is available. Think about planting a fall garden.
Columbus Day Oct. 14: Trim deck plants. Start moving them inside house for winter. Give them a good bath first to discourage hitch-hiking bugs. Trade plants with friends for holiday gifts.
Page 2 of 2 - Halloween Oct. 31: First fall hard frost. All plants that are going to winter over should be settled inside. Halloween weekend is also a good time to add compost to raised bed gardens and make sure bird feeders are mended and ready for winter.
Veterans Day Nov. 11: Clean and store pots, garden implements; toss out torn gardening gloves; mark envelopes with saved seeds; update garden diary on what worked well this year and what I want to do differently or try next year. If there's been a hard frost, good time to mulch plant beds so soil temperature doesn't fluctuate.
Thanksgiving Nov. 28: Buy bulbs on discount. Make bulb gardens for winter gifts; store wrapped refrigerator. If ground is frozen, mulch garden beds.
Winter, Dec. 21: Water first year mums, pansies once a month through winter. Make sure winter birds have defrosted water to drink. Look for first gardening catalogs in the mail!
Christmas Dec. 25: Enjoy giving, and receiving, gifts from the garden!
Charlotte Ekker Wiggins shares her gardening tips at http://www.gardeningcharlotte.com. Copyright 2012 used with permission by Gatehouse Media. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Contact Charlotte at firstname.lastname@example.org.