The Green Thumb Almanac

YOUR ONLINE GARDENING INFORMATION CENTER

Zone 6
Gardening Calendar

This gardening calendar is for gardening zone 6.  If you live further north or south please add or subtract 2 weeks for each zone.  Temperature variations do  occur within each gardening zone.  Check with your local horticultural extension service for the proper planting dates for your area.

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On This Page!

  • Gardening Month by Month
  • How Many Plants Should You Buy?
  • Vegetable Planting Guide
  • USDA Hardiness Zone Maps
 

January

  • Lawns:  Rake any fallen leaves that were missed in the fall.  Get the lawn mower serviced.  Apply a winterizer fertilizer if missed in the fall.
  • Flowers:  Scan the new plant & seed catalogs and plan your garden for spring.
  • Trees & Shrubs:  Gently brush off heavy snow from limbs to reduce damage.  Bring twigs of flowering trees indoors for forced spring blossoms.  Water any fall-planted trees & shrubs if winter snow has been scarce.
  • Vegetables & Fruits:  Order seeds and start transplants indoors under grow lights.
  • Houseplants:  Wash houseplant foliage in the shower.  Inspect for any insects.  Rotate plants so that they receive even light.  Resist the urge to repot or fertilize.  This is best done in spring.
  • Other:  Clean and repair garden tools.  Remember to feed the birds.

February

  • Lawns:  Rake any fallen leaves that were missed in the fall.  Get the lawn mower serviced.  Dormant seed if there is adequate snow.
  • Flowers:  Start seeds indoors for transplanting.  Watch for frost heaving of tender perennials in the garden.  Obtain a soil test if needed.
  • Trees & Shrubs:  Apply dormant oil for control of insects on fruit trees.  Begin spring pruning but not  on spring flowering trees & shrubs.
  • Vegetables & Fruits:  Start broccoli, cauliflower & cabbage transplants.  Prune fruit trees, grapes and berries.  Apply manure or compost to garden but do not work soil when wet.
  • Houseplants:  Wash houseplant foliage and check for insects.  Start an indoor terrarium or fairy garden.
  • Other:  Visit public lawn & flower shows.

March

  • Lawns:  Spot spray for dandelions and other winter weeds.  Apply crabgrass and broadleaf weed pre-emergent.  Mow lawn short (2inches) to pick up winter debris.
  • Trees & Shrubs:  Prune spring flowering trees & shrubs after blooming.  Mulch trees and shrubs.  Apply fertilizer when plants leaf out.  Plant new trees and shrubs.
  • Flowers:  Plant cool season annuals  such as pansies, ornamental cabbage, snapdragons and  osteospermum.  Clean up perennial beds.  Remove winter mulch from roses and prune.  Cut back ornamental grasses.  Divide perennials as desired.
  • Vegetables & Fruits:  Plant potatoes, peas, onions, lettuce and cole crops.  Plant asparagus, rhubarb and strawberries.  Start warm season vegetable seeds indoors.
  • Houseplants:  Repot and begin fertilizing.

April

  • Lawns:  Apply crabgrass control but not if spring seeding.  Mow as needed only removing 1/3 of leaf blade at each mowing.  
  • Vegetables & Fruits:  Plant carrots, onions and beets.  Thin salad crops.  Harvest asparagus and rhubarb.  Remove mulch from strawberry  bed.  Plant beans, corn and other crops in late April.
  • Trees & Shrubs:  Prune spring flowering trees and shrubs within 6 weeks after blooming.
  • Flowers:  Plant new roses.  Fertilize existing rose bushes.  Resist planting summer annuals until after last frost date.
  • Houseplants:  Fertilize houseplants.  Do not put outside until night time temperatures are above 60 degrees F.

May

  • Lawns:  Verticut or core aerate zoysia to help reduce thatch.  Plant zoysia plugs.  Apply a slow-release lawn fertilizer to bluegrass and fescue lawns.  Spot spray weeds.
  • Vegetables & Fruits:  Plant warm season vegetable transplants after danger of frost has passed.  Direct seed corn, cucumbers and other vegetables.  Continue mounding soil around base of potato plants.
  • Trees & Shrubs:  Continue planting new trees and shrubs.  Remove tree wrap and tree stakes that have been in place for a year.
  • Flowers:  Plant summer annuals.  Do first pinching on mums.  Deadhead spring bulbs.
  • Houseplants:  Move outside for the summer.

June

  • Lawns:  Fertilize zoysia lawns with a high nitrogen fertilizer.  Avoid fertilizing cool season grasses.  Spot spray for weeds as needed.  Begin grub control treatments.
  • Vegetables & Fruits:  Plant warm season vegetables.  Mulch vegetables to conserve moisture and prevent weeds.  Fertilize strawberries.  Turn compost piles.
  • Trees & Shrubs:  Check for bagworms and spray as needed.  Clip hedges to maintain shape.  Water newly planted trees and shrubs.
  • Flowers:  Pinch chrysanthemums.  Deadhead flowers.  Fertilize roses.  Clean up dead spring bulb foliage.  Water if rain is scarce.
  • Houseplants:  Water and fertilize.  Repot if desired.

July

  • Lawns:  Keep bluegrass and fescue lawns at 3 to 3 1/2 inches high, zoysia at 1 1/2 inches.  Water deeply but infrequently to develop deep roots.
  • Vegetables & Fruits:  Harvest fruits and vegetables.  Control weeds and insects.  Spray sweet corn for corn earworms when silks emerge.
  • Trees & Shrubs:  Water newly planted trees and shrubs.  Remove suckers from base of trees and branches. 
  • Flowers:  Deadhead annuals and perennials as needed.  Fertilize summer annuals.  Dig, divide and replant iris.  Fertilize roses.  Fertilize container gardens.  Complete final pinching of chrysanthemums no later than July 4th.
  • Other:  Keep compost pile moist and turn occasionally. 

August

  • Lawns:  Water deeply but infrequently.  Allow cool season lawns to go dormant.  Do not fertilize at this time. 
  • Vegetables & Fruits:  Harvest beans, eggplant, melons and okra.  Plant fall vegetables such as cauliflower, cabbage, lettuce, spinach and turnips.  Water, water, water!
  • Trees & Shrubs:  Keep newly planted trees and shrubs well  watered.
  • Flowers:  Keep summer annuals and perennials well watered.  Fertilize summer annuals.  Pull and replace tired annuals with new.
  • Other:  Turn compost pile and  keep moist.

September

  • Lawns:  Seed bluegrass or tall fescue lawns early for best results.  Keep seed moist until germinated.  Renovate lawns by verticuting, core aerate if soil is compacted.  Apply fall fertilizer to lawns but do not fertilize zoysia this late.
  • Vegetables & Fruits:  Continue to harvest vegetables.  Pick apples and pears.  Plant fall vegetables such as lettuce, spinach and radishes.  Plant garlic bulbs for next year's crop.
  • Trees & Shrubs:  Plant new trees and shrubs.  Do not prune spring flowering plants this late.  Water drought stressed trees and shrubs.
  • Flowers:  Purchase spring bulbs for planting in October.  Dig and divide peonies.  Divide perennials.  Plant chrysanthemums for fall color.
  • Houseplants:  Bring houseplants indoors before temperatures drop into the 50's.  Clean and spray for insects before bringing inside.

October

  • Lawns:  Rake fallen leaves.  New grass seed should be planted early in the month.  Apply first winterizer lawn fertilizer application.  Spot spray weeds.
  • Trees & Shrubs:  Great time to plant new trees and shrubs.
  • Vegetables & Fruits:  Harvest Brussel's sprouts, kale, lettuce and cole crops.  Plant winter rye.
  • Flowers:  Pull up summer annuals.  Cut back fading perennials.  Empty flower pots and bring inside for winter storage.  Plant spring blooming bulbs such as tulips and daffodils.
  • Houseplants:  All houseplants should be inside by this time.  Spray for over wintering insects.
  • Other:  Collect leaves, dried hydrangea blooms and nuts for fall decorating.

November

  • Lawns:  Rake and mulch fallen leaves.  Do second winterizer lawn fertilizer application.  Spot spray for weeds.  Winterize lawn mower.
  • Trees & Shrubs:  Water newly planted trees and shrubs.  Place tree wrap or wire around young plants to prevent rabbit damage.
  • Vegetables & Fruits:  Clean and remove any fallen fruit.  Mulch strawberries after several hard freezes.
  • Flowers:  Clean up rose beds to  help reduce overwintering insects and disease.  Dig and store tender bulbs.  Cut back perennials.
  • Houseplants:  Check plants for any insects that might have been brought indoors.  Reduce or stop fertilizing.  Plant amaryllis bulbs for Christmas bloom.
  • Other:  Clean and oil garden tools.  Drain sprinklers and hoses and store for winter. 

December

  • Lawns:  Clean up leaves and debris as needed.  Do final winterizer lawn fertilizer application.
  • Trees & Shrubs:  Water newly planted trees and shrubs if snow is scarce.  Mulch roots of tender shrubs such as azaleas and rhododendrons.  Prune evergreen branches for holiday decorations.
  • Living Christmas trees should be brought inside for less than one week.
  • Flowers:  Mulch rose bushes after the ground has frozen solid.  Mulch perennials. 
  • Other:  Buy gardening gifts for the gardeners on your holiday list.  Remember to feed the birds.

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Planting Guides

How Many Plants Should You Buy?

First read the plant tag.  It should state how far apart to plant your plants.  Then to figure the number of plants required for your area, multiply the number of square feet of your area by the number of plants per square foot using this table:

On 6" centers - plants per sq. ft. = 4
On 8" centers - plants per sq. ft. = 2.25
On 9" centers - plants per sq. ft. = 1.77
On 10" centers - plants per sq. ft. = 1.44
On 12" centers - plants per sq. ft. = 1
On 18" centers - plants per sq. ft. = .44
On 24" centers - plants per sq. ft. = .25

You now know how many plants it will take to fill your area!

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Vegetable Planting Guide

Seed/Plant
 Growth # of weeks
 Set out date from last frost
  Beans*
  8 to 10
  1-2 weeks after
  Beets*
  8 to 10
  2-3 weeks after
  Broccoli
  8 to 10
  2 weeks before
  Brussels Sprouts
  16 to 19
  3 weeks before
  Cabbage
  13 to 17
  3 weeks before
  Carrots*
  8 to 10
  1-2 weeks after
  Cauliflower
  8 to 10
  2 weeks before
  Collards
  4 to 6
  4 weeks before
  Corn*
  9 to 12
  2 weeks after
  Cucumber*
  6 to 12
  1-2 weeks after
  Eggplant
  14 to 20
  3 weeks after
  Lettuce*
  4 to 7
  1-2 weeks after
  Greens*
  5 to 7
Soon as soil can be worked.
Seed/Plant
 Growth # of weeks
 Set out date from last frost
  Okra
  4 to 6
  2-4 weeks after
  Onion*
  8 to 10
  2-3 weeks before
  Parsley
  8 to 10
  2 weeks before
  Peas*
  8 to 10
  4-6 weeks before
  Peppers
  8 to 10
  2 weeks after
  Potatoes*
  10 to 20
  2-3 weeks after
  Pumpkin*
  15 to 18
  2-3 weeks after
  Radish*
  4
  3-4 weeks before
  Spinach*
  6 to 7
  3-6 weeks before
  Winter Squash*
  13 to 22
  2 weeks after
  Tomato
  8 to 12
  1 week after
  Zucchini*
  2 to 4
  2 weeks after
  Key:  * = seed
 
 

USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map
(Minimum Temperatures by Zone)

AHS Heat-Zone Map
(Maximum Temperatures by Zone)

Explore an interactive version of this map at planthardiness.ars.usda.gov