The Vegetable Garden

Zones 3-4 Garden Calendar and Monthly Garden Tips

    Monthly To-Do List To Keep You On-Track All Year With Your Garden Activities For Zones 3-4

    January Tips

    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. If you have any leftover seeds store these in a cool and dry place. Some gardeners save their seeds in a jar placed in the refrigerator. If you have vegetables in storage check them for spoilage and disease and remove affected vegetables. For an early taste of spring, grow some sprouts. Mung bean, radish, and buckwheat sprouts grow well in vented jars. Just put the seeds inside, cover them with water overnight, drain, then rinse twice a day.

    February Tips

    While considering your garden for the upcoming year take the time to draw layouts of how you expect to arrange your plantings. Review notes about your garden paying attention to success and failure and see if there are gems of information that can be helpful in your new plan.If you have not already done so now is the time to order seeds for the coming year.If a soil test has not been done in recent years then you can purchase a soil test kit through Amazon for quite cheap and find out what sort of soil amendments you might need to give your garden the best chances for success this coming year. Start broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage transplants this month if your soil is workable.Weather permitting, February is the month to begin tilling or spading the soil. Do not undertake this project until the soil is dry enough to work. Compost, well rotted manure or other organic matter are excellent additives to mix into vegetable garden soil as you prepare it for planting. This is also the time to turn under your cover crops if you have any.Perennial vegetable such as rhubarb, asparagus, horseradish and artichokes can be planted this month.

    March - April Tips

    Sweet peas, potatoes, onions and some salad crops can also be planted in March. Spinach, Broccoli, Celery, Radish seeds, Leeks, Cauliflower, Swiss Chard and other hardy vegetables can be seeded or set-out in the later part of this month. March is a good time to plant fruit trees and berries too. If you had strawberries and mulched them this past fall be sure to remove the mulch when growth begins. If you don't have established strawberries this is the month to start a new bed of strawberries. Blueberries, Boysenberries and Currants may also be started this month.Tomatoes and lettuce and other salad greens can be started from seed this month. Depending on your climate you may want to do this in a cold frame or indoors.