Monthly Garden Schedule by Zone

Zone 10 - Monthly Garden Calendar: Chores and Planting Guide

Zone 10 - Monthly Garden Calendar: Chores and Planting Guide

Planting by USDA Zone is a good starting point to get a handle on what you should be thinking of planting and when. If you pair this overview of gardening tasks by zone with experience, local knowledge and good year on year note taking then you should have a pretty good annual gardening calendar! 

 

ZONE 10

January

  • Plants that can be added to the garden during the coolest months include begonia, browallia, lobelia, dianthus, dusty miller, and nicotiana.
  • Winter is a great time to plant bulbs that will bloom in the spring. Some examples include Clivia lily, crinum, and agapanthus.
  • Many herbs will thrive now that temperatures are cooler, including tarragon, thyme, dill, fennel, and any of the mints.
  • Many vegetables can be planted this time of year, like beets, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, kale, mustard, and turnips.
  • This the last month to plant Irish potatoes.
  • Contact seed companies to receive the new years catalog.
  • Make plans for the coming seasons garden. Decide where your crops will rotate from last year, and start carpentry projects like cold frames, trellises, and indoor lighting set-ups if possible.
  • Look over last year's planting, fertilizing and spraying records. Make notes to reorder successful varieties as well as those you wish to try again.
  • Add garden record keeping to the list of New Year's resolutions. Make a note of which varieties of flowers and vegetables do best and which do poorly in your garden.
  • It is a good time to plant woody shrubs. Water frequently to get new plantings off to a good start.
  • Water plants if temperatures remain higher than normal and rainfall is scarce.
  • Bring sensitive plants like orchids inside if a frost or freeze is predicted. Thoroughly water and cover sensitive plants in the landscape 12–24 hours before a freeze.
  • Apply horticultural oil to citrus, shrubs, and deciduous fruit trees while plants are dormant to control scale. Apply copper spray to mangos after bloom.

February

  • Plants that perform better in the cooler months include petunia, pansy, verbena, dianthus, strawflower, and lobelia. Protect from frosts and freezing temperatures.
  • Good performers for annual bedding plants in the Deep South’s mild winter include impatiens, verbena, dianthus, strawflower, and lobelia.
  • Many bulbs can be planted now. Divide large, crowded clumps. Provide adequate water for establishment. Some examples include Amazon lily, crinum, and agapanthus.
  • Consider replacing areas of grass with drought-tolerant, low-maintenance groundcovers.
  • Winter vegetable gardening is in full swing. Last month to plant cantaloupes, cucumbers, eggplant, lettuce, peppers, spinach, and tomatoes for a late spring harvest. Protect crops in the unlikely event of a frost or freeze.
  • Prune roses this month to remove damaged canes and improve the overall form. After pruning, fertilize and apply a fresh layer of mulch. Blooming will begin 8–9 weeks after pruning.
  • Fertilize shrubs and palms by spreading fertilizer evenly over the soil surface and watering it in. Follow with a fresh layer of mulch to conserve moisture and reduce weeds. Delay pruning any cold-damaged branches until new growth starts.
  • Disease-susceptible varieties of avocado and mango may require applications of copper fungicide.
  • Fertilize citrus trees now if not done in January. Frequency and amount of fertilization depend on the age of the tree.

March

  • Plant heat-tolerant annuals, such as crossandra, gazania, melampodium, and zinnia that will last into fall.
  • Plant gladiola corms 6 inches apart and 4 inches deep; stake as they grow. Plant caladium for a showy tropical display all summer.
  • Plant an array of culinary and medicinal herbs now. In addition to their culinary value, many herbs are ornamental and attract butterflies to the garden.
  • This is the last month to plant arugula, beans, cantaloupe, carrots, celery sweet corn, endive, okra, radish, squashes, Swiss chard, and watermelon.
  • Prune perennials and shrubs when new growth begins after the end of the dormant season. To guard next season's blooms, begin pruning after the last flowers fade but before the new buds set.
  • Add mulch to minimize weeds and conserve moisture during dry weather.
  • Monitor landscape plants for insects, especially for the presence of aphids on tender new growth. Insects become more active during warm weather.
  • Fertilize palms and ornamental shrubs if not done last month.
  • Add variety and interest to the landscape and table for years by planting exotic fruits this month.

April

  • Plant heat-tolerant annuals, such as coleus, vinca, and portulaca.
  • Cannas thrive in the heat of summer. New varieties have colorful leaves as well as flowers.
  • Some to start now include basil, coriander, cumin, and mint.
  • Beans, Chinese cabbage, Southern peas, and sweet potatoes can still be planted. Mulch beds well and monitor irrigation if the weather is dry.
  • Monitor insect activity and learn which bugs damage plants and which do not.
  • Identify and conserve beneficial insects. Some insects should be encouraged in your yard!
  • Watch for pests, disease, and nutritional disorders on developing tomato plants.
  • Identify and treat environmental and nutritional disorders in palm trees.
  • Divide clumps of bulbs, ornamental grasses, or herbaceous perennials to expand or rejuvenate garden beds or to pass along to friends.
  • Choose from a wide variety of shrubs to add to the landscape now.

May

  • Ornamental plants that can take summer heat include coleus, salvia, torenia, wax begonia, and ornamental pepper.
  • Some lilies do better when their roots are crowded. Try planting Amazon, Aztec, and Clivia lilies in containers to increase blooming.
  • Plant heat-loving herbs, including basil, Mexican tarragon, ginger, cumin, summer savory, and rosemary.
  • May is a good time to plant long-maturing ginger and turmeric plants.
  • Sweet potatoes, boniato, hot peppers, and summer spinach such as Sisso, Malabar, and New Zealand can be planted now.
  • Watch for thrips, scale, and mites on plants because they become more active in warm weather.
  • Watch for pests, disease, and nutritional disorders on tomato plants.
  • Prepare for hurricane season by checking trees for damaged or weak branches and prune if needed.

June

  • Annuals that can take full sun during the increasingly hot summer months include celosia, portulaca, vinca, and some coleus.
  • Summer's warm, rainy months are the perfect time to plant palms. Make sure not to cover the trunk with soil.
  • Plant heat-loving herbs, including basil, ginger, summer savory, cumin, Mexican tarragon, and rosemary.
  • Plant tropical vegetables, such as boniato, calabaza, and chayote this month.
  • Monitor the landscape and garden weekly for harmful insects. Knowing which insects attack a plant can aid in identification and treatment.
  • Watch for drought stress and water as needed if rainfall has been spotty. Focus on new plantings and follow watering restrictions. When rains begin, shut down the irrigation system.
  • Produce more plants by air layering, grafting, division, or cuttings.
  • Lightly prune summer-flowering shrubs, like hibiscus, oleander, and ixora, during the warmer months to increase blooming.
  • Numerous municipalities prohibit the application of fertilizer to lawns and/or landscape plants during the summer rainy season (June–September). See if such an ordinance exists in your area.
  • Clean up your vegetable garden and solarize the soil for 4–6 weeks to kill pests and disease.

July

  • Summer annuals to plant now include celosia, coleus, torenia, and ornamental pepper.
  • Bulbs of butterfly lily and gladiolus are bulbs that can be planted during the middle of summer.
  • While summer is too hot to start herbs from seeds, many, such as oregano and mint, do well if planted out from small plants.
  • Plant tropical vegetables, such as boniato, calabaza, and chayote this month.
  • Continue planting palms while the rainy season is in full swing. Support large palms with braces for 6–8 months after planting. Do not drive nails directly into a palm trunk.
  • Prepare for hurricane season by checking trees for damaged or weak branches and pruning if needed.
  • Numerous municipalities prohibit the application of fertilizer to lawns and/or landscape plants during the summer rainy season (June–September). See if such an ordinance exists in your area.
  • Use summer heat to solarize the vegetable garden for fall planting. It takes 4–6 weeks to kill weeds, disease, and nematodes, so start now.
  • Install an inexpensive rain shutoff device to save money by overriding an irrigation system when it rains. If one is already installed, check that it is operating properly.
  • Check fruit trees for damage to fruit or leaves and take action to minimize the effect of insects and/or disease on developing fruit or the overall health of the tree.

August

  • The hottest days of summer limit planting to heat-tolerant vinca, coleus, salvia, and celosia.
  • Bulbs of Aztec lily, butterfly lily, walking iris, and spider lily can be planted any time of the year, even late summer.
  • Herbs that can be planted from plants (not seeds) include bay laurel, ginger, Mexican tarragon, and rosemary.
  • Start planting eggplant, okra, peppers, pumpkin, squashes, and tomatoes for the fall garden.
  • Check palms trees older fronds for yellowing as it may indicate a magnesium or potassium deficiency. Apply an appropriate palm fertilizer.
  • Solarize the vegetable garden for 4–6 weeks in preparation for fall planting if not done in July.
  • Pinch back poinsettias and mums before the end of the month to allow time for buds to form for winter bloom.
  • Fertilize those plants that show signs of deficiencies. Rapid growth and leaching rains may result in nutrient deficiencies in some plants.
  • Numerous municipalities prohibit the application of fertilizer to lawns and/or landscape plants during the summer rainy season (June–September). See if such an ordinance exists in your area.
  • Remove spent blooms, cut back, and fertilize flowering annuals and perennials to extend the bloom season into the fall months.

September

  • If summer beds need refreshing, try scarlet sage, nasturtium, celosia, and wax begonia for color into fall.
  • Plant gladiolus corms every 2 weeks to stagger blooming. Stake each plant.
  • Plant herbs that tolerate the warm temperatures of early fall, such as Mexican tarragon, mint, rosemary, and basil.
  • Numerous cool-season (as well as warm-season) vegetable crops can be planted.
  • Consider placing native shrubs, like beautyberry, marlberry, firebush, and dahoon holly, where you can view the birds that enjoy them.
  • Numerous municipalities prohibit the application of fertilizer to lawns and/or landscape plants during the summer rainy season (June–September). See if such an ordinance exists in your area.
  • Prepare the fall vegetable garden if not done in August. Using transplants from your local garden center will get the garden off to a fast start, but seeds provide a wider variety from which to choose.
  • Divide and replant perennials and bulbs that have grown too large or need rejuvenation. Add organic matter to planting beds and monitor water needs during establishment.
  • Check that irrigation systems are providing good coverage and operating properly before summer rains taper off.
  • Fertilize citrus with a balanced fertilizer either this month or in October. Use controlled-release nitrogen because rain will not leach it from the soil too quickly.

October

  • Even though temperatures are still warm, begin planting for the cooler months ahead. Impatiens, alyssum, and dianthus are good plants for the fall/winter garden.
  • Plant bulbs of agapanthus, rain lily, and Clivia lily now for blooms next spring or summer. Add organic matter to the planting bed for best results.
  • A wide range of herbs can be planted from seed or transplants this month. Some to try include dill, fennel, parsley, and cilantro.
  • Easy vegetable crops that can be grown now include beans, broccoli, carrots, collards, lettuce, green onions, peppers, radishes, spinach, and tomatoes.
  • Fertilize plants that are not performing as desired. This is the last month of the year to fertilize shrubs and trees.
  • Prepare beds and set strawberry plants this month. Strawberries also make a colorful and tasty container planting. Either way, water daily until plants are established.

November

  • Create a display of fall colors with cool-season plants. Some examples include impatiens, strawflower, cape daisy, and pansy.
  • Many bulbs like to get their start in cool weather. Bulbs to plant this month include amaryllis, crinum, and the many varieties of elephant's ear.
  • Continue planting herbs from seeds or plants. A wide variety of herbs like cooler, dryer weather, including cilantro, dill, fennel, parsley, sage, and thyme.
  • Lots of choices exist for November including beans, broccoli, kale, snow/English peas, and strawberries.
  • Divide and replant overgrown perennials and bulbs now so that they establish before the coolest weather arrives.
  • Turn off systems and water only if needed. Plants need less supplemental watering in cooler weather.
  • Watch for hornworms on tomatoes and poinsettias planted in the landscape. This pest can quickly defoliate a plant. Handpick or treat only the infested area.

December

  • Consider gift memberships to local botanical gardens, arboretums or nature centers for the holidays. They are dual purpose gifts, supporting the organization while providing a thoughtful, lasting presents to your family and friends.
  • Plant herbs that thrive in cool weather. Some examples include parsley, thyme, sage, dill, fennel, and cilantro.
  • To add color to the winter garden, plant masses of begonia, impatiens, and geranium.
  • Reliable cool-season vegetables to plant this month include broccoli, carrots, kale, green onions, and others.
  • Irrigate if the weather has been warm and dry. Monitor plants for signs of stress and water only as needed.
  • Inspect houseplants regularly for pests. Keep in mind that plant-specific temperature, light, and humidity are key to ensuring that indoor plants thrive.
  • Consider performing a soil test if plants do not perform as desired or if new plantings are planned.
  • Use fallen leaves and other plant debris to provide the carbon ingredient needed for successful composting and also to make a good mulch.
  • Continue monitoring and treat as needed. While cooler weather generally means fewer pests, some populations actually increase at this time of year.
  • Consider enjoying a live southern red cedar and then plant it in the landscape when the holidays are over.
  • Protect tender orchid, impatiens, and tomatoes from falling temperatures.

USDA Growing Zone Map