Zone 7 - Monthly Gardening Tasks

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!  

January

  • Start cabbage, onions and herbs under lights early in the month
  • Clean out your coldframe.
  • Collect plastic jugs to use as cloches.
  • Late this month, mow winter cover crops.
  • Direct seed sweet peas.
  • Indoors, start perennial seeds.

February

  • Start growing lettuce and tomatoes indoors under lights.
  • Set seed potatoes in a warm place to encourage sprouting.
  • Harden off cabbage seedlings outdoors in a coldframe. Towards the end of the month plant them in the garden beneath the cloches.
  • Sow peas and parsley outdoors near the end of the month.
  • Mow winter cover crops and turn them under if the soil is dry enough to cultivate.
  • Spread compost over beds that you will plant next month.

March

  • Plant peas, potatoes and parsley right away.
  • Begin a new compost pile using leftover leaves and kitchen scraps!
  • After the last hard frost transplant cabbage, broccoli and onions to the garden. Indoors start tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and basil.
  • Sow carrots, chard, spinach, radishes, beets, and dill in the garden.
  • Start harvesting asparagus.
  • Pull winter weeds from flowerbeds then direct seed cosmos, Rudbeckia, and nasturtium.

April

  • Sow more carrots and lettuce early this month, and mulch potatoes with 6 inches of straw.
  • Set out a few early-ripening tomato cultivars beneath cloches.
  • At midmonth, sow sweet corn, cucumbers, summer squash, and bush beans, as well as herbs..
  • Set out annual flowers, and plant dahlias.
  • Fill the backs of sunny flowerbeds with tall sunflowers or tithonia.
  • Propagate ground covers.

May

  • Set out the last of your tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and sweet potato slips.
  • Be sure to harvest leafy greens often because they will soon bolt.
  • Plant sweet corn, beans, melons, gourds, okra, and field peas.
  • Keep mulching potatoes.
  • Check for caterpillar pests.

June

  • There is still time to plant heat loving field peas, luffas, and asparagus beans
  • Start seeds 9or root cuttings) or early-maturing tomatoes for a fall crop
  • Cut and dry bunches of thyme and oregano.
  • Set up a drip irrigation line through your tomato patch before the plants begin to sprawl

July

  • Early in the month sow a little more sweet corn and set out new tomato plants
  • Plant pumpkins and winter squash in a shady spot, but where the vines can soon run into sunlight
  • During the second half of the month, start seedlings of broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and Brussel sprouts indoors
  • Prepare beds for fall crops by sowing them now with a cover crop of fast-growing field peas or other legumes

August

  • Early this month start seeds indoors for the fall garden, including broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Chinese cabbage and scallions.
  • Sow carrots, beets, kale and chard in the partial shade of taller plants.
  • Make your last sowings of squash and cucumbers.
  • Plant fall peas by midmonth, and set out brassica seedlings for fall harvest.
  • When labor day is near direct seed kohlrabi, kale and collards.

September

  • Continue planting spinach, lettuce, radishes, arugula, oriental greens, kale, and collards.
  • Dig up sweet potatoes and peanuts while the weather is still warm; cure them before storing.
  • Late this month, plant next year’s garlic crop.
  • Divide multiplier onions.
  • Start snapdragons.

October

  • Thin any spinach that you won’t overwinter, and eat the thinnings.
  • Cover broccoli and cauliflower on frosty nights.
  • Plant garlic and multiplier onions.
  • Sow seeds of poppies, hollyhock and bachelor’s buttons.
  • Plant spring-flowering bulbs.

November

  • Start digging up winter carrots as soon as they are big enough.
  • Harvest bunching onions, then plant more in a new site.
  • Plant garlic.
  • Gather blankets for covering lettuce and other half-hardy crops during the first hard freeze.

December

  • Harvest Brussel sprouts, kale, cabbage, and collards.
  • Mulch carrots, parsnips, and other crops that will spend winter underground.
  • Spread mulch over beds where early spring crops will grow.
  • Turn compost one last time, then cover it with a tarp to prevent nutrients from leaching away during winter rains.
  • Dig, divide and replant crowded bulbs. Continue setting out hardy annual and perennial seedlings, then cover them with cloches.