If you don’t know what zone your garden is in, find your USDA hardiness zone here. Enter the code on the security pop-up (it is case-sensitive), then enter your ZIP Code to see your zone. If you click where you live, a window will pop up showing your exact zone info.
What to Do In Your Garden This Month
Zones 1 – 4
- Start seeds of short-season squash and melons, along with fast-maturing cucumbers, cantaloupe and possibly watermelons inside for transplanting outside next month.
- Sprout seed potatoes by moving them from cold storage into room temperature.
- In the last week of the month, remove winter covering from strawberries.
- Protect cauliflower and broccoli transplants from root maggots with 4-by-4-inch collars made of heavy paper, placed on the soil around the base of the plants.
- Sow another round of cool-season vegetables outside such as beets, carrots, lettuce, chard, and radishes.
- Use row covers over beets to protect from leaf miners.
Zones 5 – 6
- If the ground has thawed, divide and replant perennials such as bee balm.
- Sow seeds of sweet peas, bachelor’s buttons and larkspur in flowerbeds.
- When the ground is warm and dry and the soil has warmed to at least 60°F overnight, transplant out tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, melons, cucumbers, and sweet potatoes. Have overnight protection available for a cold snap.
- Seed a second crop of beets, carrots, radishes, leaf lettuce, and chard (start the seeds indoors or sow them directly in the garden).
- Sow a final round of spinach in the garden for tender leaves before the weather warms.
- Melons often thrive with additional warming, like growing under a plastic row cover or on top of a layer of black plastic mulch. If you are transplanting starts, be extra careful not to disturb their roots during the process. Provide additional water for the first few days post-transplanting as they can’t take up moisture effectively at first until they are established. Monitor frequently to ensure the seedlings aren’t getting too hot.
- Mulch between rows and keep the garden weeded to give emerging seedlings a fair chance. The best time – and often the only shot you get – to control weeds in just after they emerge. The first week of weed growth is the easiest to remove.
- Established asparagus beds will be ready to harvest. Look daily and select spears of about the same size (so they cook in the same time). If you have trouble finding those first spears, mark the bed with stakes so that you can find them next year. Harvest asparagus with a sharp knife, cutting just under the soil level to encourage more growth next year.
- Sow sunflowers, zinnias, marigolds. and cosmos wherever you need an extra splash of color. Scatter or direct sow seeds for pollinator attractants.
- Provide early season pest protection for cucumbers, melons, and squash by using row covers. Make sure to remove them when plants blossom.
Zones 7 – 8
- Plant black-eyed, purple hull and crowder peas, okra, squash, melons, cucumbers, and corn—all can withstand the heat that will arrive in less than 2 months.
- Keep planting basil—it loves the warm weather.
- Give flowers and vegetables a foliar feeding of liquid seaweed or compost tea; spray the liquid nutrients on foliage early in the day before it gets too hot.
- Mulch peas and cole crops – broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, kale, and kohlrabi – to keep the soil cool; water them regularly.
- Harvest spring crops daily – this keeps them producing for as long as possible.
- As the weather warms, cool-season crops will decrease in quality. Harvest often and pull the plants when finished and replace them with warm-season vegetables such as okra and sweet potatoes.
- Continue planting daisies, asters, coreopsis, marigolds, and sunflowers—they nourish the beneficial insects, which will help keep pests in check.
- Consider installing shade cloth over tomatoes to reduce stress and increase production. Even a simple shade cloth wall on the west side of the tomato row will reduce afternoon heat and moisture evaporation.
Zones 9 – 10
- If slugs and snails are dining on your plants, collect them in the evening, when you’re most likely to spot them.
- Plant pumpkins, summer squash, melons, and other vegetables that thrive in heat.
- Every 2 weeks from now until late summer, plant small blocks of bush beans and sweet corn to extend the harvest until frost.
- Plant perennials so they can settle in before the summer heat arrives; give them plenty of water.
- Plant roselle, amaranth, and Malabar spinach now through August; make sure you give the Malabar spinach some shade and extra water.
- Use drip irrigation to provide a constant supply of moisture to beds; also mulch heavily to retain moisture and slow its loss.
- Keep heat-tolerant herbs, such as lemongrass, going strong by feeding them with fish emulsion and seaweed spray.
- Solarize empty garden beds: Cover them with clear plastic for a month or two to kill nematodes and weed seeds and pathogens in the soil.