FEBRUARY GARDENING TIPS
- Prune back summer flowering shrubs and trees, ie. Crape Myrtles, Beautyberry, Butterfly Bush, Rose of Sharon, Abelia. Usually do this in late Feb or early March.
- Cut back ornamental grasses
- Prune mature apple and pear trees.
- Plant fruit trees and shrubs
- Plant cold hardy crops such spinach, kale, onions, pod peas.
- Plant an Asparagus bed
- Turn over cover crops
MARCH GARDENING TIPS
March Average High Temp: 58°
March Average Low Temp: 36°
Average Precipitation: 3.89"
Good time to plant trees, shrubs, and perennials.
* Amend soils with compost and organic matter.
* Prune Crape Myrtles, Althea, Buddleia, Vitex, and Pomegranite at the beginning of March for better flowering.
* Careful on the pruning of other shrubs though. Many, like Forsythia, Azalea, Camillia, Jessamine, Flowering Quince, Spirea, Viburnum, Mock Orange, Weigela, and Oriental Magnolia, should not be pruned until after their flowers have faded.
* Plant out broccoli, cauliflower, beets, carrots, radishes, Swiss chard, lettuce, turnips, cabbage, kale, and potatoes (see our phenology page for potatoes planting tips).
* Plant rose bushes
* Plant fruit trees and bushes before they bud out.
* If the soil is workable, plant new shrubs, ground covers, and perennials.
* Fertilize shrubs and trees using organic fertilizers.
* Spread compost into your vegetable beds.
* Prune fruit trees, blueberries, and grapes.
* Prune spring flowering trees like including Cherry, Bradford Pear, and Redbuds
APRIL GARDENING TIPS
Last Frost Dates
April 10th is the official last frost day in Asheville, but be cautious putting out frost sensitive plants like Basil. I planted herbs in containers that I can bring in if there is danger of frost, but otherwise, will get an early start. After Mothers Day in May is always a safe bet for planting cold sensitive plants in the ground.
* Transplant Azaleas
* Plant Onions, Potatoes, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Swiss Chard, Beets, and Cabbage. See our Phenology page
* Fertilize where you need to using organic fertilizers.
* Coninue spreading compost into your vegetable beds if you have not already done so.
* Prune Spring flowering plants like Azalea, Lilacs, Forsythia, Spirea, and Weigela after their flowers fade.
* Prune berry shrubs
MAY GARDENING TIPS
Last Frost Dates
May is the first month of the year where it is usually a safe bet for full blown gardening. This is the month you finalize most of your plantings.
* Plant gladiola bulbs.
* Plant summer annuals including marigolds, begonias, petunias, and zinnias.
* For vegetables, plant Peppers, Tomatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Eggplant, Beans, Lima Beans, Cucumber, Corn, Okra, Peas, Pumpkins, Watermelon, Squash, and Cantalopes.
* Prune Rhododendrons after they finish flowering
See our Phenology page for planting times.
JUNE GARDENING TIPS
June Average Precipitation: 3.24”
Now it's really starting to heat up. The temperatures and humidity levels are increasing this month. Watch for fungus on peaches and plums. Treat with an organic fungicide such a Serenade, a biofungicide.
* Prune Azaleas and Rhododendrons
* Divide Irises and Daylilies - Remove any flowers before replanting
* Thin tree fruits 4"-6" apart like apples for larger fruits and to prevent overloading of branches. Do this when the fruit is about the size of a nickel.
* Mulch tomatoes, squash, peppers, and melons to maintain soil moisture and prevent blossum end rot.
* Plant warm season crops, including Tomatoes, cucumbers, green beans, pumpkins, and squash if you haven't already. Continue seeding through July.
JULY GARDENING TIPS
* Prune shrubs early in the month.
* Deadhead spent flowers to encourage continued blooming on annuals and re-blooming on some perennials.
Early summer rain has produced perfect conditions for lots of black rot to develop on grapes, as well as brown rot on peaches and nectarines. It’s most likely too late to apply fungicides.
* Prune blackberries and raspberries after harvest.
* Consistent moisture is important for preventing blossom-end-rot on tomatoes (and sometimes squash or peppers). Mulch helps as well as attention to regular irrigation.
* Early blight hit tomatoes in early June and late blight may not be far behind. The best way to prevent these diseases is to maintain weekly fungicide sprays. Organic gardeners may want to try Serenade, a new bacterial product. Copper or sulfur sprays are less effective, but offer a little help.
* If possible, harvest vegetables in the morning, before the heat of the day. Second best is late evening. And pick regularly for best quality.
* Plan the fall garden. Brussels sprouts should be planted in July, most other cool season crops in August. You can start seeds in pots for plants such as broccoli, cabbage and collards.
* You can also still plant late crops of squash, bush beans or cucumbers.
Blossum End Rot on Tomatoes - To prevent, mulch and keep plants consistently moist, not wet.
Early Blight -Treat plants with Serenade, a bacterial product, or liquid copper.
AUGUST GARDENING TIPS
August Average High Temperature: 82°F
August Average Low Temperature: 62°F
August Average Precipitation: 4.3"
Ready for Harvesting
* No nitrogen fertilizing or pruning is recommended in this month.
* Deadhead butterfly bushes,phlox, and roses. Leave the heads on coneflowers.
* Prune Blackberries and Rasberries after harvesting.
* Harvest blueberries
* Set out transplants of broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower.
* Seed new leafy greens under shade cloth.
* If needed, apply Bt on all plants in the cabbage family to prevent catapillar damage.
* Remove any diseased or spent plants from the garden.
* Time to harvest basil before it goes to flower bigtime. Cut it back to a lower set of leaves to get new growth.
It's hot in this month so plan your gardening time in the early morning or late evening hours. Harvesting is best done in the AM
SEPTEMBER GARDENING TIPS
September Average High - 76.9°F
September Average Low - 56.4°F
September Precipitation - 3.01”
Divide where crowded. Daylilies, phlox, irises, Yarrow, and Rudbeckias.
As soon as the weather cools, plant pansies, mums, and other cool weather plants for color.
Remove all diseased material from around fruiting trees and bushes and discard it. Also clear the ground of any fruit that has dropped.
Fertilize & Weed Strawberries
- Plant fall veggies by mid-month including broccoli, chard, and collards.
- Seed spinach and lettuce every couple of weeks for a continual harvest.
- Dig sweet potatoes before the first frost.
- Time to clean up the garden of spent plants.
- If needed, spray Bt on cabbage crops to prevent cabbage worms. Spray off aphids with water or insecticidal soaps.
Wildlife - Keep feeding the hummingbirds
OCTOBER GARDENING TIPS
Average High Temp: 67.7°
Average Low Temp: 45°
Last Frost Dates
- Trees and Shrubs - Plant
- Bulbs - Plant in late October, early November
- Flowers - Plant Pansies and Ornamental Cabbage.
- Remove spent annuals
- Perennials - Leave seed heads up for the birds
Remove all remaining fruit from the trees and the ground to prevent future disease problems.
- Compost spent plants. You can compost in place by burying the plants under the soil bed, or in a compost pile or bin.
- Tomato plants - Get rid of plants with blight by throwing them in the trash or bury them deeply.
- Basil - Harvest before frost gets it.
- Cover crops - Plant in vegetable beds for spring fertilization.
Watch for aphids and caterpillars on plants in the cabbage family, ie. broccoli, collards, cauliflower.
PLANT GARLIC NOW. Mulch around them.
NOVEMBER GARDENING TIPS
Average High Temp: 57.8°F
Average Low Temp: 36.8°F
Average Precipitation: 2.83"
Now is the time to plant new trees and shrubs! Plant correctly, mulch 3", and water in well.
Plant spring flower bulbs.
Pick up and dispose of any fruit laying on the ground to prevent insect and disease problems in next years fruit.
- Cover Chard and Lettuce with a floating row covers. This will bring their cold tolerance to about 20°F. Consider a hoop house with a plastic cover for colder winter temperatures.
- Plant garlic in early November.
DECEMBER GARDENING TIPS
Average High Temp 49.6°F
Average Low Temp 29.8°F
Average Precipitation 2.59" (Our first snow for December 2010 was on the 12th)
- Prune grape vines
- Mulch strawberries with straw to protect from freezing temperatures
Time to start putting your seed list together!
FEBRUARY - SEED STARTING TIME
Horticultural Zone 7: Start seeds indoors in mid February.
Horticultural Zone 6: Start seeds indoors in late February.
VEGETABLE/HERB SEED STARTING SCHEDULE (weeks before last frost, or May 5)
- 4 Weeks: Melons, Bitter Melon and Cucuzzi Edible Gourds.
- 6 Weeks: Asparagus, Fennel, Onions, Rhubarb, Shallots, Tomatillos, Basil and St. John's Wort.
- 8 Weeks: Eggplant, Tomatoes, Chiles, Sweet Peppers, Chives, Sage, Stevia and Thyme.
- 9 Weeks: Broccoli, Cabbage and Kohlrabi (transplant out four weeks before the last frost date).
- 10 Weeks: Celery, Celeriac, Jicama and Lemongrass.
- 11 Weeks: Leeks, Artichokes and Cauliflower (transplant out four weeks before the last frost date).
- 12 Weeks: Cardoons and Brussels Sprouts.
- 16 Weeks: Strawberries (for first year crop) and Rosemary.
FLOWER SEED STARTING SCHEDULE (# of weeks to start before last frost)
- 5 Weeks: Alyssum, Me-Nots, Dahlia, Nicotiana, Scabiosa, Snapdragons and Thunbergia,Hibiscus, Hollyhock, Heuchera, Nigella,Platycodon,Statice and Yarrow.
- 10 Weeks: Dianthus, Digitalis, Lobelia and Heliotrope .
- 12 Weeks: Datura, Salvia and Viola.
SOUTHERN EXPOSURE FALL/WINTER PLANTING GUIDE FOR THE SOUTHEAST : http://www.southernexposure.com/southern-exposures-fallwinter-gardening-guide-ezp-38.html