Gardening All Year Long

Gardening is something you can do year round. Prepare in January and February so that when March comes you are able to start planting. These tips from the University of Illinois you’ll be on your way to having a great harvest this fall.


Gardening in January – February

  • Order seeds and garden supplies.
  • Prepare lights and tools for starting seeds.
  • Clean and maintain garden tools

Gardening in March

  • Frost seed white dutch clover in yard and garden paths where weeds are under control.
  • Finish pruning fruit trees. Fertilize when buds start to swell.
  • Second week: Start indoors: onions, broccoli, cabbage, kale, collards, kohlrabi, parsley, lettuce, celery root.
  • Plant outdoors as soon as soil is workable and reaches 40 degrees; mustard, chard, onion sets, kohlrabi, radish, arugula, peas, fennel, parsley, parsnips, leeks, raddichio, beets, kale, rhubarb, asparagus, shallots, spinach.
  • Third week: start peppers and eggplant indoors.
  • Plant beet, chard, and carrot seeds in garden.

Gardening in April

  • Plant fruit trees.
  • Mulch garden paths
  • Turn in cover crops or top dress beds with compost.
  • Begin watering if weather is dry.
  • First week: start tomatoes indoors
  • Second week: transplant onions, leeks, plant potatoes, Jerusalem artichokes.
  • Third week: transplant brassicas, lettuce, chickory, plant strawberries.

Gardening in May

  • First week: plant warm season crops like beans, corn, summer squash, spinach.
  • Second week: (watch weather forecast) transplant tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, hill potatoes.
  • Third week: mulch potatoes, plant winter squash, transplant sweet potatoes. Plant corn last.

Gardening in June

  • First week: prune tomatoes, mulch tomatoes, peppers, eggplant. Set up trellis or cages and begin training plants to support. Be sure your support can hold the weight of mature plants.
  • Second week: start fall plantings. Plant carrots now through early July for fall harvest.
  • Fourth week. Plant fall turnips, radish, choi.

Gardening in July

  • Second week: plant last cucumber, summer squash, storage beets, transplant broccoli, cabbage, collards, cauliflower.
  • Third week: plant spinach, arugula, rutabaga
  • Fourth week: last planting of carrots, beets, chard, beans, basil.
  • Pull onions.

Gardening in August

  • Till beds for garlic and overwintered spinach.
  • Third week: Last planting of lettuce, arugula, choi, turnip, radish. Plant cover crops on unused areas of garden.
  • Fourth week: Plant cold hardy crops now through late September for season extension under low tunnels.

Gardening in September

  • Third week: plant overwintered spinach, harvest sweet potatoes before soil temperatures drop below 60 degrees.

Gardening in October

  • Second week: harvest winter squash, harvest fall roots before temperatures drop below mid-twenties. Japanese turnips are most sensitive to cold damage. You can hill them to delay harvest.
  • Fourth week: plant garlic, dig last potatoes.

Gardening in November

  • First week: plant garlic, dig last potatoes. Mulch carrots, parsnips, burdock, etc. that will be left in the ground over winter.
  • Third week: mulch garlic after ground freezes.

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