Home Vegetable Gardening
A Complete & Practical Guide To
The Planting & Care Of Vegetables, Fruits &
Part Three: Fruits &
Berries — Chapter 19:
A Calendar Of Operations
One of the
greatest difficulties in gardening is to get things started
ahead at the proper time, and yet upon the
thoroughness with which this is done the success of the garden
must depend, in large measure.
The reader may remember
that in Chapter 4 the importance of accurately planning
the work ahead was emphasized I mentioned there the check list
used to make sure that everything would be carried out, or
started ahead at the proper time — as with the sowing of
The following garden operations,
given month by month, will serve not only as a timely reminder
of things to be done, but as the basis for such a check list.
The importance of the preparations in all matters of gardening, is of
of the good resolutions made with the New Year was a better
garden for the coming summer. The psychologists claim that the
only hope for resolutions is to nail them down at the start
with an action — that seems to have more effect in making an
actual impression on the brain. So start the good work along
by sending at once for several of the leading seed
Planting Plan. Make out a
list of what you are going to want this year, and then make
your Planting Plan. See Chapter 4 The Planting
Order your seed. Do it now while the seed store's stock is
full; while he is not rushed; while there is ample time to
rectify mistakes if any occur.
Altogether too few amateur gardeners realize the great
importance of procuring early every pound of manures, of any
kind, to be had. It often may be had cheaply at this time of
year, and by composting, adding phosphate, and several
turnings, if you have any place under cover where it can be
collected, you can double its value before spring.
at this season of the year do not fail to air the frames well
on warm days. Practically no water will be needed, but if the
soil does dry out sufficiently to need it, apply early on a
will not be too early, this month, to sow onions for spring
transplanting outside. Get a packet each of Prizetaker, Ailsa
Craig, Mammoth Silver-skin, or Gigantic Gibraltar.
lettuce for spring crop under glass or in frames.
is a good month to prune grapes, currants, gooseberries and
peach trees, to avoid the rush that will come later.
little early for making them until after the 15th, but get all
your material ready — manure, selected and stacked; lumber
ready for any new ones; sash all in good repair.
Seeds. First part of the month, earliest planting of
cabbage, cauliflower and lettuce should be made; and two to
four weeks later for main early crop. At this time also, beets
and earliest celery.
Overhaul them all now; order repairs. Get new catalogs and
study new improvements and kinds you do not possess.
brush. Whether you use the old-fashioned sort (now
harder to obtain than they used to be) or make your "poles"
and use wire trellis for peas, attend to it now.
Finish up last month's work, if not all done. Also examine
plum and cherry trees
not made last of February, should be made at once. Some of the
seed sown last month will be ready for transplanting and going
into the frames; also lettuce sown in January. Radish and
carrot (forcing varieties) may be sown in alternating rows.
Give much more air; water on bright mornings; be careful not
to have them caught by suddenly cold nights after a bright
Seed-sowing under glass.
Last sowing of early cabbage and early summer cabbages (like
Succession), lettuce, rhubarb (for seedling plants),
cauliflower, radish, spinach, turnip, and early tomatoes;
towards last of month, late tomatoes and first of peppers, and
egg-plant. Sweet peas often find a place in the vegetable
garden; start a few early, to set out later; they will do
better than if started outside. Start tomatoes for growing
in frames. For early potatoes sprout in
Planting, outside. If an early
spring, and the ground is sufficiently dry, sow onions,
lettuce, beet, radish, (sweet peas), smooth peas, early
carrot, cabbage, leek, celery (main crop), and turnip. Set out
new beds of asparagus, rhubarb and sea-kale (be sure to try a
few plants of the latter). Manure and fork up old beds of
Fruit. Prune now, apple, plum
and pear trees.
Now the rush is on! Plan your work, and
work your plan. But do not yield to the temptation to plant
more than you can look out for later on. Remember it is much
easier to sow seeds than to pull out weeds.
Air! water! and do not let the green plant-lice or the
white-fly get a ghost of a chance to start. Almost every day
the glass should be lifted entirely off. Care must be taken
never to let the soil or flats become dried out; toward the
end of the month, if it is bright and warm, begin watering
towards evening instead of in early morning, as you should
have been doing through the winter. If proper attention is
given to ventilation and moisture, there will not be much
danger from the green plant-louse (aphis) and white-fly, but
at the first sign of one fight them to a finish. Use kerosene
emulsion, tobacco dust, tobacco preparations, or
Under glass: tomato, egg-plant and peppers. On sod: corn,
cucumbers, melons, early squash, lima beans.
outside. Onions, lettuce, beet, etc., if not put in
last month; also parsnip, salsify, parsley, wrinkled peas,
endive. Toward the end of this month (or first part of next)
second plantings of these. Set out plants of early cabbage
(and the cabbage group) lettuce, onion sets, sprouted
potatoes, beets, etc.
In the Garden.
Cultivate between rows of sowed crops; weed out by hand just
as soon as they are up enough to be seen; watch for cut-worms
out all old blackberry canes, dewberry and raspberry canes (if
this was not done, as it should have been, directly after the
fruiting season last summer). Be ready for first spraying of
early-blossoming trees. Set out new strawberry beds, small
fruits and fruit trees.
Keep ahead of the
weeds. This is the month when those warm,
south, driving rains often keep the ground too wet to work for
days at a time, and weeds grow by leaps and bounds. Woe betide
the gardener whose rows of sprouting onions, beets, carrots,
etc., once become green with wild turnip and other
rapid-growing intruders. Clean cultivation and slight hilling
of plants set out are also essential.
These will not need so much attention now, but care must be taken to
guard tender plants, such as tomatoes, egg-plant and peppers,
against sudden late frosts. The sash may be left off most of
the time. Water copiously and often.
outside. First part of the month: early beans, early
corn, okra and late potatoes may be put in; and first tomatoes
set out — even if a few are lost--they are readily replaced.
Finish setting out cabbage, lettuce, cauliflower, beets, etc.,
from frames. Latter part of month, if warm: corn, cucumbers,
some of sods from frames and early squash as traps where late
crop is to be planted or set.
Fruit. Be on
time with first sprayings of late-blossoming fruits — apples,
etc. Rub off from grape vines the shoots that are not
Firm seeds in dry
soil. Plant wax beans, lima beans, pole beams,
melons, corn, etc., and successive crops of lettuce, radish,
Top-dress growing crops
that need special manure (such as nitrate of soda on
onions). Prune tomatoes, and cut out some foliage for extra
early tomatoes. Toward end of month set celery and late cabbage. Also sow beans,
beets, corn, etc., for early fall crops. Spray where
necessary. Allow asparagus to grow to tops.
Attend to spraying fruit trees and currants and gooseberries.
Make pot-layers of strawberries for July setting.
Maintain frequent, shallow
cultivation. Set out late cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli,
leeks and celery. Sow beans, beets, corn, etc., for late fall
crops. Irrigate where needed.
back new canes of blackberry, dewberry and raspberry. Rub off
second crop of buds on grapes. Thin out if too many bunches;
also on plums, peaches and other fruit too thick, or touching.
Pot-layered strawberries may be set out.
Keep the garden clean from
late weeds — especially purslane, the hot-weather weed pest,
which should be always removed from the garden and disposed of
or rotted down.
Sow spinach, rutabaga
turnip, bush beans and peas for last fall crop.
During first part of month, late celery may still be put out.
Sow lettuce for early fall crop, in frames. First lot of
endive should be tied up for blanching.
Strawberries may be set, and pot-layered plants, if wanted to
bear a full crop the following season, should be put in.
Thin out and bag grapes.
in lettuce started in August. Sow radishes and successive crop
of lettuce. Cooler weather begins to tell on late-planted
crops. Give cabbage, cauliflower, etc., deeper cultivation.
"Handle" celery wanted for early use.
Harvest and store
onions. Get squash under cover before frost. From
the15th to 25th sow spinach, onions, borecole for wintering
over. Sow down thickly to rye all plots as fast as cleared of
summer crops; or plow heavy land in ridges. Attend to
may be set. Procure barrels for storing fruit in winter. At
harvest time it is often impossible to get them at any
Get ready for winter.
Blanch rest of endive. Bank celery, to be used before
Christmas, where it is. Gather tomatoes, melons, etc., to keep
as long as possible. Keep especially clean and well cultivated
all crops to be wintered over. Late in the month store cabbage
and cauliflower; also beets, carrots, and other root crops.
Get boxes, barrels, bins, sand or sphagnum moss ready
beforehand, to save time in packing. Clean the garden;
store poles, etc., worth keeping over; burn everything else
that will not rot; and compost everything
Harvest apples, etc. Pick winter pears just before hard
frosts, and store in dry dark place.
deep hotbeds for winter lettuce and radishes. Construct
frames for use next spring. See that vegetables in basement,
bins, and sheds are safe from freezing.
Trench or store
celery for spring use. Take in balance of all root
crops if any remain in the ground, except, of course, parsnip
and salsify for spring use. Put rough manure on asparagus and
rhubarb beds. Get mulch ready for spinach, etc., to be
wintered over, if they occupy exposed locations.
Obtain marsh or salt hay for mulching strawberries. Cut out
old wood of cane-fruits — blackberries, etc., if not done
after gathering fruit. Look over fruit trees for borers.
Cover celery stored last
month, if trenched out-of-doors. Use only light, loose
material at first, gradually covering for winter. Put mulch on
strawberries. Prune grape-vines; make first application of
winter sprays for fruit trees.
Set about procuring manures of all kinds
from every available source. Remember that anything
which will rot will add to the value of your manure pile.
Muck, lime, old plastering, sods, weeds (earth and all),
street, stable and yard sweepings — all these and numerous
others will increase your garden successes of
One of the most important elements of
success in growing vegetables is planting, or transplanting,
each crop at the time or times that are best for the operation
in each locality. This calendar can easily be adjusted for you
growing area. If you are unsure you can always ask your local
nursery) or use any search engine to procure your areas
weather zones for planting.