Month by Month Calendar
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 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 course obvious.
Probably one 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 catalogs.
Planting Plan. Make out a list of what you are going to want this year, and then make your Planting Plan. See Chapter IV.
Seeds. 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.
Manures. 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.
Frames. Even 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 bright morning.
Onions. It 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. Sow lettuce for spring crop under glass or in frames.
Fruit. This is a good month to prune grapes, currants, gooseberries and peach trees, to avoid the rush that will come later.
Hotbeds. A 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.
Starting 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.
Tools. Overhaul them all now; order repairs. Get new catalogs and study new improvements and kinds you do not possess.
Poles and 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.
Fruit. Finish up last month's work, if not all done. Also examine plum and cherry trees for black-knot.
Hotbeds. If 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 warm day.
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 eggplant.
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 sand.
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 above.
Fruit. Prune now, apple, plum and pear trees.
April, May June
July, August, September
October, November, December