Saturday, January 2, 2010

2010 calendar

These 30 degree days have a interesting way of rejuvenating a newbie gardener, who just weeks ago was a little frustrated with slugs and bugs, disappointed with blight and wilt, and tired from trying to keep up with it all. With cup of hot cocoa in hand, stack of catalogs on the side table, and kids cozied up to the TV, I have dreams of a grand garden (on a small scale). A strategy that has been working for me, since I'm driven by the calendar, is to write all important garden related dates and reminders on my big home calendar on my fridge. This helps me remember to water newly sown garden beds, harden seedlings off properly, and plant fall vegetables on time. Below is my almanac for the year - keep in mind that I have only a few years experience, so I'm still working some things out. Each year, I get closer and closer to the ideal time for all of these big garden events (though I realize once I get it perfect, we'll have a sudden late frost or torrential floods, or a bug infestation that destroys everything overnight or something). Nonetheless, any feedback is appreciated!

But first, what I look forward to in the early spring - my favorites: allium, baptisia, sinocalycalycanthus shrub.

2010 Garden Almanac

Late winter/early spring
Prune roses when buds swell.
Prune blueberries if needed.
Thin raspberry canes to keep 3-5 strongest per foot and shorten to 4’.
Clean up perennial beds.
Cut down cover crop and dig under. Amend garden beds, especially carrot/salad bed.

3/1 – sow seeds for hardy plants – beets, carrots, endive, peas, radish, kale, spinach.
3/10 – start seeds for tender plants indoors.
3/15 – sow seed for lettuce and chard.
Remember to water – write in calendar to check moisture.
Check in on compost.

Early this month - when bulb shoots emerge, * fertilize bulbs, acid-loving plants, perennials, roses, lawn.
4/15 – sow seed for tender plants – beans, etc.
Remember to water – write in calendar to check moisture.

5/1 – begin to harden off seedlings and transplant to garden.
Pinch mums to 4-6”. Pinch each side shoot as it reaches 4-6”.
Foliar feed every 2 weeks.

Stay on top of harvesting, deadheading and bug infestations.

Stop pinching mums.
Stay on top of harvesting, deadheading and bug infestations.

Stay on top of harvesting, deadheading and bug infestations.
8/15 sow seed for fall veggies.
Remember to water – write in calendar to check moisture.
Remove any fruited raspberry canes.

Stay on top of harvesting, deadheading and bug infestations.

10/15 plant garlic (6”apart, 3”deep).
Plant cover crop.
Garden clean up.
Empty rain barrel and flick switch to the downspout.

* Just a note: I love the company Gardens Alive, and use many of their environmentally friendly fertilizers and products. Check them out if don't already use their products! Of course, they're not paying me to say this! If you do decide to buy from them, they always have great coupons.


  1. Wendy, I wish I can be as organised as you are! I like the fact that you have included prunning into your calendar as well. Combination of little tasks that would make big impact later... good thinking ;-) Now you have made me think of my garden... when to do this and that. Ok, I should be more organised this year :-D

  2. Oh Wendy... you got everything figured out for the rest of the year. and some are scheduled with precise dates... nice and neat. Such an organised lady... haha... I haven't figured out what to plant for this month!!... ~ bangchik

  3. Wendy,

    Someday, I may get this organized. I usually fly by the seat of my pants and it shows. I need to get my butt in gear and get planning!

    I like Gardens Alive too, I usually order if they have a good coupon.

    You are on top of things, good job!


  4. oh Wow! Truly you are zealous concerning your garden.

    I notice concerning the bug infestations - can there be a garden without them?
    (What bugs often infest your garden?)

  5. Hi Wendy~~ Your comments page doesn't have the option to access your post so I have to go from memory which for me, is a deficit. LOL. April, the fertilizing: I only fertilize roses, clematis and containers. The rest of my plants get compost exclusively unless I see a problem. Also, bulbs should be fertilized after they finish blooming since this is when they store up energy for the following year.

    That said, when I'm asked to advise, I say feel free to completely ignore my advice and do what feels right to you. I think there are way too many "shoulds" in gardening. Intuition is a marvelous thing. Calendars too. And mistakes are learning opportunities. I love this time of year because the garden of our dreams has no flaws.

    I hope your weather improves soon.

  6. Wendy, I am shy to admit that I don't have any list for my gardening. I only have indexed photos and plant names. I treat my garden like a painting canvas. If you see the condition of my garden now, maybe you'll faint or you'll feel like reorganising it for me!

  7. I have been seeking the Grand, Overarching Garden Plan for the Year since I first started gardening. After more than 35 years in the same spot, I have a lot of this in my memory, but a list/schedule is still helpful. I started with looking at charts and schedules in books and magazines, and tried to tweak them to my own climate and growing conditions. In the end, you get to know that and then you've got a great system. Nice going and my best advice is to keep good records, both of what you plan and what actually happens.

    I too love Gardeners' Supply. Their 'Tomatoes Alive' is amazing and since I started using it I have a bumper crop every year.

  8. That is a great list and you are very organized! I will have to check out the site that you mentioned! :)

  9. Oh wow ... you are a master gardener alright. In dreams and in reality.

  10. Stephanie, Bangchick, Rosey, Amy, thanks for your comments! I am generally an organized person, but my garden often falls prey to neglect! This is the purpose of the calendar - hopefully I won't forget (and remember in the winter during planning time!)

    Autumn - Your garden is alwasy beautiful - the painting canvas is a good strategy for you!

    James - I've only started to figure out what some of the bugs are. I know I always have stink bugs, though I'm not positive what stink bug damage looks like. I have TONS of boxelder bugs, but I don't think they're doing any harm. There are always slugs, roly-polys, aphids, spider mites, some Japanese beetles, some other random beatles from time to time. I dont inspect too closely b/c I'll get grossed out!

    Grace - the system is in distress now!! I may try to follow your tips, especially on not fertilizing the bulbs till later. Grace's advice=gospel.

    Lil Ned - I agree. Each year's tweaking gets you closer and closer to a great system!

    Blossom - I beg to differ, but you're sweet!!!

  11. I've never been good at following or making lists...always fly by the seat of my pants...especially chores in the garden..although I make resolutions to be more organized every!
    The picture in this post wouldn't open for me for some reason...
    Your snow all gone?

  12. Organized you are! That is impressive. I still have a bit of time before real planning is necessary. I tend to be impulsive when it comes to planting. That is not a good thing. Anyway, Kudos to you for thinking ahead. I will think about doing that tomorrow. Just call me Scarlet.

  13. Great info! As soon as we get school going again, planning the garden will be the first thing on my list.

    I wish we had 30 degree days. We haven't hit higher than 22 in weeks. Even my cold frame is completely frozen now. :-\

    You're right though, it's amazing how fast we forget the trials and tribulations and only remember the wonders of growing beautiful and tasty things. Happy planning!

  14. Lynn, our snow was gone except for tall piles of gray snow on the curbs - until this morning. It's a winter wonderland again.

    Teresa - I am REALLY resisting buying ANY new plants. I really have no right to after my installation of a new perennial bed this fall. I'll have to see what comes in. I've been throwing out every plant catalog that comes in - even the ones with save $50 off $100 purchase - my biggest temptation.

    Julie, when people from Maryland asked what it was like to live in RI for a few years, I alwasy said cold was cold, but now I think there's a real difference. We're not at 22 - by far, but our 30 degree windy days means the cold practically hurts.


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