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February To-Do List for Zone 3
  • Check for winter sales at your local garden center; you may find good deals on pots, planters, and tools.
  • Replace fluorescent bulbs in grow lights that are more than 2 years old.
  • Organize seed packets according to planting date.
  • Check stored gladiolus and dahlia bulbs; remove any that have deteriorated.
  • Remove geranium and fuchsia plants from cold storage, re-pot, water, and move them into light to restart their growth.

March To-Do List For Zone 3

  • Prune overgrown nonspring-flowering shrubs.
  • Start seeds of onions, tomatoes, edging lobelia (Lobelia erinus), asters, marigolds, cauliflower, cabbage, and brussels sprouts indoors under lights. When seedlings have their second pair of true leaves, transplant them to larger pots.
  • Pot up stored bulbs, such as hybrid tuberous begonias, dahlias, canna (Canna ✕ generalis), and calla lilies (Zantedeschia aethiopica). Set them in the light.
  • Water evergreens growing near the house foundation if the soil is dry. Also, mist the foliage—needles will absorb the much-needed moisture.

April To-Do List for Zone 3

  • Dig up and enjoy parsnips still left in the garden from last fall.
  • Dig compost into beds as soon as the soil can be worked.
  • Fertilize established lawns.
  • If weather allows, plant onion sets, lettuce, spinach, peas, sweet peas (Lathyrus odoratus), carrots, and parsnips in the garden.
  • Indoors, continue to start seeds of squash, melons, and corn.
  • Start gladiolus corms indoors.
  • Sprout seed potatoes by moving them from cold storage into room temperature.
  • In the last week of the month, remove winter covering from tender roses, perennials, and strawberries.

May To-Do List for Zone 3

  • Begin hardening off annual flowers by exposing them to cooler temperatures for longer periods each day.
  • Seed cold-weather crops.
  • Give perennials and fruit trees a generous feeding of compost, and if it has been dry, water them deeply to boost their growth.
  • Toward the end of the month, plant potatoes and seeds of warm-season crops.
  • Protect cauliflower and broccoli transplants from root maggots with 4-by-4-inch collars made of heavy paper, placed on the soil around the base of the plants.

June To-Do List for Zone 3
  • Harden off, and then set out transplants of melons, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, eggplant, and squash.
  • For a continuous crop of lettuce, radishes, and spinach, sow more seeds midmonth.
  • Fertilize and water any potted vegetables regularly.
  • Enjoy asparagus right in the garden—even uncooked, it’s delicious.
  • Plant tender fuchsias, begonias, dahlias, and asters.

July To-Do List for Zone 3
  • Hill soil around potatoes and carrots to prevent green shoulders.
  • Continue to stake and tie up tall plants, such as raspberries, roses, dahlias, and peas.
  • Brighten your home with bunches of cut flowers.
  • Don't cut grass lower than 2 1⁄2 inches tall.
  • Water lawns, trees, and shrubs in dry weather.
  • Water annuals at least three times a week during periods of intense heat with no rain.
  • Continue to add organic matter to the soil to retain moisture.
  • If collecting seeds from mature plants, harvest only from the most healthy plants; label storage containers.