Home > Some Help with Gardening > Garden To-Do List by Zone > Zone 4
February To-Do List for Zone 4

  • Start seeds of slow growers—such as pansies, onions, leeks, and celery—under lights this month.

  • If snow isn't too deep, prune dead or damaged branches from fruit trees, brambles, and shrubs.

  • Try raising an indoor crop of leaf lettuce beneath lights.

  • Fertilize houseplants that show signs of new growth.
March To-Do List For Zone 4

  • On apple
    and mountain ash trees, prune away branches killed by fire blight to
    prevent further spread of the disease; also prune black knots off of
    cherries. Make cuts 1 foot below the diseased area. Disinfect pruners
    with a 10 percent bleach solution between cuts.

  • Start pepper and eggplant seeds indoors under lights.

  • Start seeds of zinnias, salvia, petunias, and nicotiana indoors under lights.

  • Pot up seedlings started last month and potbound houseplants.

  • Don't rush to remove mulch from perennials: The sun could heat the
    soil and stimulate new growth, which the hard freezes still to come
    could damage.
April To-Do List for Zone 4

  • When the soil has warmed and dried, plant cold-tolerant crops, such as peas, spinach, lettuce, radishes, and onion.

  • In flowerbeds, plant lilies, primroses, and lilies-of-the-valley.

  • Plant raspberries as soon as possible, but wait until the soil has begun to warm before planting strawberries.

  • Dig and divide perennials, such as daylilies and irises.

  • Indoors, start tomato seeds if you plan to set them out under protective covering next month.

  • Start broccoli seeds indoors for an early crop—but don't delay; soon it will be too warm.
May To-Do List for Zone 4

  • In the flowerbed, divide overgrown perennials, and establish new beds with the divisions.

  • Sow seeds of annual flowers such as bachelor's buttons, marigolds, and zinnias.

  • Start melon, cucumber, and squash seeds indoors or in a coldframe.

  • Plant frost-sensitive veggies—such as tomatoes, beans, and summer squash—at the end of the month.

  • Prune lilacs, azaleas, spirea, and other spring-flowering shrubs after they bloom.
June To-Do List for Zone 4

  • Early in the month, finish setting out transplants of vegetables and flowers.

  • Plant seeds of warm-weather crops, such as melons and squash.

  • Sow more lettuce so you can keep harvesting leaves, even after the first crop goes to seed.

  • Near month's end, plant cilantro to put in the salsa you'll make later.

  • Stake or cage tomatoes and other veggies and flowers that tend to sprawl.

  • Plant asters and pansies for fall bloom.

  • Spray Bacillis thuringiensis (BT) on brassicas as soon as you spot cabbage moths.

  • Mulch beds as soon as the soil warms up.
July To-Do List for Zone 4

  • Sow a second planting of green beans and summer squash.

  • Use Bacillus thuringiensis on cabbageworms and other caterpillars.

  • Divide crowded iris and daylily clumps.

  • Spread mulch and irrigate to keep soil moist in dry weather.

  • Set out transplants for fall crops of broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower.

  • Sow seeds of kale and Chinese cabbage for fall harvest.

  • Add new perennials to flowerbeds.

  • Remember that you can still plant potted or balled trees and shrubs, but water them well.