Home > Some Help with Gardening > Garden To-Do List by Zone > Zone 8
February To-Do List for Zone 8

  • Feed the soil by applying compost to plantings throughout your landscape: trees, shrubs, lawn, and all garden beds.

  • By the third week of the month, plant potatoes 4 inches deep in warm soil.

  • Begin sowing seeds of leaf lettuces, collards, and other greens
    outdoors; for continuous harvest, repeat sowings every 2 weeks.

  • On Valentine's Day, prune roses, clean up debris, and then top-dress the shrubs with fresh mulch. No roses? Plant some now!

  • Prune fruit trees, then spray them at their "pink bud" stage with
    either a copper or lime-sulfur solution if you've had trouble with
    foliar and fruit diseases.

  • Plant alyssum (Lobularia maritima), hollyhocks (Alcea rosea), edging lobelia (Lobelia erinus), rocket larkspurs (Consolida ajacis), and Canterbury bells (Campanula medium).
March To-Do List For Zone 8

  • Get cool-season crops into the garden now. Don't wait—soon the weather will be too hot for them. Have row covers or homemade windbreaks handy to protect plants on chilly nights.

  • Early this month, sow the last plantings of spinach, turnips, mustard, beets, carrots, and broccoli.

  • In mid-to late March, plant corn, tomatoes, squash, peppers, and
    cucumbers. Nourish young plants with liquid organic fertilizer.

  • Pull mulch away from perennials, shrubs, and trees to allow the soil to warm around them.

  • Plant carnations (Dianthus spp.), daisies, marigolds, petunias, and snapdragons.

  • At the end of the month, fertilize the lawn.
April To-Do List for Zone 8

  • Give flowers and vegetables a foliar feeding of liquid seaweed or
    compost tea; spray the liquid nutrients on foliage early in the day
    before it gets too hot.

  • Plant black-eyed, purple hull and crowder peas, okra, peanuts, sweet
    potatoes, squash, melons, cucumbers, and corn—all can withstand the heat
    that will arrive in less than 2 months.

  • Keep planting basil—it loves the warm weather.

  • Plant "bulbs" of caladium, calla, gladiolus, and water lily.

  • Keep adding kitchen scraps and grass clippings to your compost pile.

  • Replenish your mulch!
May To-Do List for Zone 8

  • Harvest spring crops daily to keep them producing for as long as possible.

  • Continue to plant heat-tolerant tomatoes, such as ‘Heatwave', ‘Sunchaser', and ‘Sweet 100'.

  • Plant eggplant, peppers, cucumbers, squash, okra, beans, sweet potatoes, melons, and southern peas this month.

  • Plant caladiums in shaded sites. Try narrow-leaved zinnia (Zinnia angustifolia) for hot spots. Give new plantings plenty of water.

  • Continue planting daisies, asters, coreopsis, marigolds, and
    sunflowers—they nourish the beneficial insects, which will help keep
    pests in check.

  • Check your drip irrigation system—you'll be depending on it soon.
June To-Do List for Zone 8

  • Plant mums, balsam, cockscomb, wax begonias, salvia, dusty miller, blanket flower (Gaillardia spp.), geraniums, marigolds, verbena, and vinca (Catharanthus roseus).

  • Plant bulbs or tubers of irises, cannas, water lilies, dahlias, and daylilies.

  • Replenish mulches around plants to keep weeds down and conserve moisture.

  • Plant a cover crop in vacant beds.

  • Plant mustard and turnips for harvesting tender, baby leaves.

  • Work compost into beds, then plant fall crops of peppers and eggplant.

  • Direct-seed collards and tomatoes for fall harvest.

  • Continue planting cantaloupes, corn, cucumbers, okra, peanuts, southern peas, summer squash, sweet potatoes, and bush beans.

  • Thin fruit trees early in the month; mulch root area with a thin layer of compost, topped with 3 inches of organic mulch.
July To-Do List for Zone 8

  • Set out fall tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants late this month.

  • Sow Halloween pumpkins.

  • Clean up the garden, then mulch the bare soil to conserve moisture.

  • Mulch perennials and new trees with a layer of compost topped with bark mulch.

  • Don't overstimulate dormant plants with unnecessary water or feeding; they'll resume growth when the weather cools.

  • Tend the compost pile so it will be ready to work into the soil in preparation for fall planting.
  • Set out ageratums, balsam (Impatiens balsamina), cockscomb, croton, feverfew, marigolds, petunias, wild blue phlox (Phlox divaricata), pinks (Dianthus spp.), portulaca and vinca (Catharanthus roseus).

  • Add 2 to 3 inches of mulch to retain water.