February To-Do List for Zone 8
March 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).
April 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.
May 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!
June 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.
July 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.
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.