Zone 8 Planting calendar — Vertical Gardening (2024)

Zone 8 enjoys an extended growing season accompanied by warm summers, which is conducive to the maturation of a vast array of vegetable types well before the arrival of the initial frost. The window for gardening typically opens after the last frost date around April 1st and closes with the first frost date near December 1st. Given that these dates may shift by a week or more, it's essential to monitor local weather forecasts prior to planting. The lowest temperature annually in Zone 8 is 15 degrees Fahrenheit, which should be taken into account when selecting plants


Last Frost date April 1

First Frost date December 1


Utilizing the planting schedule for Zone 8 provided below can enhance the productivity of your garden. Commencing seed sowing indoors ahead of the final frost date propels you into an early start for the growing period. Familiarizing yourself with the appropriate times to move seedlings outside, as indicated by the Zone 8 planting guide, is beneficial for aligning their growth with the best outdoor conditions. This strategic planning is key for protecting plants from unexpected late frosts and for taking full advantage of the lengthy growing season that Zone 8 offers


Dedicate some time to sprucing up your indoor plants. Accumulated dust on the foliage can block their stomata, impairing their ability to absorb light and exchange gases and moisture.

Reach out to seed suppliers to request the latest catalogs for the year.

Strategize for the upcoming garden season. Plan the rotation of your crops from their previous positions, and consider starting woodworking projects such as cold frames, trellises, and indoor grow-lights if feasible. Opting for a smaller garden might lead to less weeding and pest issues while potentially yielding more produce.

Gather your seed-starting supplies so you're prepared to begin. Essentials include grow lights, heating pads, a sterile growing medium, and your chosen types of pots.

Clean and disinfect your containers for starting seeds.

Begin the stratification process for any perennial seeds that require it.

Review your gardening records from the previous year, including planting, fertilization, and pest control. Note which varieties were successful and which ones you'd like to experiment with again.

Inspect all your houseplants for signs of insect infestations. Isolate any plants received as holiday gifts until you're sure they're pest-free.

Make a commitment to better garden record-keeping as one of your New Year's resolutions. Record which plant varieties thrive and which do not in your particular garden conditions.

Initiate indoor seed starting for vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, head lettuce, onions, and parsley. It's also time to sow seeds for many perennial flowers indoors by the end of January. Start planting flowers and herbs with longer germination times, such as rosemary, snapdragons, and begonias, indoors as well.

Tidy up your cold frame or construct a new one if you're looking to increase your growing space. If you're not experienced in carpentry, consider trying out a straw bale cold frame.

Toward the end of the month, it's time to trim down any winter cover crops.


Clean and sharpen your gardening tools thoroughly.

Place your final seed orders now to secure the varieties you desire.

When the soil and weather allow, directly plant seeds for carrots, Swiss chard, peas, collards, kale, kohlrabi, leaf lettuce, onions, parsley, parsnips, beets, radishes, salsify, and spinach.

Sow seeds of Nigella, Poppy, and Larkspur outside to benefit from the cold temperatures, which will help them sprout.

Beat the springtime rush by servicing your lawn mower and any other power equipment now.

Prune your fruit trees, berry plants, and woody ornamentals while they are still in their dormant phase and before the onset of spring growth.

Acclimate your brassica seedlings by placing them in a cold frame, and later in the month, transplant them into the garden under protective cloches or within a plastic tunnel.

On favorable weather days, turn over your compost pile or start a new one.

Consider planting an additional row in your garden to donate fresh produce to those in need in your community.

For Valentine's Day, opt for giving a plant or a garden supply gift certificate.

Mow down winter cover crops and turn them into the soil when it's sufficiently dry.

Conduct a soil test if you haven't already.

Apply compost to garden beds in preparation for next month's planting.


As the days grow longer and the nights shorter, your indoor plants will begin their growth phase. This is the ideal time to repot them if necessary and provide some nourishment.

Incorporate organic material into your soil to enhance its structure and drainage capabilities.

Initiate indoor seeding of tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants—aim to complete this by March 15th.

By the time March concludes, it's generally safe to begin acclimating your onions, parsley, and other cool-season crops that are at least five weeks old for outdoor transplanting. For cole crops like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts, choose younger, smaller plants to transplant, as larger, older ones may prematurely bolt to flower if exposed to low temperatures early in the season.

Use floating row covers over your Brassica plants to shield them from cabbage moths and flea beetles, especially if these pests have been an issue before.

Keep sowing seeds directly for carrots, Swiss chard, peas, collards, kale, kohlrabi, leaf lettuce, onions, parsley, parsnips, beets, radishes, salsify, and spinach, weather and soil conditions permitting.

Plant seed potatoes in soil rich with organic matter.

On pleasant days, aerate your compost pile or take this opportunity to start composting.

Exercise caution when working with your garden soil; avoid digging or tilling when it's too wet to prevent compaction.

Clear out any remaining old plant material from your garden beds and add it to the compost heap.

Invest in a notebook dedicated to your gardening activities. Record details such as the names of seed companies, plant types, varieties, dates of planting and harvesting, and observations on plant performance and disease resistance. This log will be invaluable for future garden planning.

Install any birdhouses you constructed over the winter now, as birds will soon be scouting for nesting locations.

Design new landscaping endeavors on paper before executing them, considering the mature size of each plant to avoid overcrowding.

Establish new patches of bare-root asparagus and strawberries.

Remove mulch from existing strawberry and asparagus beds to facilitate new growth.

Apply a mild, organic nitrogen-based fertilizer to your asparagus.

Give your grapevines, raspberries, and blueberries a dose of fertilizer before they start to grow.

Prune this year's raspberry canes back by a quarter before they start growing. If you didn't already remove last year's fruiting canes post-harvest, now is the time to do so. Cut them down to ground level to make way for this year's growth.


Use a rain gauge placed close to your garden to monitor precipitation levels and determine the need for watering. Aim for the garden to receive approximately one inch of water weekly from April through September.

Plant seeds of resilient annual flowers such as calendula, clarkia, larkspur, California poppy, and sweet pea.

Make sure to plant new trees and shrubs before the month's end.

Hold off on transplanting summer vegetables that thrive in warm weather until after the last expected frost date; warmer days might mislead you.

If you haven't yet, start planting seeds for eggplant, peppers, and tomatoes indoors.

Keep planting seeds directly in the garden for crops like beets, carrots, chard, kohlrabi, leaf lettuce, mustard, onion sets, parsnips, peas, potatoes, radish, spinach, and turnip.

Initiate new growth of fruit trees, grapes, strawberries, raspberries, asparagus, and rhubarb.

Incorporate organic material into your soil to enhance its structure and drainage.

Feed your perennial flowers now as they begin to grow, noting that most require fertilizing only once every three years during this season.

Continue to mound soil around your potato plants.

Early in the month, plant additional seeds of carrots and lettuce, and apply a 6-inch layer of straw mulch to your potatoes.

Around the middle of the month, start planting seeds for sweet corn, cucumbers, summer squash, bush beans, and various herbs.

Begin indoor seeding for okra, pumpkin, cucumber, summer and winter squash, and melons in individual peat pots to avoid root disturbance, as vine crops are sensitive to transplanting.

Transplant annual flowers and plant dahlias in your garden.

Adorn the rear of sunlit flowerbeds with statuesque sunflowers or tithonia for added height and drama.


Start the process of acclimatizing your frost-sensitive plants, including various vegetables, herbs, and both perennial and annual flowers that were grown indoors, to outdoor conditions. This process, known as hardening off, gradually introduces plants to the outdoor climate, reducing transplant shock and improving their chances of thriving once planted outside.

Directly sow seeds in your garden for beans, okra, pumpkin, sweet corn, and watermelon. To ensure a continuous harvest, plant only a portion of your bean and sweet corn rows at a time, staggering plantings bi-weekly. For optimal pollination, plant sweet corn in adjacent rows or in a block pattern.

With the arrival of this month, it's typically safe to move a wide variety of plants outdoors. This includes delicate annual flowers such as impatiens, as well as vegetable plants like tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants. Even houseplants can enjoy a summer respite in a shaded area of your garden.

Wait to plant sweet potato slips until after the soil temperature has sufficiently increased, ensuring a better growth environment for these warmth-loving tubers.

Stay vigilant for the Colorado potato beetle, which can be identified by its distinctive yellow and black stripes. The eggs are yellow and found in clusters on the undersides of leaves, while the red, humpbacked larvae are often spotted on stem tips. They are a persistent problem throughout the growing season. Hand-picking is an effective control method, but for severe infestations, consider using an organic insecticide like spinosad.

Also, monitor for striped and spotted cucumber beetles, which can spread bacterial wilt to squashes and melons. Regularly inspect plants and hand-pick these pests to manage their population.

Keep an eye out for the Mexican bean beetle as well. To protect your crops from these pests, consider using floating row covers immediately after seedlings emerge.

Aphids are another common pest that appear with warm weather. They can be identified by sticky leaves and the presence of a black sooty mold that grows on the honeydew they secrete. Although the mold is not particularly damaging, aphids themselves can harm plants. Dislodge aphids with a strong water spray and consider using insecticidal soap for control, applying it thoroughly and repeating treatment to address any newly hatched eggs.

The squash vine borer moth is another pest to watch for. These day-flying moths lay distinctive brown eggs at the base of squash vines. Prevent the larvae from causing damage by inspecting the stems daily and removing any eggs manually. As a preventative measure, you can wrap the lower portion of the stems with aluminum foil or floating row cover to deter egg-laying.

To safeguard newly planted vegetables from cutworms, create protective collars. Use cardboard strips about two inches wide and eight inches long, fashion them into circles, and place them around the base of the plants, inserting them an inch into the soil. These collars act as a barrier, preventing the cutworms from reaching and damaging the stems.

Continue the practice of "hilling up" your potato plants. This involves piling soil around the base of the plant as it grows, which can help prevent tuber exposure to sunlight and the development of a green coloration that indicates the presence of solanine, a toxic compound.

Regularly pinch back herbs such as basil, mint, oregano, and savory to encourage a bushier and more productive growth habit.

Harvest leafy greens like lettuce and spinach frequently, as they tend to bolt, or go to seed, as the weather warms, which can lead to a decline in flavor and texture.

Implement a trellis system for your tomato plants early on to support their growth and prevent sprawling. This not only helps in maintaining an organized garden but also promotes air circulation and reduces the risk of disease.

Late spring, particularly from mid to late May, is an excellent time to propagate shrubs through softwood cuttings. Varieties such as spirea, lilac, and viburnum are good candidates for this method of propagation. Taking cuttings during this time ensures that the plant material is still flexible but mature enough to root successfully, allowing you to expand your garden with new plants.


Sow seeds directly for sunflowers, nasturtiums, marigolds, borage, basil, and other herbs and flowers that thrive in warmer conditions. Add to your garden crops that prefer the heat, such as field peas, lima beans, and yardlong beans.

Keep an eye out for pest insects, as previously noted in the May gardening tasks. Avoid walking through your garden when the leaves of your vegetable plants are damp to prevent the spread of diseases.

Once your vegetable garden is established, opt for a deep watering once a week instead of frequent light waterings. This encourages the development of a deeper root system, which will help plants withstand periods of drought.

Monitor your early-season crops closely. Rising temperatures can cause crops like lettuce to bolt and turn bitter. Replace harvested spring vegetables with heat-tolerant crops promptly.

Prevent blossom-end rot in tomatoes, peppers, squash, and watermelons by ensuring consistent soil moisture through mulching and proper watering, planting in well-draining soil, avoiding deep cultivation near the plants, and steering clear of high-nitrogen fertilizers.

Continue sowing seeds for warm-season vegetables such as beans, summer squash, and cucumbers directly into the soil.

Harvest vegetables like beans, peas, squash, cucumbers, and okra frequently to extend their production period and for optimal flavor.

Manage mosquito populations by removing standing water sources and consider attracting mosquito-predating bats by installing a bat house.

Divide and replant bearded irises, using the robust outer sections of the rhizomes and discarding the older central parts. Trim the foliage down to about six inches.

Refresh the mulch around trees, perennials, and vegetable gardens as needed.

Deadhead garden flowers, both annuals and perennials, after they bloom to redirect the plant's energy into producing more blooms, foliage, and roots, often stimulating a second flowering.

Regular weeding will keep your garden tidy and make the task more manageable.

After the harvest period for asparagus and rhubarb concludes, prepare to fertilize these plants with a well-balanced fertilizer.

Sow buckwheat in empty garden patches to suppress weed growth.

Feed roses after their first round of blooming to promote continued health and flowering.

There's still an opportunity to plant heat-loving crops like field peas, lima beans, and yardlong beans.

Encourage dense and vigorous growth in herbs such as basil, mint, oregano, and savory by regularly pinching back their tips. This technique not only helps to create a fuller plant but also delays flowering, ensuring a longer harvesting period for the flavorful leaves.


Initiate the indoor germination of seeds for cole crops like cabbage and broccoli, which will mature in your autumn garden. From mid-July to August, plant seeds directly in your garden for radishes, carrots, beets, turnips, and kale.

Harvest potatoes once the foliage has withered and died back. Regularly pick vegetables such as beans, peas, squash, cucumbers, and okra to maintain their productivity and to capture their freshest flavors.

It's not too late to plant varieties that thrive in warmth, including field peas, lima beans, and yardlong beans. Keep an eye on your tomato plants for symptoms of leaf spot diseases, which can indicate the need for intervention.

Stay vigilant against pest insects as outlined in the May gardening guide. Continue to deadhead your flowering plants to extend their blooming period.

As flowering can be an energy-intensive process, it's beneficial to fertilize flowering annuals when they begin to bloom and once again later in the season to support robust growth.

Throughout July, keep sowing seeds for a late harvest of beets, bush beans, carrots, chard, summer spinach, cucumbers, and summer squash. Use a pre-moistened potting soil mix to cover the seeds, which helps prevent the soil surface from crusting and cracking. To retain moisture, apply a thin layer of mulch or use floating row cover fabric over the rows.

A garden typically requires an inch of water per week. Watering in the early morning is ideal, while evening watering is less favored as it can lead to fungus diseases due to overnight wet leaves. Mulching helps conserve water and can enhance crop yields.

When onions and garlic tops dry and topple over, it's time to harvest. Braid the garlic stems and store them in a cool, dry place. Trim onion tops to about an inch and allow them to dry thoroughly before storage. Utilize any damaged onions or garlic right away.

Monitor the soil moisture of potted vegetables and flowers every day, especially during hot weather, as some may need watering twice daily.

Water your vegetable garden deeply and as necessary to support plant health.

Encourage lush, bushy growth in herbs such as basil, mint, oregano, and savory by pinching them back.

Prepare your garden beds for fall crops by planting a cover crop of quick-growing field peas or other legumes now, which will enrich the soil as they grow.


Plant pea seeds in the latter half of August to ensure a bountiful autumn harvest. Now is also the time to wrap up the indoor seeding of fall crops, including Brussels sprouts and other brassicas that form heads.

In the warmer regions of this zone, consider planting a second round of potatoes by the second week of September for a late harvest.

Continue to diligently inspect your plants for insect pests and signs of damage. Implement removal or treatment methods as necessary to maintain plant health.

After harvesting the last of the raspberries for the season, set the stage for next year's yield and stave off diseases by pruning away spent fruiting canes. Keep 3-4 vigorous young canes per foot of row, and postpone tip pruning until spring.

Resist pruning trees and shrubs at this time, as it could prompt new growth that won't withstand winter's chill. Plan to prune during the latter part of the dormant season in early spring instead.

Now is an opportune moment to order spring-flowering bulbs to ensure a vibrant and sequential display of blooms next year.

Take advantage of the cooler parts of your garden by sowing seeds for a second crop of leafy greens like lettuce, mustard, Swiss chard, kohlrabi, kale, collards, and spinach in the dappled shade provided by taller plants.

Persist in deadheading your flowering plants to encourage a final flourish before the season ends.

Stay vigilant with the watering of hanging baskets and container gardens, which may require daily attention, especially in warm conditions.

Regularly harvest vegetables like beans, peas, squash, cucumbers, and okra to extend their productive phase and to savor them at their freshest.

Remove spent plants that are no longer yielding to prevent them from becoming havens for pests and diseases.

Keep on top of weed management to prevent them from seeding and adding to next year's weed burden.

Now is also the time to sow seeds for biennial flowers such as hollyhocks, Canterbury bells, and foxgloves, which will grace your garden with their presence next year.

Determine the right time to harvest cantaloupes by applying gentle pressure to the stem; if it detaches easily, the fruit is ready.

If you're incorporating cover crops into your garden management, sow them in the fall to improve soil health for the next growing season.


Persist in sowing seeds for cool-season crops such as spinach, lettuce, radishes, arugula, Asian greens, kale, and collards, as they thrive in the cooler temperatures of the approaching fall.

Maintain regular pest surveillance, especially since bean beetles often have a resurgence around this time.

Before the temperatures drop, bring in any houseplants that have been enjoying the outdoors. Wash them thoroughly to dislodge any insects hitchhiking on the foliage or in the soil, which can be more of an annoyance than harmful indoors. For the first few weeks after their return indoors, keep a close eye on these plants for any signs of pest activity and address any infestations promptly.

Plan to mulch your garden beds to protect them over the winter. While bagged mulch is readily available, consider the cost-effectiveness of having a bulk delivery. Share the expense and the mulch with neighbors if a full load is too much for your needs.

Some perennials with fibrous roots benefit from being divided and transplanted every three to five years. Autumn is the ideal time to divide and relocate spring-blooming species, while those that bloom in the fall, like chrysanthemums, should be divided in the spring. Trim the plants back to 4-6 inches to minimize transplant shock and prepare the new site thoroughly.

Harvest pumpkins, summer squashes, and gourds before the first frost. Partially colored pumpkins will continue to mature off the vine, but handle them with care to avoid damaging the rind, which can shorten their storage life.

Continue to pick the second sowings of cool-season vegetables such as radishes, lettuce, Chinese cabbage, chard, spinach, broccoli, and other cole crops. Some, like parsnips, peas, Brussels sprouts, and kale, become sweeter after a light frost.

Encourage plants to naturally wind down their growth cycles without the use of heavy fertilizers or extensive pruning, as this can interrupt their preparation for dormancy and make them susceptible to early frost damage.

Fall is also an excellent time to enrich your garden soil. Incorporate manure, compost, and leaves to boost organic matter. Wood ashes, rich in phosphorus, potassium, and calcium, can be spread over vegetable gardens and flower beds to nourish the soil throughout the winter.

Diligently weed strawberry beds now to simplify your spring gardening tasks.

Sow any cover crops by the middle of the month to ensure they establish before winter, as they will help to improve soil structure and fertility.

As perennials and bulbs begin their dormancy, it's wise to mark their locations. Use painted popsicle sticks or create a garden map to avoid accidental disturbances in the spring.

Give roses their final fertilization of the year to help them prepare for winter without promoting new growth that could be damaged by the cold.

After daylilies have finished blooming, it's the right time to dig, divide, and transplant them to invigorate their growth for the following season.

Harvest sweet potatoes and peanuts while the weather is still mild. Allow them to cure properly in a warm, well-ventilated area before storage to prolong their shelf life.

Towards the end of the month, start planting garlic, shallots, and perennial onions for next year's harvest. These crops benefit from the winter chill to develop robustly, so getting them in the ground now allows them to establish before the cold sets in.

By taking these steps, you'll ensure that your garden remains productive and healthy as it transitions into the cooler months, while also setting the stage for a successful spring.


Sow cloves of garlic, bulbs of shallots, and clusters of perennial onions in your garden, as these hardy plants will develop over the winter and yield a harvest in the coming year.

Prepare for a vibrant spring display by planting bulbs such as tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, and crocuses. To protect these bulbs from curious wildlife, consider laying chicken wire over the planting area to prevent digging.

Before the arrival of freezing temperatures, it's important to drain your garden hoses and clear out bird baths to prevent damage from expanding ice.

For potted perennials, you can safeguard them against the cold by burying the pots in a vacant section of your vegetable plot or insulating them with a generous blanket of straw.

Now is an optimal time to gather soil samples for analysis, which will guide your fertilization strategy for various garden zones next year. Different plant types and varying conditions, such as a shaded, sloping lawn versus a sunny, flat one, necessitate individual soil samples for accurate assessment.

Now is the moment to dig up, divide, and transplant spring- and summer-blooming perennials. For those that bloom in late summer or fall, plan to divide them in the spring instead. Trim back their foliage, replant, and water thoroughly. Hold off on applying fresh mulch until the depths of winter for their inaugural cold season's protection.

Monitor local weather forecasts closely and harvest any remaining warm-season crops like beans, eggplants, peppers, and tomatoes before the first severe frost.

Preserve the last of your herb garden by cutting, drying, or freezing the herbs for future use.

After asparagus foliage has turned yellow and died back, remove, chop, and compost it. Delay mulching this area until later in the winter.

Harvest seeds from self-pollinating, non-hybrid flowers such as marigolds by allowing the flower heads to fully mature. Spread the seeds on newspaper, turn them regularly to dry, and then store them in glass jars or envelopes in a cool, dry, and dark location for next season.

Make a record of which vegetable varieties performed well or poorly this year to inform your garden planning for the next season.

Leave the seed heads of asters, sunflowers, and cosmos intact to provide a food source for birds during the colder months.

Thin out greens like kale, chard, and spinach that you do not plan to overwinter, and enjoy the young, tender leaves in a meal. These thinnings are nutritious and can be a delicious addition to salads or cooked dishes.

On chilly nights, protect your broccoli and cauliflower by covering them to shield against light frosts, which can help extend their growing season and improve their flavor.

Implementing these gardening practices as the season changes will not only prepare your garden for the upcoming winter but also set a strong foundation for a fruitful and beautiful garden in the year ahead.


Now is the time to plant your selection of spring-flowering bulbs if you haven't done so already.

Prepare your planters for winter by emptying, cleaning, and storing them in a place where they'll stay dry until spring.

For those who utilize rain barrels, make sure to empty them and invert them to prevent water accumulation during the winter. Reattach your downspouts to effectively channel snowmelt and rain away from your home's foundation.

The sweetness of cole crops such as Brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, collards, and kale is enhanced by a touch of frost, so continue to harvest these as the weather allows. Employ a cold frame or a low tunnel to keep these vegetables going for as long as possible.

Rather than harvesting all of your less frost-resistant late-season crops, leave them in the ground and cover them with a generous layer of straw to delay freezing. This approach is suitable for vegetables like carrots, beets, leeks, rutabagas, turnips, winter radishes, chard, Chinese cabbage, and leaf lettuce. For the leaf lettuce, lay a floating row cover over the plants before adding straw to prevent debris from mixing with your greens.

Remain vigilant with your houseplants and inspect them regularly for pests that might have hitched a ride indoors.

By the end of the month, consistently cooler temperatures warrant the application of a 2-4 inch layer of mulch to protect your plants.

Enrich your garden soil by spreading manure, decomposed sawdust, rotten straw, and shredded leaves, then work them into the soil. This organic matter will significantly improve soil fertility, structure, and its ability to retain moisture.

Service your gas-powered garden equipment like lawn mowers and leaf blowers by oiling and storing them properly. Take advantage of slower times at repair shops for tune-ups and blade sharpening.

With garden planning season approaching in January, now is the perfect time to order seed catalogs. Consider exploring companies that offer unique, heirloom, or wildflower varieties for added diversity in your garden.

Plant seeds of poppies, hollyhocks, and bachelor's buttons to enjoy their blooms next season.

Begin harvesting winter carrots as they reach a suitable size, and continue to plant bunching onions in a fresh location.

Don't miss out on planting garlic, as it's your last opportunity to get it in the ground for next year's crop.

And finally, have blankets at the ready to cover lettuce and other semi-hardy crops when the first severe freeze threatens. These coverings can provide the extra degree of warmth needed to prevent damage and extend the harvest period of these vegetables a bit longer.

Implementing these gardening activities not only prepares your garden for the winter but also sets you up for success in the coming growing season. With your garden tucked in and equipment maintained, you can look forward to a restful winter and a productive spring.


Think about gifting memberships to your local botanical gardens, arboreta, or nature centers as holiday presents. These gifts serve a dual purpose by offering ongoing enjoyment and enrichment to those you care about while also supporting these vital cultural and environmental institutions.

To safeguard the trunks of juvenile trees from pests and weather, wrap them carefully. For multi-stemmed trees and shrubs, create a barrier with chicken wire or hardware cloth, ensuring it's anchored to the ground and high enough to fend off rabbits.

Maintain your garden tools by cleaning them with a wire brush and applying a light layer of oil to prevent rust. Hone the edges of tools like hoes and spades, and service the blades of your pruning equipment. To preserve the handles, give them a light sanding followed by a coat of linseed oil, or paint them in bright hues such as red or orange to make them easily visible when laid on the lawn.

Empty the fuel from your lawn mower or tiller to prepare it for winter storage.

If it's still on your to-do list, mulch your garden beds, taking special care around perennials, to provide winter protection.

When dealing with ice on sidewalks and driveways, opt for de-icing agents like calcium chloride or potassium chloride instead of rock salt (sodium chloride) to minimize harm to plants. For added traction, sparingly use sand, kitty litter, or wood ashes, and if necessary, combine with a de-icing agent. Use these products judiciously to reduce environmental impact on stormwater systems and waterways.

Take time to go over your garden notes, expanding on them to refine your gardening strategy for the upcoming season.

Now is the time to harvest Brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage, and collards.

Apply a layer of mulch to carrots, parsnips, and other root crops remaining in the ground over winter.

Lay down mulch in the areas where you plan to grow early spring crops.

Give your compost pile one final turn before covering it with a tarp to conserve nutrients during the winter rainfall.

Divide and replant any overcrowded bulbs to ensure their vitality and bloom.

Keep planting hardy annuals and perennials, and protect these young plants with cloches or by placing them in cold frames to shield them from the cold.

Zone 8 Planting calendar — Vertical Gardening (2024)


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