Alabama Gardeners Calendar

Use this calendar compiled by horticulturists with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, to help you plant your garden on time.

January

  • Fruits and Nuts--Set out apple, peach and pear trees and grape vines. Start grafting pecan trees and prune dormant trees.
  • Shrubs--Plant shrubs, bushes and trees such as broadleaf, narrowleaf and deciduous. Graft camellia bushes in South Alabama.
  • Lawns--Soil test before setting up a fertility program.
  • Roses--Visit nurseries and garden centers to select varieties and start planting.
  • Bulbs-- Late planting of Dutch bulbs will still flower if planted now. Plant all types of lilies except Madonna. Check stored bulbs and throw out rotten ones.
  • Miscellaneous--Give houseplants a bath in lukewarm water to remove dust. Check and repair sprayers and lawn mowers.

February

  • Fruits and Nuts--Fertilize fruit trees. Apply half of the fertilizer recommended for grapes now. Apply the other half as soon as the fruit sets. Start strawberry plantings.
  • Shrubs--Graft camellia bushes in Central and South Alabama. Spray all shrubs with a fungicide before new growth starts.
  • Roses--Prune hybrid tea roses in South Alabama; delay pruning for a few weeks in North Alabama. Continue planting.
  • Vegetable Plants--Plant cabbage, onions, lettuce, broccoli and Brussels sprouts.
  • Miscellaneous--Fertilize houseplants.

March

  • Fruits and Nuts--Continue strawberry and grape plantings. Start planting blackberries.
  • Bulbs--Plant cannas, amaryllis, gladiolus and zephyranthes in South Alabama; delay planting a few weeks in North Alabama.
  • Shrubs--Fertilize shrubs (except azaleas and camellias) according to a soil test. Plant transplants. Watch shrubs for harmful insects.
  • Lawns--Fertilize established lawns.
  • Roses--Watch new growth for aphids. Begin a spray or dust program. Begin fertilizing.
  • Vegetable plants-- Plant cabbage, onions, lettuce, broccoli and Brussels sprouts in North Alabama, and plant tomatoes and peppers in lower South Alabama.

April

  • Fruits and Nuts--Start a spray program for all fruits. Plant raspberries and blackberries.
  • Shrubs--Fertilize azaleas and camellias. When new growth is half-completed, spray all shrubs with a fungicide.
  • Roses--Watch for insects and diseases. Remove old flower heads. Plant container-grown plants.
  • Bulbs--Plant gladiolus, fancy-leaved caladiums, milk and wine lilies and ginger and gloriosa lilies.
  • Miscellaneous--On camellias and hollies look for scale insects and spray if necessary. Carefully water newly planted of shrubs and trees.
  • Vegetable seed--Plant tender vegetables such as beans, corn, squash, melons and cucumbers.
  • Vegetable plants--Plant tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, sweet potatoes and parsley.

May

  • Shrubs--Newly planted shrubs need extra care now and in coming weeks. Don't forget to water them.
  • Roses--Spray for insects and diseases. Fertilize monthly based on soil test. Container-grown plants in flower may be planted now. Prune climbing roses after the first big flush of flowering.
  • Bulbs--Summer bulbs started in containers can be planted now. Don't remove foliage from spring flowering bulbs. Do not let seedheads form on tulips and other spring flowering bulbs.
  • Vegetable plants--Plant tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and sweet potatoes.

June

  • Fruits and nuts--Layer grapes and continue spray programs. Thin apple and peach trees.
  • Shrubs--Fertilize now. Keep long shoots from developing by pinching off tips.
  • Annuals and Perennials--Remove old flower heads to promote continued flowering. Watch for insects and diseases.
  • Vegetable Seed--Plant beans, field peas, pumpkins, squash, corn, cantaloupes and watermelons.
  • Vegetable plants--Plant tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and sweet potato vine cuttings.

July

  • Fruits and Nuts--Protect figs and other ripening fruit from birds.
  • Roses--Keep roses healthy and actively growing. Apply fertilizer. Wash leaves to prevent burning from the fertilizer.
  • Vegetable Seed--Plant beans, field peas, rutabagas, squash, New Zealand spinach and Irish potatoes. Plant cabbage, collards, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and celery for the fall crop.
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SOURCE: DR. DAVE WILLIAMS, Extension horticulturist, Alabama Cooperative Extension System (334) 844-3032.