Monthly Garden Calendar for Northeastern United States

Organic Gardening Month-to-Month Almanac

By Amy Goldman


On a sunny day in midwinter I sit in a cool potting shed and dream about spring. The days are lengthening now and I must figure out what to grow in the garden and whether to proceed with some building projects. Should I grow out my entire tomato and pepper collections? Plant more blueberries? What about building a fence around the orchard or digging a new pond? Soon I will decide. I will take an inventory of my seed stock and place my remaining seed orders, and I will fill seed requests from members of the Seed Savers Exchange who will grow out and reoffer some of the endangered vegetable varieties I am maintaining. Late in the month I will start my first plants from seed.

Decide on Seeds. Finish selecting this season's seeds from mail-order seed catalogs.

Who Doesn't Love Lettuce? Start some lettuces and leafy greens indoors under lights for an early taste of spring. Start onions and leeks indoors, too, as well as slow-growing flowers that need 10 to 12 weeks before transplanting outdoors.

Tasty Tomatoes. If you're craving homegrown tomatoes already and if you don't mind taking a gamble on the weather, start a batch of cold-tolerant tomatoes to be set outside under protection by mid to late April. 'Stupice' is a reliable and tasty variety.

Pruning Party. Prune raspberry canes and fruit trees while they are still dormant.

Birds Get Hungry Too. Keep bird feeders full of suet and seed.

Hit the Showers. Give your houseplants a cool shower in the bathtub.

Here Comes Spring. Spring is not too far away now. Make final decisions about what to grow in this year's garden.

Sketch It Out. Do preliminary sketches of your garden. Take into account adequate spacing, crop rotation, and succession planting.