Monthly Garden Calendar for Pacific Coast North United States

Organic Gardening Month-to-Month Almanac

By Amy Stewart



I'm pretty excited about the new fertilizers coming on the market that are enriched with soil-building microbes. Whitney Farm's Life Link is one such example—this new line of fertilizers is specially formulated to include beneficial bacteria and fungi that support plant life. Consider the fact that a handful of soil can contain millions of microscopic creatures, not to mention the mites, spiders, ants, and—last but certainly not least—earthworms that live underground and participate in the endless renewal of the soil. I like the idea of adding an extra dose of these beneficial microbes every time I fertilize the garden.

Mulch, Mulch, Mulch. Speaking of soil, keep a thick layer of mulch around water-thirsty plants to preserve soil moisture. Water deeply once or twice a week to encourage healthy root growth.

Weed Watch. Keep a sharp eye out for weeds—it's important to get them before they bloom.

Mix It Up. Turn the compost pile and make sure it's slightly damp.

Don't Forget To Deadhead. Deadhead spent flowers on cosmos, sunflower, and dahlias, as well as any other flowering plants.

Pay Attention To Fruit Trees This Month. Thin young fruit so that there is about four inches between the remaining fruit, and pick up all the fruit that drops to the ground to prevent the spread of disease.

Pruning Tip. When your wisteria finishes blooming, cut back rampant growth and keep the vine pruned to a shape that suits you.

Lawn Care. Water your lawn for about twenty to thirty minutes twice per week, preferably in the evenings. Set the blade on your mower high—a slightly taller lawn will conserve water better.

Stay On Top of Snails. You can handpick them or use a pet-safe iron phosphate snail bait.

Befriend The Birds. Offer a supply of clean, fresh water to the birds that may be nesting or foraging for food in your garden. They'll reward you by staying around to help eradicate pests.

Planting Herbs. Continue to plant basil, cilantro, and dill so you'll have enough herbs to enjoy into fall. Pinch back flowers to encourage bushier growth.

Summer Veggies. In cooler areas, there's still time to plant summer vegetables like tomatoes, pole beans, squash, and eggplant. Sturdy seedlings in four-inch pots are probably your best bet; be sure to work in plenty of well-aged compost to get them off to a good start.