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Upper Midwest home garden care calendar

This gardening calendar is a guide to maintaining flower and vegetable gardens in the upper Midwest. It covers the general care needed to adequately maintain an average home garden.

The calendar does not cover all aspects of gardening or all different growing conditions that may exist on a specific property.

Flower and vegetable pages on this site have more information on caring for particular plants.

Upper Midwest gardening calendar

What to do Best time to do it Okay time to do it
Cut back perennials March, April and November
Start summer vegetable seeds indoors Mid March through mid April
Direct seed spring cover crops All April
Divide perennials 2nd week of April through 3rd week of June End of June through end of August
Water 3rd week of April through end of November
Mulch beds May through end of June October to end of November
Weed control May through September
Plant summer bulbs Last week of May through 2nd week of June
Direct seed summer vegetables Last week of May through end of June
Plant annuals Last week of May through end of June July through end of August
Plant perennials Last week of May through August
Fertilize Last week of May through August
Deadhead June through September
Direct seed fall vegetables Mid July through mid August
Divide bearded iris Late July through early August
Divide peonies Late August through September
Direct seed fall cover crops September through October
Plant spring bulbs 2nd week of September through mid November
Clean up vegetable garden October through November

Spring cover crops: buckwheat, beans, clover, hairy vetch, peas, alfalfa 

Fall cover crops: ryegrass, rye, rapeseed, oats, winter wheat, winter rye

Reviewed in 2018

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