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Gardening and Planting Calendar for Little Rock

Gardening and Planting Calendar

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Hardiness Zones and Frost Info
As of 2012, Little Rock is in USDA Hardiness zone 8a (we were 7b before the map was redrawn in 2012). Data from both zones is pretty close, so I think you can continue planting based on 7b or 8a.

Our average first frost occurs between November 1-10. Our average last frost date is between March 21-31. We have about 100 days over 86 degrees per year. Average monthly temps.

Calendar of Tasks

January

  • You can plant onions outside as early as January.
  • Watch for branches that have broken due to snow or ice and trim as needed.
  • Prune trees and shrubs if you haven't.

February

  • If you want to transplant shrubs and trees, this is the last month to do it. Once they begin budding, it is too late.
  • Fertilize shrubs and evergreens. You can also fertilize your fruit trees. Daylilies, bleeding hearts and hostas can be planted and bulbs can be divided and spread out.
  • You may be able to plant kale, cabbage, lettuce, cucumbers, cauliflower, onions, broccoli, peas and beets outside. You may want to have a hot box or covering just in case it frosts. I suggest waiting until late February at least.

March

  • Clean up beds and garden plots. Turn vegetable garden soil and add compost if needed. Beware of removing too much mulch from plant roots too soon.
  • Prune, spray and feed roses. Prune winter flowering plants.
  • Divide and transplant summer perennials and plant lilies, gladiolas and dahlias.
  • Start your spring planting. Plant kale, cabbage, lettuce, cucumbers, cauliflower, onions, spinach, broccoli, peas, beats and carrots. If you are starting seeds indoors, you can start your celery, tomato, eggplant, pepper and melon seeds. After the frost date, plant your summer squash.
  • If you planted crops in February, many will be ready to harvest in late March.
  • Plant Strawberries, blueberries and fruit trees later in the month.

April

  • Plant trees and shrubs. Prune evergreens. You can transplant larger trees.
  • Plant summer bulbs, like lilies and gladiolas.
  • Divide daylilies and irises.
  • You can continue spring planting by planting lettuce and spinach. Lettuce is often planted in a staggered fashion so you can harvest throughout the spring, so plant new plants and harvest your old ones. This is also when you should be harvesting the last of your onions, kale, broccoli, peas and beets.
  • Summer and winter squash, potatoes, sweet potatoes, melons, corn and beans can be planted.
  • This is a good month to set strawberry plants and vine crops.
  • Continue to kill weeds and plant pests.

May

  • In Arkansas, generally you should start irrigating your lawn in May. It's better to water deeply, less often. Avoid watering during peak demand times, which are from 5:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. Water early in the day and avoid watering at night. The recommended times to water are from 3:30 a.m. to 5:30 a.m. or 7:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
  • Prune early flowering shrubs when they finish blooming.
  • Remove wilting seed heads from plants like azaleas and wilted heads from daffodils and tulips. You can carefully divide and move daffodils when they finish blooming. Now is the time to apply lime (for pink) or aluminum sulphate (for blue) to your hydrangeas. Dahlias, gladiolas, lilies, cannas can be planted this month, as can most summer flowering perennials and annuals.
  • This is the end of the season for greens like lettuce and spinach. It's going to be too warm soon. Harvest what you have before it wilts. It's also normally the end of the cucumber an summer squash growing period, so harvest those too.
  • It's a great time to plant tomatoes, eggplant and peppers. You can also continue to plant sweet potatoes, potatoes, melons, corn, beans and winter squash. You can start to plant celery.

June

  • June is the time to plant okra and other warm weather, summer crops. You can also continue to plant melons, beans, celery, tomatoes, eggplant and peppers.
  • You will start to harvest plants set out last month.
  • You can start to divide spring perennials if their foliage has died. Remove any dead foliage or flowers from your annuals or perennials.
  • Fertilize roses and flowering shrubs after they've flowered
  • Prune conifer trees.

July-August

  • It starts to get hot in July, so you can't plant much. However, you can reap the rewards of your previous month's work. It's peak harvest time for celery, tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, eggplant, squash, corn and beans.
  • Continue to remove any dead foliage or flowers from your annuals or perennials. You can plant summer annuals if you want.

September

  • You can normally get one fall planting of kale, lettuce, cabbage, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, peas and beets in before the weather gets too cold. You can also plant Brussels sprouts (they like to be exposed to the first frost).
  • This is a great time to plant trees.

October-December

  • You can start to transplant evergreen and deciduous shrubs and trees if you need to.
  • Mulching will keep your perennials and shrubs colorful longer.
  • Plant some ornamental kale or mums early in the winter (October) to punch up the color in the drab month.
  • This is a great time to plant daffodil and tulip bulbs.

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