Phenology is a science using the environment as the common denominator. By observing the natural growth, blooming and/or leafing out of indicator plants, you can determine timing for the planting crops. Indicator plants can also be used to schedule pest controls, fertilizing and pruning. Many believe this is a more accurate way to time gardening chores than simply looking at the calendar. Below are some traditional phenological observations:

  • Plant peppers melon and eggplant outside when bearded iris is in bloom.

 

  • When black locust and Vanhoutte spirea are blooming, plant cold tender seedlings of: zinnia, marigolds, tomatoes, and peppers.

 

  • When catalpas and mockoranges bloom, sow fall cabbage and broccoli seeds.

 

  • Plant corn when oak or elm leaves are the size of a squirrels’ ear. Plant corn when apple blossoms start to fall

 

  • Plant corn when the dogwoods are in full bloom.

 

  • When the common lilac plant has leafed out plant lettuce, peas and other cool weather varieties. When it’s flowers are in full bloom plant beans , cucumbers and squash.

 

  • Direct seed your morning glories when maple trees have full size leaves.

 

  • Plant pansies, snapdragons, and other hardy annuals after the aspen and chokecherry trees are leafed out.

 

  • When you see new growth on green ash, grapes and bur oaks it is safe to plant tender vines, annuals and perennials.

 

  • Plant peas when forsythia & daffodils blooms

 

  • Plant potatoes when the first dandelion blooms

 

  • Plant beets, carrots, cole crops, lettuce and spinach when lilac is in first leaf

 

  • Plant tomatoes when lily-of-the-valley are in full bloom

 

  • Plant lettuce, spinach, and peas and other cool-weather varieties when the lilacs show their first leaves or when daffodils begin to bloom.

 

  • Plant cucumbers and squashes when lilac flowers fade.

 

  • Plant pansies, snapdragons, and other hardy annuals after the aspen and chokecherry trees leaf out.

 

  • Plant beets and carrots when dandelions are blooming.