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Summer gardening calendar

These activities can be done on any day of the week — By Ellen Wells, Globe Correspondent

May 7 - 13

Quit planning and start planting this week (Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff) Quit planning and start planting this week.


Prune dead branches from shrubs.


Give your children or grandchildren a set of gardening tools and a spot of their own in the garden. It's a fun and healthy activity for kids.


Planning a summer vacation? Remember your garden and container plants will need daily watering during the hot days of summer. Set up an irrigation system or exchange gardening tasks with a neighbor.


If you have extra space in your vegetable garden, consider becoming involved with Plant a Row for the Hungry. Visit to learn about starting a campaign and donating to the cause.


A potted banana in the border? Planting cabbage with coreopsis? Visit your local garden centers and nurseries for new planting ideas and garden inspiration.


Get planting! Temperatures should now be warm enough to go full throttle in your garden:

Plant summer annuals, bedding plants, and the mainstays of your veggie garden: tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, pumpkins, squash, beans, corn, and herbs.

Protect tender tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants from unseasonably chilly nights with sheets, milk cartons, or cardboard boxes. Cold weather can set back their growth.

Use supports such as stakes and twine, bamboo poles, and cages to support tall and vining tomatoes, peas, and pole beans.



Happy Mother's Day! Take your mom to the Arnold Arboretum for Lilac Sunday and delight in the fragrance.
These guidelines are all dependent on Mother Nature, of course, and your location. For the Boston area, Zone 6 hardiness puts the last frost date around May 1. For Zone 5, add a week; Zone 4, add two. But that doesn't mean cold nights are gone for good. Keep a careful eye on your local weather forecast to watch for unseasonably cold temperatures. Find your USDA Hardiness Zone at


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