Zone 8 may have chilly winters, but they are shorter than that of Zone 7.
The summers are between warm and hot, with average maximum temperatures ranging from 80°F to 95°F, thus providing a longer gardening period.
Therefore, you can grow vegetables, flowers, fruits, herbs, and sow seeds for future planting.
And since you need to have a plan on what to plant, here is the Zone 8 planting calendar and tips to maximize growth and yield.
Table of Contents
January Planting in Zone 8
Throughout January, temperatures can reach a low of 10°F since it is winter.
So, you can grow onions outdoors because they require a longer growing season and can withstand cold temperatures.
You can also plant flowers like calendula and pansies to add color to your garden during this cold month or chives to add to your herb collection.
February Planting in Zone 8
Winter is ending, and spring is starting to wake up from her deep slumber in February.
This brings along perfect weather to plant:
- Vegetables: Cabbage, peas, carrots, cauliflower, kale, and radishes.
- Flowers: Daffodils, tulips.
- Fruits: Blueberries, cherries, citrus, strawberries.
- Herbs: Mint, cilantro, parsley, and thyme.
Also, sow seeds for tomatoes and peppers that you can plant in March as you harvest onions or garlic if ready.
March Planting in Zone 8
Spring is finally here, which brings along warmer temperatures making your garden come to life with vibrant colors and fresh growth.
As the days become longer, you can plant vegetables like lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, bell peppers, celery, cucumbers, peas, rosemary, apricots, tangerines, blueberries, basil, cilantro, and tangerines.
Also, you will notice blooming flowers from pansies planted in January, and you can add some daisies and cosmos.
Nevertheless, there is a possibility of frost, so cover your plants if the forecast has low temperatures, and add mulch all around them to help them retain moisture.
April Planting in Zone 8
April is a month of abundant growth, vibrant colors, and sweet, delicious smells as the temperatures continue to rise.
So, plant the following:
- Vegetables: Eggplant, kohlrabi, onions, spinach, tomatoes, lettuce
- Flowers: columbine, marigold, poppy
- Fruit: Asian pears, grapes, kiwifruit, watermelon
- Herb: Lemongrass, marjoram, tarragon
- Seeds: Corn, beans
However, keep an eye out for pests and diseases as warm weather tends to increase their presence.
Then, when the temperatures are cooler, early in the morning or late in the evening, water your plants.
May Planting in Zone 8
As spring is coming to an end and summer is slowly making an appearance, it’s the perfect time to harvest lettuce, spinach, radishes, or snap peas when the pods are plump and before the peas inside become too large.
As a result, you have more room to grow crops that will yield more produce in the summer such as lemon balm, plums, raspberries, geranium, nasturtium, squash, zucchini, and eggplant.
And for maintenance, trim any overgrown blooms as you prune shrubs and trees to maintain their shape and health.
June Planting in Zone 8
Summer is finally here, bringing in perfect temperatures with long days, enabling you to spend time planting the following:
- Vegetables: Tomatoes, peppers, cabbage
- Flowers: Marigolds, zinnias
- Fruit: Strawberries
- Herb: Basil
- Seeds: Radishes, lettuce
This is because tomatoes are heavy feeders, so they require a lot of nutrients, while marigolds attract beneficial insects and deter nematodes that harm tomatoes. Whereas basil enhances the flavor of tomatoes.
July Planting in Zone 8
It is still summer in Zone 8, so you can plant more of the same vegetables, fruits, flowers, and herbs that you did in June.
If you planted spinach, tomatoes, and lettuce in late March or early April, it is time to harvest them before they become too ripe or overgrown.
And to ensure you do not have any unplanted space in your garden, unless you are practicing fallow periods for enriching the soil, plant corn, beans, and squash together.
Because beans are nitrogen-fixing plants while corn is a heavy feeder that requires a lot of nitrogen to support its leaves’ growth.
On the other hand, squash helps suppress weeds by shading the soil thus limiting unwanted growth.
August Planting in Zone 8
August begins in the last weeks of summer, as the fall season slowly creeps in.
The temperatures start to fall, making it a great time to plant cool-season crops that mature in the fall like:
- Vegetables: Cabbage, garlic, mustard greens
- Flowers: Gladiolus, hibiscus, salvia
- Fruit: Persimmon, cranberries, quince, mulberries
- Herb: Calendula, chervil, sorrel
- Seeds: Carrots, cauliflower, early corn, spinach, tomatoes, squash, onions
Harvest warm-season crops like eggplants, and tomatoes, which have reached their peak ripeness.
Also, check whether the beans are ready for harvest as you pick some basil and thyme to dry them for later use.
Do not forget to continue watering your plants, remove any unwanted plants and add another layer of mulch around your plants.
September Planting in Zone 8
Fall is finally here, and if you want to have vibrant hues in your garden, plant more ageratum, begonia, and carnation flowers.
Also, plant vegetables like beans, corn, okra, pumpkins, guava, passion fruit, pawpaw, pears, and cumin to ensure you have fresh produce in winter.
And do not forget to remove any weeds as you harvest any ripe apples, tomatoes, raspberries, or grown zucchini and potatoes.
October Planting in Zone 8
The fall season is in full mode, and temperatures are at a low of 64°F but that does not mean that you cannot let your green thumb have some fun.
You can enjoy the excitement that comes with being in your garden by adding more plants after you have harvested any ripe or grown crops.
Or if you have space in your garden that you had not planted earlier because of harvesting ripe fruits and vegetables or through fallow periods, you can plant these plants:
- Vegetables: Parsnips, rutabagas, winter squash
- Flowers: Chrysanthemum, pansy, sweet pea, viola
- Fruit: Kiwi, medlar, prickly pear
- Herb: Garlic chives, mustard
November Planting in Zone 8
The cooler temperatures and shorter fall season days signal the need to plant crops that thrive in these conditions.
You can plant beets, carrots, spinach, Swiss chard, celosia, lavender, stock, yarrow, olive, caraway, horseradish, and nettle.
And check whether the mulch needs another layer to insulate the soil and protect plant roots from freezing temperatures.
Also, consider planting cover crops like clover or vetch to enrich the soil and prevent erosion.
This will help you have plants growing when winter sets in.
December Planting in Zone 8
Winter is finally here, so consider covering your plants for the colder temperatures. You can use row covers or protective mulch to shield delicate plants.
You can also plant the following:
- Vegetables: Broccoli, onions, peas, radishes, cabbage, lettuce
- Flowers: Pansy, statice, cyclamen, hellebores
- Fruits: Oranges, lemons, grapefruits (indoors in containers)
- Herbs: Rosemary, thyme, sage
But remember to water your plants sparingly as you monitor your garden for pests and diseases.
Zone 8 Planting Tips to Maximize Yield and Growth
In Zone 8, timing is everything. You need to aim for the right time when the soil temperature and weather conditions are suitable to plant vegetables, flowers, fruits, and herbs.
For instance, understand when each season occurs, as shown in the table below, to pinpoint seed sowing or planting timing.
|Spring||March, April, May||50°F to 70°F|
|Summer||June, July, August||70°F to 90°F|
|Fall||September, October, November||50°F to 70°F|
|Winter||December, January, February||30°F to 50°F|
Nurture your soil and plants as you do your body. Feed it the right nutrients, water it regularly, and avoid using chemical-based fertilizers.
Regulate water intake. Not too much or too little, just the right amount, as you can end up drowning or starving your soil and plants of moisture.
Check for pests and diseases as often as you can. Look for symptoms like discolored or wilting leaves since these can help you take quick action to defend your precious plants.
Harvest the plants at the right time. Harvesting too early could result in bland vegetables, herbs, and fruits. On the other hand, harvesting too late could reduce the storage life of your produce, and some could even be spoilt.
Zone 8 may be a little bit colder than some regions, but you can still have fun in your garden using this planting calendar and enjoy a bountiful harvest.
But remember to cater to your crops and the soil by using organic fertilizer and practicing companion planting or crop rotation.
This will allow the soil to accumulate nutrients that the plants require and also improve the flavor of other plants.