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Zone 8 Gardening: For Vegetables, Fruits, Herbs, Flowers, and Month-to-Month Garden Calendar

Among 13 Hardiness zones, Zone 8 is one in the United States. Like all zones, it is separated into two subzones. These zones are 8A and 8B. Zone designation can help you choose plants suitable for the cold temperatures of your zone. Each zone is divided by a temperature difference of 10°F. This means that zone 8 zone is 9 to 10°F cold and zone 9 zones are 10 to 10°F colder.

Zone 8 Gardening

Each subzone is separated from 5°F. The minimum average temperature of Zone 8 is 10°F to 20°F. The minimum average temperature of subzone 8A is 10°F to 15°F. The minimum average temperature of subzone 8B is 15°F to 20°F. Temperature occurs in every zone, and each zone subset is the average of normal low temperatures you can expect. Temperatures often dip below the average limit during harsh winters and unusual weather patterns.

  • Date of the first frost – The first frost is between October 11 and October 20.
  • Date of Last Frost – The last frost is between March 21 and 31.

These dates characterize the average time for the first and last frosts. Still, they do not consider the unusual seasonal patterns that can cause more frequent freezes and lower-than-normal temperatures. 

Zone 8 Gardening

Vegetable Gardening in Zone 8

Zone 8 vegetable gardening for spring and summer crops may start as early as the first days of February. Then, it’s time to start seeding indoors for cold-weather vegetables.


Tomatoes and Onions can also be started seeds indoors around the middle of February. These seeds will turn into seedlings before you know them. The next step is the transplant of the seedlings outside. Broccoli and cauliflower can plant in early March. The rest of the cold-weather crops should wait a few more weeks. Tomato and onion seedlings are transplanted in April. The beans should be started indoors in the middle of March.

Plant seeds sprout indoors for Brussels in early April, and Corn, Cucumber, and Squash in the middle of April. Transplant them in May or June, or you can then instruct them to sow out. Make sure to tighten the seedlings before planting. If you are making a second round of vegetables for fall and winter crops, start seeding inside in August and September. 

Tomato Gardening

Broccoli and Cabbage might start in early August. In the middle of August, plant Beetroot, Cauliflower, Carrots, Kale, and Lettuce. Plant peas and Spinach in early September. Zone 8 vegetable gardening should all go into outdoor beds by the end of September. Broccoli and Cabbage can transplant early in the month, the rest a little later.

Fruit Gardening in Zone 8 

Fruit Gardening

However, when growing fruit trees, it is important to know that some fruit trees need pollination, which means another tree of the same type. Apples, Pears, and Plums are required pollinators, so you will need a lot of space to grow two trees. Also, fruit trees grow best in places with well-drained, loamy soil. Most heavy, poor-drainage soils cannot be tolerated.

Herb Gardening in Zone 8

Flowering shrubs need to be selected for beauty, functionality, maintenance, and site features for Zone 8. Once you do that, it’s time you plant your new plants. The best time to plant most plants is when the cold conditions start. Herb gardening is very beneficial in Zone 8. If you are growing herbs in containers, keep an eye on them to ensure they are not too dry.

SageBay laurel
Herb Gardening

Flower Gardening in Zone 8 

Perennial Flowers
Creeping ThymeHenry’s Lily
Agastache Blue FortuneEchinacea Tomato Soup
Lemon Queen SunflowerSea Thrift
Achillea Terracotta (Yarrow)Rozanne
Dahlia Frost NipGaillardia
Ox-Eye DaisySpotted Dead Nettle
Flower Gardening
Annual Flowers
BegoniaOrnamental Peppers
Sunflower Gardening

Common Trees for Zone 8 

BirchWeeping Willow
RedbudHoney Locust
Crape Myrtle

Zone 8 is a slightly harder place to produce fruits. For many sour trees, it’s too cool but light to get proper cold times for apples and stone fruits in winter. Although one or two varieties of fruits can be grown-up in Zone 8, these fruit and nut trees are the most reliable and common for Zone 8.

East White PineHemlock
Korean BoxwoodLeyland Cypress

Month-by-Month Gardening Calendar for Zone 8 

  • Make tactics for the garden of the coming seasons. Decide where your crops will be rotated from last year, and start working on the cold frame, trellises, and indoor lighting setup. 
  • Collect all your seed-starting equipment together. You will need lights, heat mats, a sterile medium, and the type of container you like. Wash and sterilize seed-starting containers.
  • Start your seeds inside for Broccoli, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Celery, Lettuce, Onion, and Parsley. By the end of this January, too many perennial flowers should be started inside. Clean your cold frame. If you want to expand, build a new one. 
Home Gardening
  • Direct sow vegetable seeds like Carrots, Swiss Chard, Peas, Collared, Kale, Kohlrabi, Leaf Lettuce, Onion, Parsley, Parsnips, Beetroot, Radish, and Spinach such as soil and weather conditions allow.
  • Sow Nigella, Poppy, and Larkspur seeds outside to get a few weeks of cool temperature to benefit their growth.
  • Harden the Brassica seedlings prepared outside in a cold frame. At the end of this February month, they are planted in the garden under a low-level plastic tunnel.
  • Long days and short nights will trigger houseplants to start growing again. Now is a good time to repot them and give them good food when needed.
  • At the end of this month, you must be starting the process of transplants outside your onions, Parsley, and any other cold-weather crops that are at least five weeks old. Choose Cole crop plants like Broccoli, Cauliflower, Cabbage, and Brussels sprouts, as overripe plants exposed to low temperatures early in the season are quickly sealed in flowers.
  • Cover the Brassica crops with floating row cover to shelter them from the loss of cabbage insects and flea beetles.
  • Continue sowing carrots, Swiss Chards, Peas, Collard, Kale, Kohlrabi, Leaf Lettuce, Onions, Parsley, Parsnips, Beetroot, Radish, and Spinach directly as permission for soil and weather conditions.
  • Measure the rainfall from the rain gauge posted near the garden to tell when to water. This month, your garden needs about an inch of rain every week from April to September.
  • Sow annual flower seeds (Calendula, Clarkia, Larkspur, California poppy, and Sweet Pea).
  • Continue sowing seeds of Beetroot, Carrot, Chard, Kohlrabi, Leaf Lettuce, Mustard, Onion bulbs, Parsnips, Peas, Potatoes, Radish, Spinach, and turnip outdoors. 
  • Set up new plantations of fruit trees, grapes, strawberries, raspberries, Asparagus, and Rhubarb.
  • Sow more carrots and lettuce earlier this month and 6 inches of mulched potatoes with straw.
  • In the middle of the month, start sowing Sweet Corn, Cucumbers, Summer Squash, Bush Beans, and herbs. 
  • You can start seeds inside the Okra, Pumpkin, Cucumber, Summer and Winter Squash, and Melons. Sow vine crops in different pots because they do not transplant well if the roots are upset.
  • Sow seeds of Beans, Okra, Pumpkin, Sweet Corn, and Watermelon outside. Only some Beans and Sweet Corn rows can be planted every two weeks. Sweet Corn should be planted in corresponding rows or blocks for good pollination.
  • By the beginning of this month, it should be safe to apply almost everything outside: impatience and tender annual flowers like Tomatoes, Chillies, and Eggplant. 
  • Look for the Mexican bean beetle. To be safe, you can cover the entire crop with a floating row cover as soon as the seedlings come out.
  • Newly transplanted vegetable plants must be protected from collared cutworms. It’s a great time to take softwood cutting of bushes to start new plants from the middle of May to the end. 
  • Sow direct Sunflower, Nasturtiums, Marigolds, Borage, Basil, and other hot-weather flowers and herbs.
  • Plant heat-loving fields of peas, Lima Beans, and Asparagus Beans.
  • After your vegetable garden is well established, it is better to water it once a week instead of giving it light water every day. Thus, developing a deep root system is encouraged to help plants survive dry weather.
  • Continue planting direct-seed vegetable crops such as Beans, Summer Squash, and Cucumbers.
  • Beans, Peas, Squash, Cucumber, and Okra vegetables are pruned frequently to prolong production and enjoy peak freshness.      
  • Both annual and chronic garden flowers benefit from deadheading after flowering, regularly weed in the garden to keep the work easy and manageable. 
  • Prepare to side-dress with balanced manure when the Asparagus and Rhubarb reach the end of the crop window.     
  • Now start the seeds indoors to heading Cole crops for your fall garden. Sow directly from the middle of July to August, Radish, Carrots, Beetroot, Turnip, and Kale.
  • Flowers require a lot of energy to make composting flowering plants after flowering starts. 
  • Seeds can be sown this month for late Beetroot, Bush Beans, Carrots, Chard, Summer Spinach, Cucumber, and Summer Squash crops. Cover with a mix of potting soil which will not have the same chance of a paste and cracking. To catch the moisture, shelter the rows with a very thin pattern of mulch or floating row cover cloth.       
  • Harvest Onions and Garlic when the tops fall. Top garlic tops and hangs in a cool, dry place. 
  • Prepare beds for fallen crops by sowing them from a fast-growing field pea or other legumes-covered crops.  
  • The warm parts of this zone can plant a falling Potato crop, trying to bring them in by the second week of September.
  • After the last Raspberry crop for the year, ready for next year while cutting out old flower canes to avoid diseases leaving only 3 to 4 young canes lined up per foot. Pause until spring to prune back shoot tips.
  • Late crops of Leaf Lettuce, Mustard Green, Swiss Chard, Kohlrabi, and Kale Seeds can be re-sown in the partial shade of tall plants.
  • Continue the deadheading flowers that permit plants to use energy reserves to showcase the last flowers.
  • Check the moisture of the baskets and container plantings daily.
  • Prune the vegetables like Beans, Peas, Squash, Cucumber, and Okra frequently in February to extend production and enjoy peak freshness.
  • Make preparations to mix your beds for winter. 
  • Autumn is the time to distribute and transplant flowering plants in spring, while flowering plants like Chrysanthemums should fall in spring. 
  • You can continue to plant cold-weather vegetables, including Radish, Lettuce, Chinese cabbage, Chard, Spinach, Broccoli, and other Cole Crops. 
  • Allow plants to eliminate the summer growth cycle in a normal way. Never encourage growth with heavy applications of fertilizer or excessive harvesting. Plants will delay their deactivation process, which has already started in the coming months in anticipation of winter. Early freezes could injure new growth.
  • Some perennial flowers and bulbs will start to become inactive this month. It’s helpful to mark their location with painted Popsicle sticks or map your bed come spring, so you remember where things are.
  • Plant spring flower bulbs like tulips, Daffodils, Hyacinths, and Crocus. Place chicken wires on the ground on newly installed bulbs to prevent animals from digging.
  • Remove the hoses and empty the birdbath before the hard frost.
  • Make a note of any particular productive or disappointing varieties of vegetables that you have planted this year. Such information can be very useful when planning the garden for the next years.
  • For bird food, leave seed heads to the Asters, Sunflowers, and Cosmos.
  • Cover Broccoli and Cauliflower on cold nights.
  • Spread the manure, rotten sawdust, rotten straw, and chopped leaves over the garden. 
  • Using a rain barrel or two to conserve water and reduce storm water flow should be emptied and overturned to keep them dry during winter. 
  • At the end of the month, it should be so cool permanently those 2 to 4 inches of the protective mulch start to be applied.
  • Cole crops such as Brussels sprouts, Cabbage, Broccoli, Collard, and Kale have been harvested as long as possible. You can also use cold frames or fewer tunnels to increase the weather.
  • Harvest Sprouts, Kale, Cabbage, and Collard.
  • Mulch Carrots, Parsnips, and other crops will spend winter underground.
  • Turn the manure last time, and then cover it with a tarp to prevent nutrients from escaping during winter rains.
  • Dig, divide, and replant crowded bulbs.
  • Stay to regulate the seedlings of hard annuals and perennials, then cover them with a cloche or put them in a cold frame.


With proper seasonal planning, you can set up a wonderful home garden in Zone 8. I hope you enjoyed reading this blog post.


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