Gardening 101

Gardening at home is a wonderful way to bring fresh produce to the table, to teach children where and how food and plants grow, and to enhance a landscape to please both you and our native wildlife.

Each area of the country has specific climate- and soil-related issues that can impact your gardening efforts. With this table, we hope to assist you in finding answers about gardening in or near southern New Hampshire.

Hardiness Zone — Growing Zones 5a and 5b
Last frost date — Average last frost date is May 15
Average rainfall — 44-48″
Community gardens — NH Community Garden Map
Site — Preparing a site for planting
Soil — Need answers about soil? NH Extension soil testing services
Starting a garden — Get started with this UNH Extension Fact Sheet
Tomatoes — Grow your own tomatoes, home garden, caging, trellising, preventing disease, and pruning.
Facts — List of Fact Sheets on a variety of gardening topics
Tools needed — Two good tool resources, UC Marin MGs, and UT Gardens
Watering your garden — Irrigation/rain barrel information UNH Extension, Wicking
Rain gardens — Information about how to investigate the benefits of a rain garden
Plant Sales — SCMGA: 3rd Sunday in May. SCCD: March
Compost — Thinking about buying compost? UNH Extension Fact Sheet
Fertilizer — How to choose and use fertilizer
Why mulch plants — Evaporation and weeds, UNH Extension Fact Sheet
Landscape fabric — Why you might not want to use it for weeds in perennial gardens.
Invasive plants — Guide to Invasives Brochure
Landscaping with native plants to benefit pollinators, birds, and other wildlife — National Wildlife Federation plant finder, Homegrown National Park, Audubon Native Plant Database, selecting plants for Pollinators
Deer – Plants deer don’t prefer to eat: Rutgers University’s deer-resistance database,
Cornell professor Mark Bridgen’s chart, University of Connecticut’s list,
Penn State Extension deer-resistant plant list.
Ticks —Want more information on ticks, check out Tick Free NH
NH Bugs — Damaging Insects and Diseases Link
First frost date — Average first frost date is September 30
Putting a garden to bed — After the first frost, UNH Extension Fact Sheet
Winterizing tools — Putting your tools away for the winter.
Gardening Q & A — Ask UNH Extension Infoline
Strafford County NH Extension — 273 Locust St., Suite A, Dover, Website