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Get the 2023 Garden Calendar

Colors of the GardenBackground of assorted vegetables with the outline of West Virginia that reads "Colors of the Garden"

The WVU Extension Garden Calendar is produced and distributed each year as a service to West Virginia’s many home gardeners and agricultural producers. The annual calendar is just one of many meaningful projects, programs and outreach efforts provided by WVU Extension throughout West Virginia’s 55 counties.

If you have gardening questions or want more information, please contact your county’s WVU Extension office. Be sure to check out information for controlling garden pests year-round as well as related coloring pages and learning activities for even more opportunities.

Enjoy this year’s Garden Calendar!

Download the 2023 Garden Calendar  Get a Garden Calendar at Your Local County Office
This PDF download is provided as a convenience for printing the document at home.
WVU Extension is committed to providing reasonable accommodations upon request.

Note: To print as many Garden Calendars as existing funds allow, WVU Extension may not be able to honor web or email requests for mailed calendars. Please contact your nearest county office to get a calendar. Your understanding is sincerely appreciated.

Fresh from the Garden Calendar

Purple Asparagus Sweeter & Richer in Vitamin C

White, blue, and green asparagus varieties on a table.

When we think of asparagus, what usually comes to mind is the dark green, mild earthy-tasting spring treat. While all this is true, the asparagus family also offers beautiful purple cultivars that can be grown right here in West Virginia.

No matter the color, asparagus is high in potassium, fiber and vitamin B6. However, purple asparagus, which gets its color from anthocyanin, will deliver a sweeter taste and more vitamin C per serving than its green counterpart.

Read about Purple Asparagus Sweeter & Richer in Vitamin C

Unique Tomatoes to Grow in WV

Red, green, yellow and orange tomato varieties on a table.

One of our favorite summer crops is the colored tomato.  Tomatoes can be considered a “wonder fruit” because of their health-promoting phytonutrients. Phytonutrient-rich tomatoes are usually a vibrant red, orange or yellow color and help paint a beautiful picture of health.

Tomatoes that are red have high amounts of lycopene, which helps slow our skin’s aging and helps fight against certain chronic diseases, as well as vitamins C, B3, B5, B6, E and K. Red tomatoes contain more vitamin A than any other color.

Read about Unique Tomatoes to Grow in WV

Purple Carrots are Filled with Antioxidants

Bunches of carrots stand in jars to be canned.

When you think of carrots, you most likely picture a bright orange carrot found in a salad, beef roast or crunchy snack. However, carrots come in a multitude of colors, including purple! In fact, it’s believed that the first domesticated  carrots weren’t orange at all – they were purple and white.

So why should you try growing or eating purple carrots?  Purple vegetables have antioxidants called anthocyanins, which delay cellular aging and help prevent the formation  of blood clots. Anthocyanins also help with muscle recovery after intense exercise. Furthermore, they can inhibit the development and progression of some types of cancers.

Read about Purple Carrots are Filled with Antioxidants

Leafy Greens are Packed with Vitamins

Green collard greens with red and white stems sit in a jar.

Nothing packs a nutritional punch quite like leafy greens. The dark greens supply folate, a B vitamin that promotes heart health. The vitamin K of dark green leafy vegetables provide many health benefits, including protecting bones from osteoporosis and preventing inflammatory diseases.

Thanks to their high content of antioxidants, green leafy vegetables also may be one of the best cancer-preventing foods. Studies have shown that eating two to three servings of green leafy vegetables per week may lower the risk of certain cancers and heart disease.

Read about Leafy Greens are Packed with Vitamins

Importance of Color in the Garden

Purple cabbage cut in half show white stems.

An exciting benefit of gardening is the vast palate of colors that can be observed with garden plants. Vegetables, flowers, herbs and fruits contain natural pigments that can be visually seen as red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, white, black and brown.

The colors we find among our garden plants are the result of complicated genetic traits that are expressed over the course of the growing season. Color can even be an indicator of plant nutrition and overall plant health. Sometimes, poor color expression, like yellow or dull leaves, can be a signal for plant disease or nutrient stress. Colorful plants also attract pollinators and other beneficial insects to the garden.

Read about Importance of Color in the Garden

Master Gardeners Make A Difference in WV

Willa Izzo, WV Master Gardener, is a fixture in the State Fair Demonstration Garden by the WVU Building.

Dear Friends and Garden Enthusiasts,

Read about Master Gardeners Make A Difference in WV

Native Winter Squash

Delicata squash on the vine in the garden.

As summer turns into fall, most of the produce we harvested will begin to decay if not properly frozen, canned or pickled. If you are looking to add another crop to your garden that will keep for a longer period and double as decoration, look no further than a winter squash.

Read about Native Winter Squash


Yellow orange persimmon fruit hanging from tree.

Rich in fiber, antioxidants and countless nutrients – persimmons have been cultivated for hundreds of years. Native persimmons (diospyros virginiana) can grow to 30 to 40 feet. While you can start a persimmon from seed, using a stem cutting will give you an identical copy of the parent tree. There are several different methods that can be used to propagate native persimmon. 

It is easy to propagate a persimmon from seed. Choose a seed from a fully ripe persimmon, remove a few seeds and soak them for a few days to loosen any sticky flesh. You will need to simulate the natural overwintering process by chilling the seeds, wrapping them in a moist paper towel and putting them in a jar or plastic bag inside of a refrigerator for three months. If the paper towel dries out, rewet it. 

Read about Persimmons

Apple Trees

A red apple hanging from tree.

Although apples are an adapted species, they hold a significant place in West Virginia’s history. One of today’s most popular apple cultivars, Golden Delicious, was found in Clay County in 1912. West Virginia’s star apple was marketed by Stark Brother’s Nursery to obtain nationwide, and eventually worldwide, fame. The Golden Delicious apple was designated as the state fruit in 1995. However, West Virginia was growing apples long before the discovery of the Golden Delicious.

Johnny Appleseed is said to have crossed the northern panhandle of the state in the early 1800s, and he may have planted the seed that developed into West Virginia’s first successful and super sweet cultivar, Grimes Golden.

Read about Apple Trees

Pawpaw Trees

Green pawpaw fruit hanging from a tree.

With the outward look of a mango and the tropical taste of a banana, native pawpaws may seem as if they belong in more tropical regions. However, pawpaws have a range covering much of the southeastern United States, including West Virginia.  

Pawpaws belong to the custard apple family, which is more widespread in the tropics. Yet, pawpaws are adapted to the more temperate climate of the Appalachian Mountains and surrounding areas.  

Read about Pawpaw Trees

Three Sisters Gardening Method

Seed packets for each item in the Three Sisters Garden, squash, corn and beans, pinned to a wire fence around a garden.

The Three Sisters Garden can be a fun and rewarding experiment for the family in the backyard vegetable plot. This ancient method dates back to Native American culture. 

The trio of corn, pole beans and squash are planted together in hills, a crop management system called interplanting or companion planting. All three of these vegetables are warm-season crops, so they should not be planted before soil temperatures have warmed to 60 F, which is around mid-May. 

Read about Three Sisters Gardening Method


Ripe peach hanging from a tree.

Peaches are a favorite fruit of many, but growing a peach tree from seed is not the easiest or best way to add this fruit to your home orchard. Vegetative propagation is more common and reliable to ensure that the new tree has the desired characteristics, such as bloom time, disease resistance, cold-hardiness, and the color, size and flavor of the fruit. 

The most common method of peach propagation is through budding. To successfully propagate, two things are needed: a scion, which is a piece of vegetation from an existing tree, and a rootstock. A rootstock can be grown from seed or purchased. The rootstock determines the size of the tree and the tree’s resistance to certain weather conditions. The scion is what determines the fruit’s characteristics, such as flavor, size and bloom time. When propagating, it is important to check compatibility with the rootstock and the variety to be propagated, maintain good sanitation, and select a scion that is at least one year old and comes from a disease-free tree with vigor. 

Read about Peaches

Request a Garden Calendar

Visit your local county office to get a copy of WVU Extension's free Garden Calendar.