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A Gardener’s Calendar – Month by Month Guide

Monday 18 March 2019 13:20

Use our monthly calendar to keep on top of your gardening and when it’s the best time for each job - or just take a look for some green-fingered inspiration.

Every gardening job has an ideal time - not necessarily the only time - but there are certainly better seasons than others to accomplish each one.

So, whatever the time of year, follow our monthly gardener’s calendar to find the most ideal tasks for that month.

If you’re looking for even more inspiration, take a look at our top garden trends for 2019.

January

  • The festive season is over, so shred your Christmas tree for mulch / fill your compost bin.
  • Put out water and high-energy, fatty foods for birds such as, fat balls, seeds and nuts.
  • Free up space in your bed for new spring plants and cut back any dead stems.
  • Remove any snow from tree and bush branches so they don’t bow or break. Also clear the snow off your greenhouse roof to avoid cracks.
  • Plant an evergreen clematis for a winter bloom. 

February

  • Begin chitting your early potatoes - they’ll be ready to plant out in 6 weeks time.
  • Your roses will soon be flowering, so now is the time to prune them.
  • The best way to grow snowdrops is to buy and plant them whilst they’re already growing - ‘in the green’. Winter is a fantastic time to plant your snowdrops in pots or beds.
  • Prune your apple and pear trees. Remove any rotting fruit so the disease doesn’t spread.
  • Winter is the best time to build a rockery. The soil and rocks have time to settle in before you add plants in spring. Top tip: create your rockery away from trees or any plants creating shade, to ensure maximum light.
  • Lay any new pathways. Resin bound is a beautiful, environmentally-friendly path aggregate.

March

  • Lay mulch for all your plants, helping to retain moisture during the warm summer months.
  • Remove young weeds, catching them before they get out of control.
  • Give your lawn its first mow (provided the grass isn’t wet). Raise the height of your blades higher than usual for the first few cuts.
  • Begin to feed fish in your pond again. Fish are cold-blooded and only need food when they become more active in warmer temperatures.
  • Prune your roses, bushes and hydrangeas, helping with healthy growth.
  • Cover your strawberry plants with a cloche or floating film. This speeds up growth in spring and provides an earlier fruiting.
  • Plant your bare root roses, asparagus and onions.
  • Give your trees and shrubs some slow-release compost.
  • Keep an eye out for any late frosts, protecting plants with plastic sheets when needed. Top tip: use sticks to keep the cover from touching the plants. 

April

  • Lay new turf (provided the ground isn’t frozen). Top tip: use edging to define the area to help with lawn maintenance.
  • Alternatively, it’s time to apply a spring feed to your current lawn.
  • Now the soil has warmed up, plant out your potatoes.
  • Plant your tomatoes, runner beans, peppers, sweetcorn and courgettes. Sow their seeds in module trays or pots. Use moist, multi-purpose compost.
  • Carry out your water feature maintenance. Replace the water and remove any sludge. If you don’t already have one, now is a great time to build a water feature to enjoy in the summer months.
  • Deadhead daffodils and tulips.
  • Plant your summer-flowering bulbs such as lilies, freesias and gladiolus.
  • Tie your climbing roses to supports. Top tip: the more horizontal the stems, the more flowers you can expect.
  • Add slow-release fertiliser to any fruit plants. Fruit trees favour a high-nitrogen fertiliser. 
  • Look out for slugs and protect your plants with organic slug control. Slugs wreak havoc all year, but they can cause the most problems in spring for seedlings.
  • Begin to feed your hungry citrus plants.
  • Lay at least 5 centimetres of compost on to your flower beds to prepare for the upcoming growing season.

May

  • Split up and re-plant alpines that have finished flowering.
  • Place netting over any fruit plants to avoid animals eating the crop. Keep them watered now the hot weather is setting in. For strawberries, place straw underneath fruit to keep them off the ground and suppress weeds.
  • Earth up your potatoes, adding extra compost.
  • Trim any evergreen bushes.
  • Prune flowers that have finished their spring bloom.
  • Regularly mow the lawn (on dry days). Lower your blades to a summer height.
  • Hoe regularly to remove weeds.
  • Feed your fish in the pond regularly. Little and often is the best way to feed.
  • May is your last chance to lay any new grass until Autumn - if you want to avoid continual watering.
  • Tie up any sweet peas to supports.
  • Keep a close eye on pests - put down early prevention if there are any signs.
  • Harvest your asparagus and rhubarb.
  • Open greenhouse doors for ventilation on hot days. Top tip: Damp down the greenhouse by spraying water on the floor for greater humidity.
  • Use lawn seeds on bare grass areas.

June

  • Deadhead your roses.
  • Move more vulnerable vegetables such as courgettes and tomatoes from the greenhouse / indoors and plant them out into the garden.
  • Feed and water your lawn during any droughts.
  • When mowing the lawn, set to the highest blade setting if it’s dry - reducing any stress on the grass.
  • Cut back geraniums that are wilting - you should get another smaller bloom.
  • Now is the time to stake any tall plants, giving them extra support and preventing any strong wind damage.
  • Prune any shrubs that have finished spring flowering.
  • Feed your tomatoes, squash and peppers with high-potash feed.
  • It’s your last chance to plant runner beans in early summer.
  • Now a frost is unlikely, plant out summer bedding plants.
  • Nearer the end of June, begin to harvest your onions, lettuce, radishes and early potatoes.
  • Pinch your fuschia tips and tomato shoots.
  • Pick your sweet peas regularly - this will keep them flowering continuously.
  • Avoid scorch in your greenhouse by securing blinds for shade protection.
  • Keep an eye out for aphids under leaves and apply pest control if necessary.

July

  • Strawberry plants will have grown runners - peg these down for more plants next year or remove them completely.
  • Deadhead all your flowering perennials that usually repeat-bloom such as geraniums - ensuring a continuous flowering and stopping self-seeding.
  • Harvest fruit such as peaches and nectarines.
  • Plant winter vegetables such as garlic, spring onions, spinach, peas and carrots.
  • Now is the last time to feed your grass with fertiliser before it would grow too much before winter.
  • Take care of any water features - ensure the water in ponds is topped up and it’s clear of debris and algae.
  • Raise the height of the blades on your mower or stop mowing the lawn altogether.
  • Paint any sheds, fences, benches etc. in the dry weather.
  • Pick young courgettes to encourage more growth.
  • Now’s the time to trim and pick herbs to freeze for later in the year.
  • Tie cucumber stems to vertical poles, training them to grow upwards.
  • Harvest beetroot, potatoes, lettuce and tomatoes in July. 

August

  • Secure top-heavy plants such as lilies to a pole, protecting them from wind and stopping them flopping.
  • Now is the time to give your hedges that final trim before winter.
  • Prune your wisteria.
  • Plant your potatoes for Christmas.
  • If you’d like strawberry plants next year, pot your strawberry runners.
  • Harvest your vegetables such as sweetcorn, peas, onions, courgettes, pumpkins, aubergines.
  • Frequently deadhead your roses and perennial plants to avoid self-seeding.
  • Water your Rhododendrons well to help with next year’s buds forming.
  • Collect and save any seeds from your best-performing plants for next year. Store them in a paper bag to make sure they are completely dry.
  • Cut down your herbs to encourage an extra growth before winter. Store the off-cuts for your supplies and freeze for the winter.
  • Harvest fruit from your trees such as, cherries, plums and nectarines.
  • Keep bird baths full during any droughts.

September

  • Plant your new herbaceous perennials, such as daffodils, for a spring bloom.
  • Sow your poppy and cornflower seeds.
  • Remove rotting fruit from your trees to stop diseases spreading.
  • Pick your raspberries and harvest your plums.
  • Net your pond to avoid debris falling into it.
  • Remove anything shadowing your pumpkins to make sure they’re ripe just in time for Halloween.
  • The most effective way to bird-proof your vegetable crops is by creating a net barrier. Top tip: pull the netting taute to stop animals getting trapped in it.
  • Put water butts in place to collect the autumn rainfall.
  • Cut back any foliage on your potatoes a couple of weeks before lifting them. This helps to firm skins and prevents infection.
  • Plant onions for autumn.
  • Remove any shading near your greenhouse to allow for maximum light exposure.

October

  • Move any tender plants into your greenhouse.
  • Divide any herbaceous perennials - this is a great opportunity to mix-up your flower bed.
  • Plant any new shrubs, bushes and trees and mulch around them.
  • Aerate your lawn by forking it.
  • With autumn’s arrival, rake your lawns to remove dead leaves and fill up your compost bins.
  • Split rhubarb crowns to create new plants.
  • Plant out cabbages for spring.
  • Cut back and prune plants that have died after the summer.
  • This is the perfect time to plant out clematis.
  • Protect your cauliflower from the cold weather with cloche tunnels or by wrapping their leaves around the head - secure them with twine or string.
  • Keep an eye on diseased fruits and remove from trees to stop the infection spreading further.

 November

  • Now the colder weather is here, improve your soil with organic manure and compost.
  • Plant tulip bulbs for a spring bloom.
  • Using grease bands and tree barrier glues on your fruit tree trunks will prevent moth damage during the spring.
  • Keep bird feeders topped up.
  • Plant garlic bulbs (provided the ground isn’t frozen).
  • Late Autumn is your first chance to plant raspberry canes.
  • Prune your free-standing fruit trees while they are dormant during winter.
  • Prepare a vegetable patch.
  • Raise any pots in the garden so they don’t become waterlogged. Stand them on rocks or pot feet so water can drain out of the base.
  • Protect your young plants using a cold frame

December

  • Insulate any outside water sources with pipe lagging and tap cosies to prevent freezing and bursting.
  • Harvest your leeks, sprouts and parsnips.
  • Put out water and fat balls to attract birds to the garden.
  • Cover any wooden furniture in the garden for protection from extreme winter weather.


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