Jobs

Garden Jobs To Do Month By Month

Here is a list of jobs you need to be doing around the garden each month. Gardening is supposed to be enjoyable and relaxing – doing a little bit at a time is the best way. Click on the tabs to see more . . . . .

Garden Jobs To Do
Garden Jobs To Do Month By Month


 

 

January
January

January

January is a month of taking stock, getting ready for the coming season and generally trying to keep warm. Nothing has started growing yet and there is very little to do in the way of sowing yet.

However it won’t be long before the growing season will be gathering speed so take some time now to ensure that your soil, your tools and seed store are ready for the busy months ahead.
 
Flower Garden

  • This month is usually a quiet time for working on flower beds and borders – most herbaceous plants are dormant at this time of year.
  • Tidy up herbaceous borders by removing dead foliage and cutting away any decayed vegetation
  • Plant lilies this month


 

  • Germinate half-hardy annual seeds under cover
  • Inspect bulbs, dahlia tubers and gladiolus corms that have been stored away for the winter

Veggie Garden

  • Dig some manure into your beds
  • Order your seed Potatoes ready for chitting next month
  • Trim back Sage to give it a new lease of life
  • Winter prune Apples, Pears, Currants, Blackberries and Raspberries
  • Force Rhubarb
  • Sow Spring Cabbage, hardy Lettuce and Broad beans in the cold-frame
  • Sow early Carrots and more Garlic in situ under cloches

  • Clean your tools
  • Harvest the last of your winter vegetables
  • Keep adding kitchen waste to your Runner Bean trench


February
February


 
Ah – there’s nothing like a good hard frost to remind you that it’s still winter!

We’re all itching to get out there and start ‘doing’ but remember that there’s nothing to be gained by sowing early.

 
Later sowings will always catch up once the weather warms up and you risk losing everything to frost if you’re too eager now.

But there are jobs that you can be getting on with in February.

Flower Garden

  • Divide Christmas roses
  • Plant lilies and anemones
  • Take chrysanthemum cuttings
  • Plant annual seeds if the weather allows
  • Sow slower growing summer bedding plants under glass
  • Start off winter stored dormant plants and tubers
  • Bring in bulbs for forcing and plant out spent indoor bulbs

Veggie Garden

  • Chit your Potatoes (put them in a light, frost-free place and watch them sprout)
  • Plant some Garlic – in pots if you like
  • Force some Rhubarb – the crowns do better if they are at least 3 years old
  • Plant some fruit trees – make sure to dig a nice big hole and put plenty of organic matter at the bottom
  • Plant a few Onion sets – leave some for early spring too
  • Prepare a seed bed – you’ll be using it a lot quite soon
  • Draw up a plan of action
  • Continue buying seeds – like we ever stopped?
  • In mild areas (like the South West of England) sow Summer Cabbage, Spinach, Radish and Broad beans – under cover of a cloche naturally
  • Dig a bean trench and fill it with rotted compost or kitchen waste

  • It’s also worth getting a start on germinating the slow ones like parsley, celeriac and even parsnips. Germinate them on damp paper in an old ice cream tub under the kitchen sink. Then transplant them into pots as soon as the tiniest sprout appears.

March
March

 

So much to do – so little time!

There’s been a burst of energy under cover of the Potting Shed – well the garage really as that’s where the potting etc takes place!

 

 

Flower Garden

  • Prune rose bushes
  • Trim winter-flowering heathers to neaten the plants and remove faded flowers
  • Cut down old growth on penstemons, leaving new shoots around the base
  • Lift and divide congested clumps of snowdrops. March is also a good time to buy new snowdrops ‘in the green’
  • Prune winter jasmine after flowering to control growth
  • Prepare the soil for sowing hardy annuals in April
  • Plant out gladioli, lilies and other summer bulbs

  • Start spraying outdoor peach and nectarine leaves to prevent peach-leaf curl
  • Prick out seedlings from previous plantings
  • Choose new herbaceous plants
  • Lift and divide established plants
  • Sow half-hardy annuals and alpines under cover
  • Plant gladiolus and other corms
  • Take cuttings of chrysanthemums, fuchsias, pelargoniums and dahlias under glass

In the greenhouse

  • Continue sowing seed of summer bedding plants like geraniums and petunias
  • Feed winter-flowering pot plants
  • Start watering fuchsias to bring dormant plants back into growth, and cut back dead stems

Veggie Garden

  • Plant first early potatoes in mild areas where the soil is workable
  • Spring prune fruit trees like Peaches and Nectarines
  • Sow some Sweet Peas to grow alongside your Runner Beans
  • Plant more onion sets and also some more shallots
  • Spread some wood ash or high potash nutrient on raspberries and strawberries.

  • Sow Lettuce, Parsley, Coriander, Basil, Red Cabbage and Cauliflower in the cold-frame
  • Sow some Tomatoes, Chilli Pepper, Aubergine and Bell Pepper in a heated propagator
  • Sow Radish, New Zealand Spinach, early Carrots directly in the ground in milder areas. I’m planning to grow New Zealand Spinach again this year. If you’re in the UK you should really sow it now because if you wait any longer the plants have a very good chance of bolting. They are so susceptible to bolting that flowers can even appear before leaves! It’s very frustrating. However, if you treat them like a cold-weather crop i.e. March/April and Sept/Oct then you should be fine.
  • Sow Peas in guttering at two-week intervals – place in cold frame or under fleece.

I haven’t had much luck with germination when I plant directly in the ground. Either the peas rot in the ground or the mice steal them. So if you don’t have a cold frame, try sowing them in lengths of guttering and then tucking them up with a double layer of fleece. That way they have a better chance of germination and also when it comes to planting them out on the plot all you do is water them, then slide the whole thing out into a trench. Very easy!

General advice

  • Spread mulches of bark or compost over flower beds
  • Check borders for weeds and tackle any problem areas before they have chance to get established
  • Cut back any overgrown ivy
  • Build a compost heap, or buy a new bin to allow you to recycle more kitchen and garden waste

If you get through the whole of this list you will deserve a sit down with a nice cup of tea or other beverage of your choice!

And finally – A word of warning – keep your eye on the weather. There’s little point in sowing or planting when cold weather is forecast.

April
April

Now that my tulips are coming into flower, here are other things you can be getting on with this month.

This is the time when you can really get going on your gardening jobs!

 

Flower Garden

  • Start feeding established perennials
  • Finish planting and dividing herbaceous perennials
  • Take cuttings of bedding plants
  • Start sowing hardy annuals and thin out seedlings sown in March
  • Harden off violas, pansies, sweet peas and antirrhinums prior to planting out

  • Harden off rooted cuttings
  • Pot on container grown plants
  • Plant alpines
  • Deadhead bulbs
  • Buy dahlia tubers and other summer flowering bulbs
  • Cut back stems of summer and autumn flowering clematis
  • Order summer bedding plants – I already have a greenhouse crammed with geraniums that I ordered earlier this year. They have been potted on into larger pots and all are growing well.
  • Cut down last year’s shoots on buddleia and lavatera

In the Greenhouse

  • Sow coleus seeds
  • Pot arum lily tubers

  • Plant begonias and gloxinias
  • Prick out seedlings
  • Watch for whitefly
  • Pot up houseplants
  • Take dahlia cuttings
  • Open vents if it’s hot
  • Order plants by post or on-line

Veggie Garden

  • Start sowing Kale, Parsnip, Carrots and Broad beans directly into the ground
  • Finish planting new fruit bushes
  • Put up your bean poles
  • Transplant tomato seedlings to individual pots. Still keep them inside
  • Plant out Peas grown in guttering, sow more as you do and draw soil up around them as they grow

  • Sow succession crops such as lettuce, radish, rocket, spring onions, peas etc every two weeks
  • Sow some winter green such as Winter Cabbage and Sprouting Broccoli
  • Clean up the strawberry bed; remove any dead or dying leaves
  • Plant Brussels Sprouts and Spring Cabbage and Asparagus Crowns

General Advice

  • Sprinkle fertiliser like sulphate of potash around fruit trees and bushes to promote better flowering and more fruits
  • Cover beds with cloches to warm the soil before sowing seeds, and replace them after sowing to encourage germination
  • Feed clumps of spring bulbs
  • Fork over borders
  • Tie in climbers
  • Check that your lawnmower will start
  • Trim winter flowering heathers

 

  • Plant conifers and evergreen shrubs
  • Tidy rock gardens and replace gravel
  • Divide Hostas
  • Sow hardy annuals in beds outside
  • Repot houseplants

May
May

 
In the UK it is still cold and wet but spring is definitely here.

Most seeds sown now will germinate fairly quickly and frost tender plants can go out at the end of the month.

 

Flower Garden

  • Continue sowing annuals
  • Support tall perennials in windy sites
  • Harden off plants to be planted outside
  • Pot on plants to be kept in containers
  • Plant out hardy perennials and alpines grown from seed
  • Trim alpines after flowering and propagate by division
  • Put lilies grown in pots outdoors
  • Plant out dahlias and chrysanthemums in late May
  • Begin planting hanging baskets, tubs and containers
  • Feed roses and shrubs
  • Plant dahlia tubers in borders outside
  • Divide perennials that are congested
  • Trim back winter flowering heathers
  • Plant gladioli in groups outside
  • Sow hardy annuals in any gaps in flower beds
  • Prune forsythia after it has flowered
  • Check plants for signs of greenfly
  • Trim box hedging and topiary

In the greenhouse

  • Sow summer bedding
  • Plant up hanging baskets and pots
  • Pot up begonia and gloxinia tubers
  • Hang up yellow sticky pest traps
  • Open greenhouse vents on warm days and put up shading
  • Check plants for pests and diseases
  • Plant early crops in growing bags
  • Sow seeds of melons in small pots
  • Feed pot plants every week until autumn
  • Take cuttings from chrysanthemums
  • Repot established houseplants

Veggie Garden

  • Sow Runner Beans either in cold frame or direct in your prepared bean trench
  • Sow Sweetcorn in modules or toilet roll tubes in cold frame
  • Sow French Beans directly into the soil
  • Harden off Tomatoes and plant out at the end of the month in good rich soil

  • Sow cucumber and gherkins in the cold frame or greenhouse
  • Plant out Brussels Sprouts but use the ground in between them for a catch crop of cauliflower or cabbage
  • Carry on sowing succession crops such as lettuce, radish, rocket, spring onions, peas etc, every two weeks
  • Thin Carrot and Beetroot sowings
  • Net Strawberries against bird attack. To discourage slugs and protect fruit from mud splashes use pine needles instead of straw for mulch. It will keep the fruit clean and soil moist AND it gives the strawberries the slight acid edge they like AND slugs don’t like it. It’s a winner in my garden.
  • Keep Onions and Shallots free from weeds

General advice

  • Sprinkle fertiliser around roses, shrubs and along the base of hedges
  • Water newly planted trees and shrubs regularly, until they have established
  • Hoe areas of bare soil on dry days to prevent weed seedlings taking hold
  • Plant up aquatic baskets of new pond plants or water lilies
  • Remove red lily beetles from lilies and fritillarias
  • Pressure wash patios, paving and steps to remove slippery moss, slime and built-up dirt and grime


June
June

It’s getting warmer and everything seems to be putting a spurt on.
Fill in those final gaps in time for high-season and full production. Among others you should be harvesting the first lettuces, new potatoes and the first Peas.

 
Flower Garden

  • Continue planting out bedding plants
  • Continue sowing biennials
  • Sow perennials
  • Lift and divide bearded irises and primulas after flowering
  • Continue training sweet peas
  • Move chrysanthemums outside
  • Stake tall growing flowers
  • Take cuttings from pinks

 

  • Cut back or deadhead spent flowers
  • Keep baskets and patio pots watered
  • Spray roses to protect them from pests and diseases
  • Cut the foliage of daffodils and tulips down to the ground
  • Trim box topiary and formal edging to keep it neat and tidy
  • Take cuttings of non-flowering new shoots from shrubs and pot them up in gritty compost
  • Rub greenfly off rose buds, or apply a soap-based spray
  • Lightly trim broom and genista after flowering to keep plants in shape
  • Water newly planted trees and shrubs if conditions turn hot and dry
  • Tidy up rock gardens, trimming off faded blooms, digging out weeds and replenishing mulches of grit
  • Keep a few bedding plants in reserve to plug gaps where disasters strike

In the greenhouse

  • Tie greenhouse tomatoes to their supports as they grow
  • Feed plants with full-strength fertiliser solution once a week, or apply a more diluted feed every few days
  • Apply shading paint or put up shade netting or blinds
  • Open doors and vents daily, and damp down the floor every morning
  • Be on the lookout for pests, including whitefly and red spider mite, and treat at once with a suitable spray or biological control
  • Pot up rooted cuttings
  • Pinch out the tips of cucumber side-shoots two leaves beyond a female flower
  • Check potted plants every day, watering if required
  • Pinch out side-shoots of tomato plants

Veggie Garden

  • Plant out curcubits (Pumpkins, Courgettes, Squash, Gherkins etc)
  • Plant out Sweetcorn
  • Start feeding Tomatoes with high potash feed once the first truss of flowers has set
  • Snap off Onion flowers if they appear
  • Pinch out the growing tips of Broad beans once the pods start to form to discourage blackfly
  • Sow more Lettuce, Radish, Spring onion, Salad leaves and Coriander
    Water Peas and Potatoes
  • Stake cutting flowers that will need support (such as Gladioli)
  • Tie in Runner Beans as they grow
  • Sow Fennel in situ

General advice

  • Add lawn cuttings to the compost heap, or use them to mulch around fruit trees
  • Mow and edge your lawn
  • Tie stems of tall perennials to supports
  • Feed houseplants every week with a liquid fertiliser
  • Clean out filters of pond pumps to get rid of any debris
  • Run a ‘seeping hose’ – a hose with holes in – through dry shaded borders or along the base of hedges so they can be watered weekly in dry weather
  • Treat lawn weeds and moss if necessary

July
July

Summer is in full swing and most plants are in the ground now.
You should be harvesting salad crops, peas and potatoes by now with some strawberries and other soft fruit for pudding.
If it ever stops raining there is plenty to do!

 

Flower Garden

  • Deadhead flowers not wanted for seed
  • Lift and store tulip and hyacinth bulbs
  • Collect and sow seed from foxgloves
  • Take cuttings from pinks (Dianthus)
  • Prune Philadelphus after flowering, removing stems carrying old flowers.Cut out very weak stems and some of the oldest wood
  • Feed dahlias with a liquid fertiliser and ensure plants are well watered. Tie to supports as stems develop
  • Remove rose suckers – excavate the soil so you can cut them back as far as possible
  • Spray roses regularly to prevent pests and diseases getting hold
  • Prune the long sideshoots on wisteria, cutting them all back to a length of about 20cm
  • Spray gladioli regularly with an insecticide to control thrips that can damage leaves and flower spikes
  • Lift, divide and replant healthy portions of flag iris rhizomes into freshly prepared soil. Reduce their leaves by half to prevent wind rock
  • Water sweet peas and give a liquid feed. Pick flowers or deadhead regularly
  • Start cyclamen plants into growth
  • Continue feeding plants
  • Thin or prick out seedling of annuals, biennials and perennials sown last month
  • Sow winter flowering pansies
  • Plant late flowering bulbs

In the Greenhouse

  • Take cuttings of zonal and regal pelargoniums, and pot up rooted cuttings taken earlier
  • Train the main stem of cucumber plants up a wire to the roof of your greenhouse. Pinch out sideshoots two leaves after a flower or fruit
  • Water plants in pots and grow bags with tepid water, if possible. Try leaving a few full cans of water in the greenhouse to warm up
  • Send off for biological pest controls for whitefly and red spider mite
  • Propagate lilies from bulb scales, digging bulbs from the garden to remove a few healthy scales, then replanting again. Small bulblets will form at the base of each scale within a few weeks

Veggie Garden

  • Gather the last of the peas and clear the ground
  • Sow late Carrots
  • Water beans and pick them regularly
  • Transplant brassica seedlings from the seedbed to their final positions, spacing them about 30-45cm apart. Brussels sprouts need about 75cm
  • Plant out leek seedlings from their seedbed once they are pencil thick, planting them 15cm apart in rows, with about 30cm between rows
  • Place collars of card or carpet underlay around the stem base of newly transplanted brassicas to keep cabbage root fly away
  • Pick off malformed or withered apples and any showing signs of pest or disease attack
  • Keep fruit bushes covered with netting, then weave a cane through the bottom edge and peg it down to stop birds crawling underneath
  • Make the final pickings of rhubarb and cut any flower spikes that form right down to their base
  • Lift early potatoes and shallots as they mature
  • Sow swedes and cover with fleece to prevent seedlings being attacked by flea beetle
  • Sow seeds of vegetables, including beetroot, cabbage, endive, kohl rabi, lettuce, radish, rocket, spinach and turnips
  • Turn your attention to autumn crops and sow things like Raddichio, Pak Choi, Mizuna and Endive
  • Keep cutting Sweet Peas to encourage more flowers
  • Harvest Shallots, Onions and Garlic as their leaves go brown
  • Cut off any Potato leaves affected by blight and burn
  • Feed Tomatoes every other week with high potash liquid feed
  • Cut off Strawberry runners as they appear (unless you want to make new plants)
  • Plant a second bed of Sweetcorn in between your onions – once the onions are gone the Sweetcorn will have enough room to grow
  • Buy some ‘ready-grown’ lettuce plants to fill gaps where needed

General Advice

  • Top up the water level in garden ponds when it starts getting low in summer
  • Push canes in around tall plants like gladioli and lilies and tie them to the stems for support
  • Place eye protectors on the tops of all garden canes

 

  • Water hanging baskets and containers daily, ensuring they never dry out
  • Empty compost bins when full, mixing up the compost and then re-filling. Sprinkle the contents with a biological activator as you go
  • Apply weedkillers to paths and drives
  • Give houseplants a weekly liquid feed
  • Compost your kitchen and garden waste
  • Prune spring flowering shrubs. Don’t let your physocarpus or other spring-flowering shrubs become overgrown, woody and thin on flowers. Pruning out the stems that have bloomed this spring will keep your plants at a manageable size and will guarantee an explosion of flowers the next year

August
August

Your garden should be in full swing and pumping out produce for you to use on a daily basis.
You should be seeing the first fruits appear on your Pumpkins and your Autumn Raspberries should be in flower!
You’ll be waiting patiently for your Tomatoes to ripen, your Sweetcorn to sweeten and your Cucumbers to swell, all of which should be starting to happen by the end of the month.

Flower Garden

  • Support dahlias
  • Pot up house plant seedlings
  • Take pelargonium cuttings
  • Continue deadheading
  • Cut flowers for indoor display and for drying
  • Deadhead pelargoniums and other summer bedding plants

 

 

 

  • Summer prune wisteria, cutting back whippy sideshoots to about 20cm
  • Water plants in pots and baskets
  • Take cuttings from shrubs choosing non-flowering shoots
  • Collect seed from flowers that you want to propagate including aquilegia, polemonium and foxgloves
  • Identify rose problems and pick off diseased leaves
  • Prune philadelphus, weigela and other early summer-flowering shrubs
  • Propagate lily bulbs by taking off a few outer scales and putting them in bags of compost and perlite, or by potting up bulbils formed on their stems
  • Cut back lady’s mantle before it sets seed
  • Prune pleached trees

Veggie Garden

  • Cut off all the leaves below the first truss of Tomatoes to let the light ripen the fruits, continue to feed them and water them little and often
  • Pinch out growing shoots on pumpkins once they have set 3 or 4 fruits
  • Shake your Sweetcorn plants to help them pollinate
  • Fold over Onion tops if they haven’t done so by themselves. This is to let more light in to the Onion.
  • Plant out Radicchio and Endive seedlings
  • Check sweetcorn to see if it’s ripe and ready to pick. This is when the tassels start to go brown
  • Pick beans and water crops regularly

  • Lift onions once their tops die down
  • Pick plums as they ripen
  • Use netting to protect blackberries, autumn raspberries and other berries from birds
  • Cut out fruited canes of raspberries
  • Pile up the earth around trench varieties of celery for whiter stems
  • Pick early ripening apples
  • Prune blackcurrants after fruiting, removing about a quarter of the oldest stems
  • Transplant well-rooted strawberry runners
  • Keep cutting off runners and diseased leaves from Strawberry plants
  • Prune Blackcurrants by cutting down this year’s fruiting wood
  • Cut Summer Raspberry canes down after fruiting and tie in Autumn Raspberry canes as they grow
  • Water Runner Beans, Celery and Pumpkins if the weather is dry
  • Sow green manures in vacant ground – try Rape or Mustard but remember to dig them in before they start to flower.

Greenhouse

  • Buy pansies and other winter bedding plug plants to grow on under cover
  • Damp down the greenhouse floor every morning on hot days
  • Water plants in pots and growing bags every morning, and again at night if necessary
  • Add liquid feed to at least one watering a week to keep plants growing strongly
  • Be vigilant for pests like red spider mite and take action against any right away
  • Buy narcissus, hyacinths and lachenalias to plant for indoor displays
  • Sow poor man’s orchid (schizanthus) to produce flowering houseplants
  • Thin bunches of dessert grapes and spray vines to ward off diseases

Around the Garden

  • Sow green manure crops to fill bare soil
  • Remove pond weeds
  • Hoe and hand weed borders
  • Feed plants such as roses, shrubs and hedges
  • Prepare soil ready for sowing a lawn or laying turf during September and October
  • Send off for mail-order bulb catalogues
  • Treat lawn weeds
  • Remove suckers growing around or on stems of roses, trees and shrubs
  • Trim box topiary and hedging


September
September

Summer is still holding on (if you’re lucky) – apparently in the UK it has been the wettest summer for 100 years!

However you may get some late Sweetcorn to harvest. Autumn Raspberries are in full swing and your Pumpkins and Squashes are swelling. You may also have some Chilli Peppers in the cold frame and the odd Apple or two that is ready for eating.

Flower Garden

  • Take cuttings from pansies and violas
  • Pot up tender perennials grown outside and bring under cover when cold nights are forecast
  • Prune rambling roses after flowering
  • Grow bulbs in aquatic baskets ready to drop into gaps in the border in spring
  • Rake autumn leaves from lawns and pick them out of borders
  • Plant new climbers and shrubs into soil that’s well dug over and enriched with compost
  • Spray Michaelmas daisies with fungicide to prevent mildew
  • Cut down annuals when they’ve faded, adding them to the compost heap
  • Plant crocus, fritillaries and other dwarf bulbs to naturalise in lawns and under trees
  • Plant out spring bedding, including wallflowers, forget-me-nots and pansies
  • Sow hardy annuals
  • Transplant biennials
  • Plant lilies outdoors and in pots
  • Take cuttings of pelargoniums and fuchsias
  • Take in house plants and late flowering chrysanthemums
  • Thin seedling sown last month
  • Plant spring flowering bulbs outdoors and in containers for forcing
  • Plant Tulips for next spring
  • Plant prepared hyacinths for early blooms indoors.
  • Plant Dutch Iris bulbs for outdoor cut flowers ready in early spring.

Veggie Garden

  • Finish summer pruning trained forms of apple and pear trees
  • Harvest apples, pears, plums and gages as they ripen
  • Save seeds from good varieties of beans, herbs and tomatoes that you’ve enjoyed this year
  • Pot up herbs to use in winter
  • Prune out fruited blackberry stems and tie in new shoots to supports
  • Take hardwood cuttings from fruit bushes
  • Harvest haricot beans
  • Sow broad beans and hardy peas
  • Plant out garlic in mild areas, or start cloves in pots to transplant later
  • Vegetables to sow now include spring cabbages, Japanese onions, turnips for green tops, winter lettuces, spinach, endive, corn salad, land cress and baby salad leaves

Greenhouse

  • Line greenhouses with bubble polythene for insulation against falling night temperatures
  • Clean staging and capillary matting to use next year
  • Bring pots of tender agapanthus and eucomis under cover
  • Check all plants for signs of pests and treat immediately
  • Sow sweet peas in pots for early flowers next summer
  • Take cuttings of succulents such as sedums
  • Move potted peaches and nectarines under cover
  • Bring pots of late-flowering chrysanthemums into the greenhouse
  • Stop watering pots of achimenes, gloxinia and tuberous begonias to let them die down
  • Plant dwarf bulbs in pots including iris, crocus, chionodoxa and scilla

Around the garden

  • Bulk up the compost heap with spent flowerheads and stems from around the garden
  • Improve drainage on compacted lawns by spiking the ground with a fork or aerator
  • Cut everlasting flowers and ornamental grasses for drying
  • Put netting across ponds to stop autumn leaves falling into them and rotting down
  • Order new turf to lay during damper autumn weather
  • Choose your bare-root roses and bare-root shrubs for winter planting
  • Collect, wash and store away canes and plant supports
  • Check tree ties and plant supports are firmly in place
  • Trim hedges to keep them neat and to control their size
  • Deal with leatherjackets (cranefly larvae), found now on lawns, with a suitable insecticide or biological control

 

 

 

 

October
October

The cold weather has started to set in. It’s misty in the mornings and usually cold and damp until the sun breaks through.
October is a time for harvest and tidying up.
Don’t be too neat though – why not leave the odd Sunflower head for the birds.
They’ll appreciate it.
 

Flower Garden

  • Lift and store pelargoniums if necessary
  • Protect early flowering chrysanthemums from frost
  • Finish bringing in late flowering chrysanthemums
  • Clear out summer annuals
  • Plant any newly purchased perennials and divide existing perennials
  • Continue planting out biennials and spring flowering bulbs
  • Plant Lily-of-the valley
  • Sow sweet peas
  • Thin annual seedlings

  • Pot on young plants
  • Collect seed from allium seedheads and sow straight away into seed compost
  • Plant evergreen shrubs and conifer hedges
  • Carefully dig up gladioli corms and overwinter in cool, dry storage conditions
  • Lift and pot up tender perennials to protect over winter
  • Collect fallen leaves from under rose bushes so they don’t carry diseases over to next year
  • Lift and divide congested clumps of perennials
  • Plant crocuses and dwarf bulbs in areas of rough grass
  • Make sure tall, late-flowering chrysanthemums are well staked
  • Divide large clumps of crocosmia and replant into freshly prepared soil
  • Spread a thick mulch of compost or bark over the soil around dahlias and agapanthus

Veggie Garden

  • Bring in the last vegetables for storage before the frosts. These include: Onions, Apples, Potatoes and Carrots
  • Sow some more green manure in empty ground
  • Plant more Tulip bulbs for next spring
  • Sow some winter Lettuce, such as Arctic King, in the greenhouse or cold frame
  • Leave some Runner Beans and French Beans on the plant to dry so that you can collect the seed
  • Plant Garlic and Spring Cabbage
  • Sow outdoor Broad beans and Peas now for a crop in early spring
  • Feed Brussels Sprouts and Winter Cabbage now to encourage them on in time for Christmas
  • Pot up some Parsley, Chives and Mint to use over the winter – dig up and discard annuals such as Coriander and Dill
  • Tidy up your Strawberry patch by removing any yellow leaves and the last runners
  • Keep harvesting root veg such as beetroot and carrots
  • Order fruit trees and bushes for planting from late autumn
  • Finish picking beans, but leave a few pods to ripen fully to save their seed
  • Clear away plants and fading foliage from old crops
  • Prune back canes of autumn-fruiting raspberries and blackberries after harvesting

  • Harvest ripening tomatoes and courgettes before conditions turn cold
  • Plant out Japanese onion sets and garlic
  • Plant broad beans and hardy peas

Greenhouse

  • Sow sweet peas and pinch out the growing tips of seedlings for bushier plants
  • Continue harvesting chillies, peppers and other crops
  • Reduce watering potted tuberous begonias to allow the top growth to die down
  • Bring pots of tender bulbs like agapanthus and eucomis into the greenhouse for the winter
  • Let achimene, gloxinia and gloriosa die down in their pots
  • Keep potted azaleas constantly moist using rainwater
  • Plant bowls with hyacinths and spring bulbs


 

  • Check greenhouse heaters are in working order and that you have fuel in stock
  • Pot up roots of lily-of-the-valley to provide fragrant winter flowers
  • Sow hardy annuals, like calendulas, in pots for early flowers

Around the Garden

  • Clean out bird boxes
  • Level out dips in lawns with loam-based compost and sow fresh grass seed
  • Clear away debris that could be sheltering slugs and snails
  • Check bonfires before lighting, in case they are sheltering sleeping hedgehogs

 

  • Send off for seed catalogues
  • Mow lawns during dry weather with blades set high
  • Bring garden hoses and sprinklers under cover for winter to avoid damage in freezing weather
  • Collect canes and plant supports, and store them in the shed
  • Sow a green manure crop over bare areas of ground, to dig into the ground as fertiliser in spring
  • Throw a net over branches of holly berries to protect them from hungry birds

November
November

You might think that the gardening season is drawing to a close now but you’d be wrong!
It’s actually the beginning of the season because you can start to plant some crops for next season such as Garlic, Peas and Broad beans.
Garlic needs a period of cold so make sure to get some in the ground now in time for the first frosts.

Flower Garden

  • Finish planting spring bulbs
  • Cut back chrysanthemums and put in the greenhouse if necessary
  • Cloche Christmas roses

  • Protect tender plants from frost
  • Cut back herbaceous plants
  • Stop (pinch out the top shoot) autumn sown sweet peas
  • If your soil is free draining plant out rooted cuttings of carnations and pinks

Veggie Garden

  • Plant garlic
  • Plant new fruit trees and prune existing wall-trained fruit
  • Sow Broad beans and Peas. Broad beans and Peas can go straight in the ground in the UK at this time of year. Put a cloche or some fleece over them just to get them going. In colder places put a sturdy cover over them if you’re expecting a hard frost. They will grow slowly over the winter and then put a spurt on it in early spring and be the first ones to fruit. You need to sow overwintering varieties, for example, Aquadulce for Broad beans and Douce Provence for Peas.

  • Dig heavy soils and leave in clumps for the frost to break down
  • Pick off any yellow leaves from Brussels Sprouts
  • Harvest winter Cabbage, Leeks and Parsnips
  • Lift Chicory and Rhubarb for forcing. Rhubarb crowns should be at least three years old
  • Bring in the last of the dried beans such as Runner and French

General garden Jobs

  • Wash your pots and seeds trays thoroughly in soapy water.
  • Clean and oil your tools

  • Order some seed catalogues
  • Check your guttering and water butt
  • Also, this is the time to be looking at the bulbs you’re forcing for Christmas to be sure that they get the right conditions to be in bloom on Christmas Day, whether that’s greenhouse, cold frame, airing cupboard or just a couple more weeks under the stairs.

 

December
December


In December it’s all about tidying up, getting as much digging done when it’s not frosty and generally preparing for the worst of the winter weather.
You might even think about insulating your cold frame if you have any plants in there.
But don’t forget to carry on enjoying the fruits of your summer labour in the shape of jams, jellies, chutneys and fruit syrups.

Flower Garden

  • Continue digging and tidying up herbaceous borders
  • Start bringing forced bulbs indoors
  • Take root cuttings e.g. Hollyhocks and Oriental Poppies

  • Cut back late flowering chrysanthemums and take cuttings
  • Water over-wintering plants in the greenhouse
  • Remove flowering house plants to the greenhouse after Christmas

Veggie Garden

  • Test the ph of your soil and apply lime if necessary. Don’t apply manure at the same time
  • Get on with your winter digging so long as the ground isn’t frozen or waterlogged
  • Get hold of some well-rotted manure. Farms are ideal or buy it in bags if you have to earth up Spring Cabbages and winter Brassicas
  • Pack straw around vulnerable perennials like Artichoke

  • Harvest Brussels Sprouts from the bottom up
  • Dig up some Leeks and heel them in for easier harvesting
  • Spread a layer of well-rotted manure around fruit bushes
  • Prune fruit trees but remember to burn all pruning’s as they might be infected with disease or aphid eggs
  • Dig your Runner Bean trench – leave it open to the elements for now




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