Jobs to do in the Garden

Jobs to do in the Garden Month by Month – by Peter Danks

 Keep up to date but timings will depend on the weather and soil conditions.  Do not walk on wet soil or plant into frozen ground.

January

Prune hard fruit and autumn fruiting raspberries, climbing and rambling roses. Sow under glass sweet peas, begonias, and slow growing tender summer annuals. Sow salads for winter / spring leaves.

February

Check tree supports and mowing equipment, spike lawns and chit early potatoes. Sort chemicals and fertilizers and list for renewal. Feed all fruit at the end of the month. Start to sow regular sowings of salad crops under glass.

March

This is the last month to prune hard fruit. Spring prune HT and floribunda roses.  Start to net against birds. Work down plot from winter digging to a fine seed bed. Write out labels and tie in indoor grapes. Protect herbaceous borders against slug damage and position support frames. Sow hardy annuals outside and half hardy ones under glass. First cut of lawns in choice sites and add a spring dressing in the last week of the month. Plant the last bare rooted new trees, shrubs and early potatoes in the last week of the month.

April

Remove winter cladding from greenhouse but keep handy for cold frames. Clean glass and gutters of greenhouse. Turn compost heap and mulch borders. Buy new composts and pots and pot up any seedlings that are ready. Start sowing of outdoor salad crops.

Plant early tomatoes in 2nd week of month. Harden off vegetable seedlings before planting out. Plant new evergreens and conifers. Trim conifers from now on. Feed fruit for second time.

May

Clean strawberry beds and straw down at the end of the month. Layout and check all nozzles for soil irrigation. Sow outside biennials, leafy winter vegetables, peas and root crops. Sow runner beans into pots. Under glass sow cucumbers, peppers, sweet corn and melons – remember to shade your greenhouse. Plant out summer bedding in the 3rd week of the month – it’s the ‘Chelsea Show’ so cut some herbaceous plants. Check for pests and diseases, act asap! Water all new plants as necessary. Start lowering the depth of the mower cuts on lawns.

June

Move house plants outside for the summer. Train and support all glasshouse fruits. In warm conditions use a biological spray against white-fly, red spider and mealy bug. Frequent hoeing to control weeds and dead heading of annuals to be continued. Plant out runner beans and winter vegetables. Continue with succession sowings of salad crops.

Thin out all top fruit. Pick over gooseberries and check fruit netting. Look out for suitable soft wood cuttings for future plants. From the 2nd week of June start lifting early potatoes. Watch out and treat for potato blight during wet conditions.

July

Sow purple sprouting broccoli, french beans and salads. Prune spring flowering deciduous shrubs. Continue with deadheading, pest and disease control and earthing up of potatoes. Check progress of biological pest control. Prepare for hardwood cuttings from now. Continue with regular mowing but lift height of cut if in draught conditions. Pick soft fruit once fully ripe and prune summer fruiting raspberry canes once finished. Last cut for evergreen conifers and hedges.

August

Summer prune all trained hard fruit and prepare storage for hard fruit. Continue dead heading and remove shading from your greenhouse. Set up wasp traps. Prepare seedbed for an autumn sown lawn and plant new strawberry bed. Stop greenhouse tomatoes and cucumbers giving 8 weeks to last picking.

September

Scarify and feed fine lawns and sow new ones at the end of the month. Cut any wild flower meadows Pick apples and pears for immediate use. Check tree ties. Prune and tie in rambler roses after flowering. Prepare greenhouse for winter storage as crops finish, pot up herbs for winter use. Lift the last of the mid season potatoes and cut the tops of the main crop.

October

Finish all greenhouse and cold frame crops by the end of the month and clear, wash down and disinfect. Start digging garden and empting compost heap. Continue to cut lawn for as long as possible, until first hard frosts. Plant conifers, evergreens and spring flowering bulbs. Divide old herbaceous plants and clear annual borders by the 3rd week of the month. Lift final potatoes and pick all hard fruit for storage. Pick sloes for bottling. Lift, clean and protect dahlia tubers from frosts, bring in late flowering chrysanthemum. Copper band any choice outdoor plants into pots to reduce slug damage.

November

Continue winter digging incorporating manure onto those required plots. Lift and store all root crops from heavy soils. Try to keep off of lawns from now on but collect and compost any leaves. Check tree stakes and tie in where required. Prune HT and floribunda roses and long cane fruit. Plant bare rooted deciduous trees and shrubs

Look out for first seed catalogue and summer flowering bulbs on offer.

December

Pot up chrysanthemums and monitor all stored plants for pests and diseases. Sow early sweet peas and show onions and leeks under glass.

 

Open last year’s sloe gin and enjoy!