Gardening Tips by Month
We are dedicated to offering gardening tips and advice. Designed to provide helpful advice for the amateur gardener, from advice on what’s looking good each month to a month by months guide on what to do in your garden.
January is traditionally a quiet time of year in the garden. There is little that can be done outdoors. However, January is the time to start planning and preparing for the season ahead.
Things to do in January:
- Recycle your Christmas tree by shredding or mulching
- Order seeds that will be sown later in January or February
- Firm in all newly planted trees and shrubs that have been lifted by frost.
- Check stakes and make sure they are secure and loosen tree ties. Replace any that are broken.
- Protect vulnerable plants from frost or snow
- Keep any pond areas free from ice
- Clean and oil gardening tools
In February the first snowdrops and crocuses are in bloom and by the end of the month primroses and early daffodils will begin to appear
Things to do in February:
- Firm plants lifted by Frost
- Protect vulnerable plants from frost
- Lightly trim winter flowering heathers
- Keep ponds ice free
- Prune summer flowering shrubs
- Check on pots of bulbs being forced for indoor flowering
- Sow sweet peas for planting out later if you have a greenhouse
- If you intend growing vegetables put cloches in position to warm the soil for sowing vegetables in March
- Spike lawns to aid drainage
- Divide Snowdrops after flowering
- Complete the pruning of fruit trees (apple & pear)
- Plan your vegetable rotation
- If you are planning on growing cabbage lime should be added to the soil.
The new gardening starts in earnest this month. By now the early spring bulbs are flowering. The weather is improving by now and plants are starting to produce fresh growth. Now is the time to get your garden ready for the coming months.
Things to do in March:
- Prune and feed your roses
- Plant any bare-rooted roses.
- Mulch while the soil is still moist. This will help reduce watering later in the year.
- Prune back autumn flowering clematis.
- Plant bare-rooted fruit bushes in order to give them time to establish before the summer
- Plant summer flowering bulbs
- Potatoes, onions and shallots can be planted outside
- If you have a greenhouse you can now sow seeds of beetroot, leek, summer cabbage, cucumbers, celery and lettuce. You can also sow seeds of summer bedding plants
- Take root cuttings
- Start spraying fruit trees if you have had problems with pests and diseases
- Lift and divide congested clumps of snowdrops
- Plant hand herbs such as mint, thyme and sage
April is one of the busiest months of the year in the garden. There are seeds to be sown, lawns to be moved, shrubs to be pruned, vegetables to be sown, plants to be feed.
Things to do in April:
- Cut your grass. Your lawn will require regular mowing from now on. Keep the blades of your lawnmower high for the first few cuts.
- Feed your lawn with a good lawn feed, weed and mosskiller
- Re-seed any bald patches in your lawn
- Pot up young seedlings
- Sow your vegetable garden if you haven’t already done so. Potatoes, leeks, summer cabbage, turnips, parsnips and lettuce can be planted outdoors
- Start hardening off bedding plants
- Fertilize Roses. You can also begin spraying roses for pests and diseases
- Control pests and diseases especially slugs and snails
- Feed plants in your garden using a slow-release fertiliser
Summer is nearly upon us. There are signs of summer everywhere. The days are getting warmer and more and more flowers are coming into bloom.
Things to do in May:
- Start hardening off bedding plants. It is tempting to plant out summer bedding at this stage but it may be wise to hold off until at least the middle of the month as there is still a likelihood of late frost
- Clear out spring bedding and fertalise the soil
- Dead head spring bulbs
- Control pests and diseases especially slugs and snails
- Prune spring flowering shrubs
- Position supports around perennials that required staling e.g. Lupines
- Plant hanging baskets ( but keep in the glasshouse until the risk of frost has passed)
- Apply a slow release fertiliser to your pots and planted containers
- Water newly planted fruit trees & bushes
- Plant the main crop of potatoes. Early potatoes can be earthed up
- Feed your lawn with a good law feed, weed and moss killer if you haven’t already done so
Summer has arrived and the danger of the late frost has passed. There is more time for relaxing now that the main work of sowing and planting has been completed.
Things to do in June:
- Plant out summer bedding
- Window boxes, planted containers and hanging baskets can also be planted up
- Check your hanging baskets and planted containers for watering
- Feed your roses to encourage strong growth
- Spray roses to control pests and diseases
- Feed plants in borders if not already done
- Thin hardy annuals and vegetables which have been sown
- Mow lawns more frequently
- Feed plants once a week
- Stake herbaceous plants if you haven’t already done so
- Deadhead flowers
- Harvest fruit and vegetable crops as they come into season
- Your glasshouse will need to be shaded so as to protect plants from scorching.
Mid-summer has arrived and the garden is now full of colour. Summer bedding will be at its best and hopefully, you will have the time to relax and enjoy your garden.
Things to do in July:
- Water hanging baskets and planted containers. This will need to be done most days. They should also be fed about once a week.
- Deadhead flowers regularly. This will encourage more flowers
- Plant autumn flowering bulbs
- Keep roses sprayed to keep pests and disease at bay
- Prune late spring flowering shrubs immediately after flowering
- Plant out seedlings and rooted cuttings
- Harvest fruit, vegetables and herbs
- Feed perennials and shrubs with a granular fertiliser e.g. Growmore
- Trim hedges
- Continue to mow your lawn frequently
- Clean paving slabs
- Water newly planted shrubs if conditions are dry
- Fences and exterior woodwork should be treated
August is a time to relax and enjoy the fruits of your labour in the garden. There are still tasks to be completed but these are generally light.
Things to do in August:
- Check your hanging baskets and planted containers for watering daily
- Feed plants which need it-Hanging baskets etc. should be fed once a week
- Deadhead roses and spray them regularly
- Water camellias regularly
- Deadhead regularly to encourage more flowers
- Water newly planted shrubs and perennials
- Harvest fruit and vegetables as the ripen
- Continue to mow grass regularly
- Weed regularly
- Keep an eye out for pests and diseases and spray if necessary
- Continue to sow salad plants in order to continue getting fresh crops
- Feed your garden using a granular feed
- Prune rambling roses after flowering
Autumn has started to creep in. It is now time to get ready for the start of the next season. Autumn is one of the best planting seasons as the roots of plants put in now will have time to establish before the onset of winter.
Things to do in September:
September is the best time to plant dormant evergreen shrubs and trees, so if you want to plant some of these you should do it during September.
- Stake young trees to prevent the roots from being pulled by winds during the winter
- Sow your spring bulbs
- Sow hardy annuals that are to overwatered outdoors
- Transplant Rhubarb, strawberries and raspberries
- Prune trees such as maple, birch, oak and mountain ash
- Perennials can be divided and replanted
- Save seeds of your favourite self-pollinating flowers. Dry the seeds and store them in sealed containers over the winter
- Now’s the time to fertilise your lawn with autumn lawn feed
- Cut back annuals when they are finished flowering
- Keep an eye on the weather, if heavy frost is forecast certain plants will need to be protected with horticultural fleece
- Plant prepared bulbs in containers for indoor displays to ensure you have blooms over Christmas.
- Lift tender perennials, such as fuchsias and overwinter them under protection
- Start to reduce the frequency or houseplant watering
Autumn is in full swing now. October sees the clock going back, night frosts will be normal but days will often be sunny. Many flowers will still be in bloom and a lovely colour can be seen in the garden, particularly if you have shrubs and trees which are covered in brightly coloured berries.
Things to do in October:
- Sow hardy annuals
- Plant your spring bulbs, if you haven’t already done so. (The general rule is bulbs should be planted at two and a half times their own depth)
- Sow sweet peas in pots to be overwinter
- October is a good time to sow lawn and meadows
- Lift tender bulbs such as dahlias and overwinter them under protection
- Harvest fruit and vegetables (e.g. Lettuce, carrots, apples, pears etc)
- Make sure dormant evergreens are planted by the end of the month
- Bring new life to your rhubarb by lifting, dividing and replanting your own crowns
- Sow winter-hardy lettuce, winter spinach, broad beans and lamb’s lettuce
- Cut back perennials that have died down
- Prune climbing roses
- Trim hedges
The onset of winter has started. There is still some colour in the garden as winter berries and autumn leaf colour are still evident but things have started to slow down for the winter.
Things to do in November:
- Dahlias, cannas and tuberous should be lifted and stored by now
- Insulate your glasshouse with bubble wrap polythene
- Keep an eye out for your alpines, make sure they are not covered with falling leaves as they can quickly start to rot
- Plant any remaining tulips or hyacinth bulbs as soon as possible
- Prune climbers
- Cut back hybrid tea roses and floribundas
- Rake up your leaves into a mound. Leaves can be stored for composting
- Tender plants should be protected from the frost with fleece
- It’s a good idea to put pot feet under your outdoor pots as this will help prevent waterlogging.
- Pots which are not frost proof should be moved under cover.
- Check bulbs being forced for Christmas. Move them into a cool position indoors once the leaves reach about an inch in height
- Harvest carrots, parsnips, endive, cauliflower and autumn cabbages
- Mow your lawn for the last time. The lawnmower should be cleaned before its put into storage
- As the days get colder, remember to feed the birds in your garden and provide fresh water
The Christmas season has arrived. Outdoor gardening generally takes a back seat. Outdoor foliage can be collected for seasonal displays. You can also cheer up your front door using skimmias, heathers and Christmas roses.
Things to do in December:
- Protect any vulnerable plants with fleece
- Spray fruit trees to insect pests
- Prevent ponds and birdbaths from freezing over
- Reduce watering of houseplants ready for the winter dormant period
- Check bulbs being forced for Christmas and new year
- Move hanging baskets under cover – perhaps under your porch if severe weather is forecast
- Ensure your glasshouse is protected with bubble wrap
- Take hard wood cuttings of plants such as Cornus, Forsythia, Ribes, Gooseberries etc.
- Harvest winter crops such as parsnips, kale, leeks, winter cabbage, Brussels sprouts
- Help the wildlife in your garden survive the cold winter by feed the birds and providing clean water for wildlife.