Jobs to do in the Garden


A month by month, easy to follow, guide to the jobs you should be doing in your garden now.

January

In the Flower Garden:

  • Plant bare-root roses, trees and shrubs
  • Prune standard roses
  • Take hardwood cuttings from shrubs
  • Remove dead stems and leaves from perennials
  • Tidy grasses

In the Vegetable Garden:

  • Fork over empty beds and mix in compost
  • Plant fruit trees
  • Prune Gooseberry bushes
  • Warm up beds for early crops
  • Tie raspberry and blackberry canes to support wires

In the Greenhouse:

  • Monitor heaters to ensure they are working efficiently
  • Take root cuttings of perennials
  • Wash greenhouse glass to let in more light
  • Water plants when the compost is dry
  • Regularly deadhead over-wintering plants

Lawns:

  • Continue to Remove fallen leaves
  • Don’t walk on frozen turf
  • Have the mower over­hauled and to make sure that the other lawn tools are ready for use in the spring
  • Laying turf is possible during fine spells

General:

  • Recycle your Christmas tree
  • Order seed potatoes, onion sets and garlic
  • Order early from seed catalogues
  • Dig compost into empty areas of soil
  • Add shredded winter prunings to your compost heap

February

Flower/Plants

  • Take root cuttings from perennials
  • Move shrubs growing in the wrong place
  • Spread a mulch over your borders
  • Pot up containers with bedding displays for spring

Fruit/Vegetables

  • Force Rhubarb
  • Check fruits in store, removing any that show signs of rot
  • Prune apples and pears to remove damaged or diseased branches
  • Cover soil with polythene to protect it from rain
  • Plant new fruit trees, cane fruits and bushes
  • Sprout (chit) potato tubers

Greenhouse

  • Clean greenhouses
  • Sow onions in a heated propagator
  • Prune conservatory climbers
  • Bring in strawberries for early flowering and fruiting
  • Take cuttings of chrysanthemums

General

  • Sprinkle gritty compost over your lawn
  • Wash flowerpots and seed trays
  • Order seedlings and young plants for pots and bedding displays
  • Net fruit trees and bushes
  • Send petrol mowers for a service

March

Flower/Plants

Fruit/Vegetables

  • Force rhubarb
  • Sow leeks and onions in a heated propagator
  • Start spraying outdoor peach and nectarine leaves to prevent peach-leaf curl
  • Sprinkle fertiliser around fruit trees and bushes

Greenhouse

  • Pot up summer bulbs
  • Feed winter-flowering pot plants
  • Continue sowing seed of summer bedding plants
  • Bring strawberries in pots under cover for early crops

General

  • Build a compost heap
  • Cut back any overgrown ivy
  • Check borders for weeds and tackle any problem areas
  • Spread mulches of bark or compost over flower-beds

April

Flowers/Plants

  • Sprinkle fertiliser around roses
  • Tie in clematis shoots as they grow
  • Plant gladioli corms
  • Cut away the dead stems from hardy shrubs
  • Finish dividing large clumps of perennials

Fruit/Vegetables

  • Sow outside: carrots, parsnips, lettuces, broad beans, peas, Swiss chard, leeks, spinach and kohl rabi
  • Harvest early rhubarb
  • Plant out onion sets and shallots
  • Cover strawberries with cloches to encourage earlier fruiting
  • Spray mildew on new apple and gooseberry shoots

Greenhouse

  • Sow in a heated propagator in the greenhouse: tomatoes, celery, chilli peppers, melons and aubergines
  • Take cuttings from over-wintered fuchsias and pelargoniums
  • Prick out seedlings
  • Plant up hanging baskets and grow under cover until the end of May
  • Plant begonia tubers, cannas and dahlias

General

  • Cut back poinsettias to encourage new shoots
  • Trim lawns if the weather is dry with blades set to high
  • Treat gravel paths and drives with weed killer
  • Fork over soil in borders and mix in fresh compost
  • Order young plants and grow them on for your summer displays

May

Flower/Plants

  • Plant out perennials
  • Sow hardy annuals outside
  • Feed established clumps of spring flowering bulbs
  • Plant out hardy annuals raised under cover
  • Trim back winter flowering heathers

Fruit/Vegetables

  • Finish planting main crop potatoes
  • Plant new beds of asparagus
  • Sow outside: carrots, lettuces, salad leaves, baby beetroot, spring onions, radishes, kohl rabi, chives, chicory, parsley, Brussels sprouts, cabbages, calabrese, broccoli, endives, and spinach
  • Sow peas and mangetout
  • Hang pheromone traps in fruit trees to catch codling moths

Greenhouse

  • Plant up growing bags
  • Pot up rooted cuttings
  • Sow tomatoes, marrows, courgettes, sweetcorn and other tender crops
  • Hang yellow sticky traps above plants to trap flying pests
  • Prick out seedlings that are large enough to handle

General

  • Sow lawns or lay turf
  • Plant water lilies and other aquatic plants
  • Sprinkle fertiliser along the base of hedges and cover with mulch
  • Feed lawns and treat them against moss and weeds
  • Watch out for slug and snail damage

June

Flower/Plants

  • Plant out dahlias and gladioli
  • Sow wallflowers for next spring
  • Tie in sweet peas
  • Feed spring bulbs
  • Plant up summer pots

Fruit/Vegetables

  • Sow outside: peas, mangetout, French and runner beans, lettuces, carrots, spinach and herbs
  • Plant out tender crops once all threat of frost has passed
  • Thin out plants sown earlier in the year
  • Thin out some of the fruits from cherries, apples, pears and plums
  • Draw up the earth around the stems of potatoes

Greenhouse

  • Open vents and open doors to help ventilation
  • Apply shade paint to the outside of south-facing glazing and hang shade netting inside
  • Plant trailing tomatoes in handing baskets
  • Plant up pots of scented-leaved pelargoniums to cheer up your greenhouse
  • Pot on rooted cuttings, seedlings and bulbs

General

  • Sprinkle a general fertiliser around your plants and cover with a good mulch
  • Water any new plants until they become established
  • Spray to prevent powdery mildew
  • Plant up aquatic plants in ponds
  • Give your garden furniture a facelift

July

Flower/Plants

  • Sow biennials
  • Divide flag irises
  • Feed baskets and patio pots each week with liquid fertiliser
  • Take cuttings from climbers
  • Pinch out the tips of chrysanthemum shoots to encourage flowers

Fruit/Vegetables

  • Water early potatoes if the weather is dry
  • Prune cordon gooseberry plants
  • Sow outside: lettuces, radishes, spring cabbages, endives, kohl rabi, French and runner beans, spinach, turnips and beetroot
  • Pick off damaged fruits from apples and pears
  • Plant out sweetcorn and other crops raised under glass

Greenhouse

  • Open all vents and doors early each day
  • Pot on rooted cuttings Introduce natural predators to control pests such as red spider mite, whitefly and mealy bug
  • Ensure growing bags never dry out
  • Take cuttings from bedding plants and houseplants

General

  • Remove moss from lawns
  • Trim box edging and privet hedges
  • Remove suckers growing around trees
  • Deadhead lilac and rhododendrons
  • Keep an eye out for pests and treat immediately

August

Flower/Plants

  • Keep camellias well watered to avoid flower buds dropping off next spring due to drought
  • Prune wisteria; shorten long side shoots back to five or six leaves
  • Deadhead roses; unless they produce hips
  • Trim lavender after flowering to stop it going woody
  • Plant bulbs: nerines, autumn crocuses, and autumn daffodils

Fruit/Vegetables

  • Continue to sow outside: lettuces, endives, kohl rabi, spring cabbages, French and runner beans, and beetroots
  • Peg down strawberry runners into the soil or pots of compost for more plants
  • Ensure crops are all well watered during hot weather
  • Prune old fruited stems of cane fruits down to soil level
  • Spray potato foliage with a copper fungicide to avoid blight

Greenhouse

  • Treat container plants with nematodes if vine weevil damage is visible
  • Continue taking cuttings from tender plants
  • Keep the greenhouse well ventilated
  • Pinch out any side shoots on tomato plants and tie in stems as they grow
  • Feed plants regularly with a liquid feed

General

  • Order flower bulbs for autumn planting
  • Prune early flowering shrubs
  • Trim lawns and edges regularly
  • Deadhead border plants after flowering
  • Hoe regularly to avoid weeds

September

Flower/Plants

  • Prune rambling roses
  • Cut back perennials once they have finished flowering
  • Collect seed from perennials and store in a cool place
  • Take cuttings of lavender
  • Cut everlasting flowers and seed heads for use in indoor arrangements

Fruit/Vegetables

  • Plant out rooted strawberry runners into new beds
  • Sow outdoors: hardy spring onions, lettuces, salads and Chinese cabbages
  • Sow parsley in pots for picking in winter
  • Plant out Japanese onion sets and garlic
  • Cut down raspberry canes once they have finished cropping

Greenhouse

  • Pick off the lower leaves from tomatoes to allow light and air to reach the fruits
  • Keep poinsettias in the dark for 14 hours a day to encourage colourful bract formation
  • Close vents at night as the weather turns cooler
  • Keep grow bags well watered
  • Start watering indoor cyclamen to promote new growth

General

  • Hoe borders to keep weeds down
  • Prepare areas for sowing new lawns during showery weather
  • Trim hedges and topiary into shape
  • Buy spring bulbs
  • Order sweet-pea seed for autumn planting

Find out what the experts say in this great article: Autumn Gardening Tips from the Experts

October

Plants/Flowers

  • Lift and pot on tender perennials to store indoors
  • Plant spring-flowering bulbs into borders and pots
  • Collect up and compost leaves as they begin to fall to make leaf mould
  • Plant evergreen shrubs and hedging, or move any that are growing in the wrong place
  • Pull up annual climbers and cut back untidy perennial climbers; add to the compost heap

Fruit/Vegetables

  • Sow green manure crops in bare spaces to dig in in the spring
  • Pick apples, pears and plums as they ripen
  • Sow and plant: broad beans, peas, Japanese and autumn onion sets, spring cabbages and garlic
  • Bring potted herbs under cover to protect them
  • Lift and store any remaining potatoes in a cool, dry place

Greenhouse

  • Pot up rooted cuttings
  • Plant pots of hyacinths for flowering in time for Christmas
  • Check that heating equipment is working efficiently
  • Bring potted azaleas indoors and water with rain water
  • Water indoor cyclamen to bring them back into growth after their summer rest

General

  • Buy farmyard manure or mushroom compost to dig into the soil during autumn, even better use your own compost
  • Increase the height of the cut on your mower
  • Spread netting over water features and ponds to prevent leaves going in
  • Order roses to plant out this winter
  • Cover newly planted bulbs with wire netting to prevent squirrels digging them up

November

Flower/Plants

  • Pull up annuals and put on the compost heap then fork over the beds and border
  • Prune rambling and climbing roses
  • Pot up tender perennials from summer displays and bring under cover for the winter
  • Rake autumn leaves from lawns, and pick them out from around border plants to turn into leaf mould
  • Plant new hedges

Fruit/Vegetables

Greenhouse

  • Bring pots of tender bulbs and perennials under cover
  • Line greenhouses with bubble polythene to provide insulation
  • Clean glazing, staging and matting ready for next summer
  • Clear away tomatoes and cucumbers adding the waste to your compost heap
  • Sow sweet peas in pots

General

  • Store hoses, sprinklers and other watering equipment in the shed over winter
  • Lay new lawn turf
  • Protect ceramic or glazed pots from frost damage
  • Order bare-rooted roses for planting in autumn
  • Wrap insulation around outside taps and pipes

December

In the Flower Garden:

  • Move patio containers to a sheltered spot if very cold
  • Plant out Wallflowers
  • Plant out new rose bushes
  • Take root cuttings of suitable perennials
  • Move shrubs growing in the wrong place

In the Vegetable Garden:

  • Take hardwood cuttings from healthy fruit bushes
  • Start pruning apple and pear trees
  • Cut down Jerusalem artichokes
  • Prune Gooseberry bushes Sow winter lettuces

In the Greenhouse:

  • Monitor greenhouse heaters to ensure they are working efficiently
  • Ventilate greenhouses on warm, dry days
  • Plant up Hippeastrums (Amaryllis) bulbs
  • Treat timber with preservative
  • Use rainwater to keep potted azaleas moist

Lawns:

  • Brush away fallen leaves
  • Keep off the lawn when it is wet or frozen
  • Turfing is possible during fine spells

General:

  • Wrap insulation around all outside taps and pipes
  • Order early from seed catalogues
  • Dig compost into beds empty areas of soil
  • Check tree and climber ties are secure
  • Keep bird feeders clean

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