A Gardener's Diary
There are always jobs that need doing in the garden, whether it be weeding flower beds, pruning roses, watering your seedlings or mowing the lawn. However, there are certain jobs that are better done at specific times of the year, and this ShoppingTrolley informational guide will give you a brief guide as to what to do when.
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January is quite a quiet month as far as gardening is concerned, although there are a few jobs you can turn your attention to, including pruning many fruit trees and bushes such as apple and pear trees, redcurrants, blackcurrants and gooseberries in time for the growing phase in Spring. It is also a good time to plant new fruit trees, or move existing trees and shrubs. You can also take hardwood cuttings to create additional stock.
February is a good time to prune hedges and get them nice and tidy in time for spring. You can also plant trees, shrubs and bushes. If you are intending to plant vegetables, February is a good time to prepare seedbeds. It is a good idea to cover seed beds with cloches or polythene before planting, as this raises the temperature of the soil.
Herbaceous perennials can be divided to provide additional stock, and hardy annuals can now be planted in the garden.
In March, you can plant bulbs that flower in the summer. You may find that the lawn needs to be mowed and that weeds are starting to grow again. You can also divide clumps of perennials and perennial herbs if you wish, if they are overgrown or you want to create more stock. Deadhead daffodils, but leave the leaves alone as they provide the daffodil bulbs with nutrients for next year's growing season.
Weeding will become a priority this month, but you will also need to protect fruit blossom from the risk of frost by covering them with fleece or another light material at night, if practical. Shrubs and roses should be fed, and now is the time to repair bare patches in your lawn, or sow a new one.
Keep on top of the weeds, and start to water new plantings and other thirsty shrubs. Lawns will need to be mown regularly and spring flowering bulbs can be lifted and divided if required.
Weeds need to be hoed and lawns need to be cut. In addition now is a good time to put up your hanging baskets, although you will need to water them frequently. In the garden, slugs can be troublesome. A favourite organic way of getting rid of them is to get a margarine tub and make a few holes in the top and upper sides so the slugs can climb in - and put beer in the bottom, so they drown (happily).
In July you can dead head bedding plants and perennials, and remember to keep watering hanging baskets and new plants. In areas where there is a water shortage, it can be a good idea to collect rainwater for this purpose. Lawns will still need mowing about once a week, unless there is a drought. If your lawn is very dry then you can use a sprinkler on it provided there is not a hosepipe ban in your area - a sprinkler would be classified as a hosepipe.
In August it will be necessary to deadhead flowers - you can also collect their seeds if you would like to have a go at planting them yourself. New plants, hanging baskets and tubs will all need to be watered and the lawn will need be mowed - although it is a good idea to leave short grassclippings on the lawn to retain moisture.
Now is the time to plant hardy annual seeds if you want them to flower early the following year. Herbaceous perennials can be divided and new perennials can be planted as there is still time for them to establish themselves. Evergreen hedges can be tidied up for a last time before next spring. Spring flowering bulbs can now be planted.
Rake up any leaves that land on your lawn. Spring flowering bulbs can still be planted.
Continue to remove leaves from the lawn, and plant tulips for a spring flowering. If you have any containers or tubs, they can be raised up onto bricks so they don't get waterlogged. Herbaceous perennials that have died off can be removed and composted.
Put your feet up and prepare for Christmas!
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