Garden Maintenance Advice

 

First quarter

January

  • A time of frost, wind, rain and possibly snow. The garden is resting.
  • During periods when the ground is soft (not frozen) take the opportunity to dig over borders.
  • Lay compost and manure on the top of prepared ground to allow the rain and frost to break it down.
  • Repair fences and trellises while garden foliage is at a minimum.
  • Prune some trees and shrubs to shape them, according to their variety and before new growth.
  • Aerate the lawn.
  • Keep ponds free of ice.
  • Sow early crops according to variety and instructions.
  • Make preparations to protect fruit trees from birds.
  • Plan ahead and arrange the booking of contractors before the busy periods.

February

  • Keep bird feeders supplied with food, and make sure that there is always drinking water available.
  • New trees and shrubs can be planted into prepared ground.
  • Prune summer shrubs back to new growth.
  • Almost the last chance to cut back garden bushes and hedges before the bird nesting season starts.
  • Closely examine gardening tools and machinery for needed repairs, and carry out required maintenance to ensure reliability during the season and beat the rush at service centres.
  • Prepare for the sowing of tubers according to instructions.
  • Plan for the early laying of new turfs on ground which has been prepared.
  • Plan ahead for the preparation of sowing grass seed once the ground has started to warm up.
  • Prepare seed beds and cover with cloches.
  • Investigate and plan a diversity of plants to naturally fight against bugs and disease. This problem can be fought naturally.

March

  • Mulch the border planting areas.
  • Prune Shrub and Bush roses.
  • Plant summer flowering bulbs.
  • Sow hardy annuals.
  • Repair lawn patches by re-seeding or turf.
  • Harden off young plants.
  • Sow vegetables.
  • Continue to protect fruit blossum against late frosts.
  • Deadhead daffodils but leave the foliage.
  • Cut the grass at a high setting initially.
  • Keep weeds down by regular hoeing.

Second quarter

April

  • Pests with the warmer weather – keep on top of them.
  • Slugs and snails. Encourage hedgehogs, frogs, toads and Thrushes into the garden who will feed on them.
  • Tidy up borders.
  • Remove frost damaged shoots.
  • Spray roses to control Blackspot.
  • Control aphids on roses.
  • Trim winter heathers back to new growth.
  • Cut back Lavender to keep them bushy and compact.
  • Increase conifers by taking cuttings.
  • Deadhead remaining daffodils, but leave the foliage for 6 weeks after the flower has died to build energy for next year.
  • Consider cleaning out any ponds with due consideration for any pond life. This will be an opportunity to thin out overcrowding of plants.
  • Regular mowing of lawns.
  • Continue to repair and renovate established lawns.
  • Feed and fertilize lawns.
  • Start sowing vegetables and herbs under cover.
  • Continue to frost protect fruit buds.
  • Watch for pests.
  • Don’t let newly planted trees and shrubs dry out.
  • Protect new plants from slugs and snails.
  • Keep weeding.

May

  • Monitor forecasts and be prepared to protect plants against frosts.
  • Start watering as required.
  • Attend to early flowering plants which have now ceased flowering.
  • Protect endangered plants against slugs.
  • Feed and continue to weed lawns to encourage good growth.
  • Mow lawns regularly.
  • Turfing and lawn seeding should now be completed.
  • Encourage beneficial insects such as Lady Birds, which prey on garden pests.

June

  • Time now to be enjoying the garden, but don’t let up on essential tasks.
  • Maintain a routine of weeding and deadheading to encourage renewed flowering in beds, borders and displays.
  • Keep up the watering during dry weather. Surface mulch will help to retain moisture for plants and trees.
  • Plan ahead and sow Winter and Spring plants.
  • Thin any pond plants to prevent overcrowding and clogging.
  • Keep up grass cutting.

Third quarter

July

  • Deadhead all the first flowerings.
  • With rising outdoor temperatures, closely monitor glass house and conservatory temperatures .
  • Don’t forget to look after yourself while working in and around the garden. Protect yourself against the direct sun and heat. Keep your fluid levels up.
  • Keep water levels up in bird baths, for their bathing and drinking.
  • Water young plants and baskets.
  • Keep conifer hedges trimmed and take any required cuttings now.
  • Plant Autumn flowering bulbs.
  • Prepare to lift your new potatoes and onions.
  • Control the upward growth of runner beans by pinching out the top.
  • Control tomato plants by removing their side shoots.
  • This can be the month for the start of berry picking.
  • Plant Autumn vegetables.
  • If you plan to go away for a break, start to make your holiday plans for the garden, to cover watering and grass cutting.
  • Plant Spring flowering bulbs.
  • Watch for pest infestations and plan plant diversity to combat the pests in a natural way.
  • Pond plants will be thriving at this time of year. Keep these under control.
  • Don’t be tempted to cut the grass at too low a setting.
  • Any lawn areas marked for re-seeding can be prepared now and allowed to settle.

August

  • This will possible be the hottest month.
  • Also a popular month for going on holiday. Activate your plans for the garden while you are away.
  • Collect all your ripening seeds.
  • Keep ponds and bird baths topped up.
  • Continue with the hedge trimming.
  • Continue with the dead heading of flowers and prune plants as you go to stimulate new growth.
  • Don’t forget your hanging baskets. Keep them watered.
  • Support the limbs of fruit trees where the weight of ripening fruit is increasing.
  • This is also the month for you to be sitting back and enjoying all your hard work, and resting for that which lies ahead.
  • Plans should be made soon if you like Christmas flowering Hyacinths.
  • Plant Spring bulbs and daffodils.
  • Continue with the ground preparation for new lawns.
  • Continue to be vigilent of garden pests and plant diseases. Destroy infected leaves.
  • Control slugs by encouraging birds and frogs.
  • Continue with summer pruning.
  • Continue with lots of watering.
  • Watch night time air temperatures. If the drop is significant then close glass house ventilation systems.

September

  • Clear Autumn plant rubbish to minimise the risk of pests and diseases living through the winter.
  • Consider planting new trees and shrubs.
  • Take all the required rose cuttings now.
  • All your Spring bulbs should planted by now.
  • Monitor weather forecasts and retrieve frost sensitive plants as the night air temperatures start to drop.
  • New lawns can now be sown or turfed.
  • Scarify and aerate lawns.
  • Mesh ponds to prevent leaf debris falling in.
  • Collect in marrows and courgettes, and dig up potatoes.
  • Continue to harvest fruits.
  • Last chance to prepare Christmas flowering Hyacinths.
  • Continue with garden pruning.
  • Start to dig over areas of the garden.

Forth quarter

October

  • Significant drops in temperatures start to be felt.
  • We start to see increases in wind strengths.
  • Hours of sunshine become limited.
  • Rain fall generally increases.
  • High ground starts to see the first falls of snow.
  • Garden leaves should be raked up and used for valuable leafmould.
  • Continue to clean up the garden making sure to destroy signs of plant infection and disease.
  • This should be the last month for planting evergreen plants.
  • Take any fruit and shrub cuttings.
  • Last month for trimming conifer hedges as required.
  • Collect tree and shrub berries for seeding.
  • Plant any climbers and perennials.
  • Thin out overgrown perennials.
  • Protect alpine plants.
  • Lift and store summer bulbs.
  • Plant tulip bulbs.
  • Maintain pond plant life and remove any pumps for winter storage.
  • Repair lawns with grass seed or lay news turfs as required.
  • Thin out rhubarb plants.
  • Grease fruit trees to catch crawling pests.
  • Check and repair greenhouse insulation and heating systems.
  • Spring bedding plants should be in this month.
  • Lift at-risk perennials.
  • Lift and store potatoes and carrots.

November

  • We will be having more frequent and widespread frosts.
  • Temperatures sontinue to drop with strong, cold easterly winds
  • Sun will be minimal.
  • Rain fall continues to rise.
  • Snow fall still mostly restricted to high ground.
  • Continue with the garden clearup.
  • Clean out and repair garden bird boxes.
  • Keep bird tables supplied with food.
  • Check bondfires for wintering animals before burning.
  • Continue to dig over the garden.
  • New plantings of trees, shrubs and new roses.
  • Protect vulnerable plants from frosts.
  • Avoid walking on frosted grass to minimise damage.
  • Service and sharpen the mower and other garden machinery.
  • Protect roots of potted plants from frost.
  • Plant any new fruit trees and bushes.
  • Continue to thin out rhubarb plants.
  • Prune back fruit trees and bushes.
  • Lift and store Dahlias now.
  • Start off Amaryllis bulbs for Christmas flowering.
  • Plant spring bedding.
  • Collect seed catalogues for next years planting.

December

  • Frequent cold windy days, essential for killing off pests and diseases.
  • There is now an increasing risk of snow.
  • Keep bird feeders full and drinking water unfrozen.
  • Try and keep ponds free of ice.
  • Continue to dig over the soil, digging in mulch and compost.
  • Undertake garden maintenance and repair of paths, fences and outbuildings.
  • Keep tree tar freshly applied.
  • Watch for snow weighing heavily on trees, shrubs and hedges.
  • Continue with harvesting cuttings.
  • Restrict watering to over-wintering plants to minimise the risk of rotting.
  • Check garden hoses are empty of water and that outside taps and water pipes are protected against heavy frosts.
  • Consider emptying or insulating, water butts.
  • Bring in Christmas bulbs for flowering.
  • Prepare and sow early crops under cover

 

Share this page...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Pin on PinterestEmail this to someone