Gardeners Tips – Gardening Calendar

Gardening Calendar

gardening tips - gardening calendar The following gardening tips are reminders of the most essential tasks for the majority of gardeners. Obviously the exact timing varies with locality, site and soil, and of course you may not grow exactly the same things as I do, but even unusual plants have similar requirements at much the same times.

Late winter

  • Check stores, remove and use anything starting to deteriorate before it goes over and infects others.
  • Make a health and hygiene check: examine every plant for pests, diseases and dieback. Check straps and stakes after gales. Apply sticky bands and inspect the sacking bands on apple trees, and other trees if they suffered from many pests. Pick off big buds on blackcurrants.
  • Empty insect traps and nests, collect and destroy snails. Make and hang bird boxes, slug pubs, insect traps and bottle cloches. Put out food, hang up fat and provide water for birds.
  • Put out cloches and low tunnels to warm soil. Put down carpet and sheet mulches on new ground or green manures.
  • Spread a good layer of compost or well-rotted manure under and around everything possible, preferably not just before a period of heavy rain.
  • Spread a good layer of mulch under and around everything possible, preferably just, after a period of heavy rain.
  • Spray everything growing with diluted seaweed solution at least once, and anything showing deficiency symptoms more often. Spray peaches and almonds with Bordeaux mixture against peach leaf curl if buds are beginning to swell.
  • If conditions are mild, cut the grass with blades set high and return the clippings. Plan and make changes to shapes of grass paths, lawns and their beds and borders
  • Once ground becomes workable, plant out hardy trees and shrubs that missed the autumn planting. Firm in roots of autumn plantings after hard frosts. Do major pruning work to trees and bushes missed earlier, but not to stone fruits or evergreens unless damaged by storms. Prune autumn-fruiting raspberries to the ground.
  • Make sure no weeds are getting away – they come up easily at this time. Hoe whenever it’s dry enough and add extra mulches on top of thin, weedy ones.
  • Repair and clean tools and equipment, tidy sheds and greenhouse. Sieve and mix homemade potting composts, top up indoor beds. Order seeds and plants for coming season and plan their positions.
  • Chit potato ‘seed’ on trays in light, frost-free place. Plant potatoes in pots, and garlic, onion sets and shallots in pots or in situ. Sow the following under cover in warmth: indoor tomatoes and cucumbers, early peas, broad beans, cabbages, cauliflowers, lettuce, spinach, turnips, carrots, radishes, onions, spring onions, leeks, sweet peas.

Early spring

  • gardening tips - gardening calendar Check stores and make a health and hygiene check as above.
  • Put out food, hang up fat and provide water for birds.
  • Spread more mulch under and around everything possible, preferably immediately after a period of heavy rain. Once ground becomes workable, plant out evergreen and less robust hardy plants, roses, soft fruit, artichokes, asparagus, rhubarb and grapevines. Protect these from frost and wind their first season.
  • Cut back evergreen and conifer hedges. Prune herbs, tender plants, evergreens and hollow-stemmed shrubs such as buddleias. Protect their new growth against frost afterwards.
  • Ensure good weed control, by hoeing fortnightly; add extra mulches on top of thin, weedy ones. Compost, dig in or invert green manures and any weed flushes.
  • Cut the grass at least once fortnightly, preferably weekly, returning the clippings or raking them into rings around trees and bushes. Feed turfed areas with sieved compost, seaweed or diluted personal liquid waste. Move, lay and repair turf in non-frosty weather.
  • Spray everything growing with diluted seaweed solution at least once, and anything with deficiency symptoms more often.
  • Spray peaches and almonds a second time with Bordeaux mixture against peach leaf curl as buds swell.
  • Spread wood ashes under and around plants, giving priority to gooseberries and culinary apples. Feed spring greens with comfrey liquid or seaweed solution.
  • Pollinate early-flowering plants and those under cover by hand.
  • On still, cold nights, protect blossom and young fruitlets from frost damage, using net curtains, plastic sheeting or newspaper.
  • Plant garlic, onion sets, shallots, potatoes. Sow any plants grown under cover or for later planting out. Under cover in warm: tomatoes, cucumbers, aubergines, peppers, celery, celeriac, hardy and half-hardy annual flowering plants. Outside in warm soil or under cover: peas, broad beans, onions, leeks, beetroot, kohlrabi, cabbages, cauliflowers, lettuce, spinach, turnips, carrots, chards, salsify, scorzonera, parsnips, herbs, radishes, spring onions, sweet peas, hardy annuals.

Mid spring

  • gardening tips - gardening calendar Check stores, remove and use anything starting to deteriorate before it goes over and infects others. Use up stored fruits and vegetables, clean out stores once empty.
  • Make a health and hygiene check: examine every plant for early signs of pests and disease. Check straps and stakes after gales. Firm in roots of earlier plantings after hard frosts. Retouch sticky bands. Pick off more big buds on blackcurrants.
  • Ensure good weed control by hoeing weekly and adding extra mulches on top of thin, weedy ones.
  • Cut the grass at least weekly, returning the clippings or raking them into rings around trees and bushes.
  • Spray everything growing with diluted seaweed solution at least once, and anything with deficiency symptoms more often.
  • Water all plants established within the previous twelve months if there has been little or no rain for a week.
  • Deflower or defruit new plants to give them time to establish. Pollinate plants under cover by hand.
  • On still, cold nights protect blossom and young fruitlets from frost damage, using net curtains, plastic sheeting or newspaper.
  • Feed and top-dress all permanent container plants with compost. Tie in new growths of vines and climbing plants under cover.
  • Make layers of plants that are difficult to propagate. Take cuttings of herbs and less hardy plants, repot house plants.
  • Prune and cut back most early-flowering shrubs once flowers die. Remove seed heads from bulbs as they die back.
  • Plant out the less robust hardy plants under cover or with protection; also plant out potatoes, onion seedlings, perennial herbs. Sow plants grown under cover or for later planting out. Under cover in warm: tomatoes, ridge cucumbers, gherkins, melons, courgettes, marrows, pumpkins, sweet corn, half-hardy flowers. Outside and under cover: peas, broad beans, French beans, runner beans, most brassicas, lettuces and saladings, herbs, spinach, turnips, carrots, swedes, salsify, scorzonera, radishes, kohlrabi, fennel, leeks, parsnips, sweet peas, hardy annuals.
  • Cut the grass at least weekly, use clippings for mulching.
  • Put out slug and pheromone traps and make nocturnal inspections of the garden, especially the sowing arid propagation area. Harvest and use, or store and preserve, anything that is ready.
  • Weed and hoe everywhere every chance you get.

Late spring

  • gardening tips - gardening calendar Make a health and hygiene check three times a week and examine each and every plant in your care for escalating pests and diseases, especially aphids, cabbage caterpillars and spider mite indoors and out. Note what will soon need harvesting and any specimens or seedlings that need repotting. Top up and check slug pubs and other traps. Retouch sticky bands and note any specimens or seedlings that need repotting.
  • Ensure good weed control by hoeing fortnightly or weekly, add extra mulch on top of weeds in mulches.
  • Cut the grass at least fortnightly, preferably weekly, returning the clippings or raking them into rings around trees and bushes.
  • Water all new plants established within the previous twelve months, especially if there has been little rain. Establish a watering round for all pot-grown plants at least daily. Feed indoor pot plants with comfrey liquid or seaweed solution weekly. Pollinate plants under cover by hand.
  • De-flower or de-fruit new perennial plants.
  • Spray everything growing with diluted seaweed solution at least once, and anything with deficiency symptoms more often.
  • On still, cold nights protect blossom and young fruitlets from frost damage, using net curtains, plastic sheeting or newspaper.
  • Prune out crowded and ill-placed shoots on apricots and peaches. Rub off any buds and small shoots that are pointing in the wrong direction, prune indoor grapes and redirect new growth. Cut back most flowering shrubs once flowers die. Tie in and support growing climbers and tallest herbaceous plants.
  • Keep planting potatoes. Harden off and plant out tomatoes, peppers, aubergines, melons, sweet corn, ridge cucumbers, courgettes and marrows under cover — or even in open if last frost is well past. Incorporate compost with soil for all transplants.
  • Once frosts are over, sow in situ under cloches outside: tomatoes, ridge cucumbers, gherkins, courgettes, marrows, pumpkins, sweet corn, half-hardy flowers. Outside without cover sow: peas, broad beans, French beans, runner beans, most brassicas, lettuces and saladings, herbs, spinach, turnips, carrots, swedes, salsify, scorzonera, kohlrabi, fennel, leeks, parsnips, hardy annual and biennial flowers.
  • Harvest and use, or store and preserve, your crops as they come into their prime.
  • Pause at least once to enjoy the result of your labours.

Early summer

  • gardening tips - gardening calendar Make a health and hygiene check three times a week. Top up and check slug pubs and other traps. Retouch sticky bands, note what will soon need harvesting and any specimens or seedlings that need repotting.
  • Water all new plants established within the previous twelve months, especially if there has been little rain. Increase frequency of watering for pot-grown plants to at least thrice daily! Feed indoor pot plants with comfrey liquid or seaweed solution weekly.
  • Ensure good weed control by hoeing fortnightly or weekly, add extra mulch on top of weeds in mulches.
  • Plant out tender plants or move them out for summer.
  • Cut the grass at least fortnightly, preferably weekly, returning the clippings, using them for mulches or raking them into rings around trees and bushes. Raise cutting height of mower.
  • Spray everything growing with diluted seaweed solution at least once, and anything with deficiency symptoms more often.
  • Dead-head roses and cut back most flowering shrubs once flowers die.
  • Summer pruning, part one of three: from one third of each plant remove approximately half to three quarters of each new shoot, except for leaders. This applies to all red and white currants, gooseberries and all trained apples and pears. Thin raspberry canes. Prune grapevines back to three or five leaves after a flower truss; if no flower truss by sixth leaf stop anyway and mark for later removal. Tie in new growths of vine and climbing plants.
  • Fruit thinning, part one of three: remove every diseased, decayed, damaged, misshapen, distorted or congested fruitlet. This applies to all apples, pears, peaches, apricots, quality plums, dessert grapes, gooseberries and figs, and especially to trained forms. Compost or burn rejected fruitlets immediately (of course usable ones such as the larger gooseberries may be cooked). Protect chosen fruit from birds.
  • Take soft cuttings if you have a propagator. Make layers of difficult subjects.
  • Transplant last brassica and leek plants. Incorporate compost with all transplants this month.
  • Feed tomatoes and pot plants with comfrey liquid or seaweed solution.
  • Spread mulches under and around potatoes.
  • Sow outdoors: lettuce, saladings, beetroot, kohlrabi, swedes, turnips, spinach, chicory, endive, biennial and perennial flowers.
  • Harvest and use, or store and preserve, ripe fruits, crisp salads and prime vegetables.
  • Pause at least once to enjoy the result of your labours.

Mid summer

  • gardening tips - gardening calendar Make a health and hygiene check three times a week and note what will soon need harvesting.
  • Water all new plants established within the previous twelve months, especially if there has been little rain. Continue watering all pot-grown plants at least thrice daily. Feed indoor pot plants with comfrey liquid or seaweed solution weekly.
  • Ensure good weed control by hoeing weekly or at least fortnightly, add extra mulch on top of weeds in mulches.
  • Cut the grass at least fortnightly, preferably weekly, returning the clippings or raking them into rings around trees and bushes. In orchards let grass grow to help ripen fruit. Raise cutting height of mower even more.
  • Spray everything growing with diluted seaweed solution at least once, and anything with deficiency symptoms more often. Spray maincrop potatoes with Bordeaux mixture if warm and humid.
  • Summer pruning, port two of three: from the second third of each plant remove approximately half to three quarters of each new shoot, except for leaders. This applies to all red and white currants, gooseberries and all trained apples and pears. Prune grapevines back to three or five leaves after a flower truss; if no flower truss by sixth leaf stop anyway and mark for later removal. Blackcurrants may have a third to half their old wood removed after fruiting. Raspberries may have old fruited wood removed. Stone fruits are traditionally pruned now to avoid silver leaf disease. Tie in new growths of vine and climbing plants.
  • Keep on dead-heading. Cut back evergreens and conifer hedges. Take soft cuttings if you have a propagator, root strawberry runners and layer tips of black and hybrid berries.
  • Fruit thinning, part two of three: remove every diseased, decayed, damaged, misshapen, distorted or congested fruitlet. This applies to all apples, pears, peaches, apricots, quality plums, dessert grapes, gooseberries, figs and especially to trained forms. Compost or burn rejected fruitlets immediately. Harvest and use or preserve ripe fruits. Protect ripening fruit from the birds. Provide water for birds instead.
  • Sow lettuce, saladings, carrots, swedes, turnips, Chinese cabbage, winter spinach, kohlrabi, finocchio, chards.
  • Harvest and use, or store and preserve, ripe fruits and vegetables. Dry peas and beans for use as seed and in kitchen. Dry and freeze herbs. Dry onions and garlic in sun. Use or store early potatoes to free ground for sowing.
  • Pause at least once to enjoy the result of your labours.

Late summer

  • gardening tips - gardening calendar Make a health and hygiene check twice weekly.
  • Water all new plants established within the previous twelve months, especially if there has been little rain. Decrease frequency of watering for all pot-grown plants to twice daily as growth slows. Feed indoor pot plants with comfrey liquid or seaweed solution weekly.
  • Ensure good weed control by hoeing fortnightly or adding extra mulch on top.
  • Plant new strawberry plants, if you can get them.
  • Cut the grass at least fortnightly, preferably weekly, returning the clippings or raking them into rings around trees and bushes; in orchards let grass grow to help ripen fruit. Raise or lower cutting height of mower if weather is particularly dry or wet.
  • Spray everything that is growing with diluted seaweed solution at least once, and anything that has deficiency symptoms more often.
  • Summer pruning, part three of three: from last third of each plant remove approximately half to three quarters of each new shoot, except for leaders. This applies to all red and white currants, gooseberries and all trained apples and pears. Cut out old fruited wood of brambles and hybrids, root the tips of these. Prune grapevines hack to expose fruit to sun.
  • Fruit thinning, part three of three: remove every diseased, decayed, damaged, misshapen, distorted or congested fruit. Compost, burn or use rejected fruit immediately. Protect ripening fruit from birds and wasps.
  • Sow under cover: winter lettuces and saladings, early carrots. Outdoors: winter lettuces, saladings, Japanese and spring onions, winter spinach, turnips, Chinese greens; plant potatoes in pots.
  • Make and turn compost heaps and sieve for use or cover and store. Sow green manures and winter ground-cover on bare soil that is not mulched.
  • Harvest and use, store or preserve ripening fruits, potatoes and onions. Save seeds.
  • Order hardy trees and shrubs for autumn planting.
  • Clean, paint and repair timber, gutters and brickwork.
  • Pause at least once to enjoy the result of your labours.

Early autumn

  • gardening tips - gardening calendar Make a health and hygiene check once a week. Note what will soon need harvesting or taking under cover.
  • Water all new plants established within the previous twelve months, especially if there has been little rain. Decrease frequency of watering for all pot-grown plants to once daily as growth slows. Feed only most vigorous indoor pot plants with comfrey liquid or seaweed solution fortnightly.
  • Ensure good weed control by hoeing fortnightly or adding extra mulch on top.
  • Transplant pot-grown biennial flowering plants and those that can be dug with a decent rootball or moved with little disturbance.
  • Plant garlic, daffodils and most other bulbs. Sow hardy annuals to overwinter; green manures and winter groundcover on bare soil that is not mulched. Sow bare turf and grass down orchards.
  • Cut the grass at least fortnightly, preferably weekly, returning the clippings and any fallen leaves or raking them into rings around trees and bushes. Raise the height of cut.
  • Spray everything that is growing under cover with diluted seaweed solution at least once, and anything that has deficiency symptoms more often.
  • Cut back herbaceous plants to six inches as their stems wither. Make and turn compost heaps and sieve for use, or cover and store.
  • Remove old canes and tie in new for all the berries.
  • Apply sticky bands and sacking bands to apple trees, and to others if they suffer from many pests. Go on a pest hunt to thin them out for winter. Rake around old mulches.
  • On still, cold nights, protect flowers, fruits and tender plants from frost damage, using net curtains, plastic sheeting or newspaper. Protect first the tops, then the stems and roots of more delicate plants before frosts come. Bring indoors tender plants in pots.
  • Take cuttings of plants as they start to drop their leaves.
  • Harvest and use, store or preserve vegetables, fruits and nuts aplenty. Make fruit juices, cider and wine with surplus/scavenged fruit.
  • Collect and dry seeds, lift gladioli and bulbs as they wither.
  • Pause at least once to enjoy the result of your labours.

Mid autumn

  • gardening tips - gardening calendar Make a health and hygiene check once a week. Note what needs harvesting, pruning or taking under cover.
  • Decrease frequency of watering round for all pot-grown plants to ‘as needed’ as growth slows.
  • Ensure good weed control by hoeing fortnightly or adding extra mulch.
  • Transplant pot-grown biennial flowering plants and those that can be dug with a decent rootball or moved with little disturbance. Plant out deciduous shrubs, trees and soft fruit, preferably bare rooted, if soil is in good condition and they are dormant.
  • Plant garlic and many bulbs.
  • Cut the grass at least fortnightly, preferably weekly, collecting the clippings with the fallen leaves or raking them into rings around trees and bushes. Lime the grass, aerate and spike if needed, adding sharp sand and grass seed.
  • Top up sticky bands and inspect sacking hands on apple trees, and on others if they suffered from many pests.
  • Check straps and stakes before and after gales.
  • On still, cold nights, protect ripening fruits from frost damage, using net curtains, plastic sheeting or newspaper.
  • Take cuttings of hardy plants as they start to drop their leaves.
  • Prune most plants as they start to drop their leaves. Cut back herbaceous plants to six inches as the stems wither. Rework and winter prune apples, pears, grapes and non-stone fruits.
  • Check stores, remove and use anything starting to deteriorate before it goes over and infects others.
  • Sow under cover: winter lettuces and saladings, brassicas, broad beans, sweet peas and hardy annuals and grass seed in warm seasons. Sow green manures in greenhouse and polytunnel.
  • Protect all less hardy plants against frost; move pots indoors. Cloche saladings and autumn strawberries.
  • Collect up all wastes for composting or shred for mulching. Make and turn compost heaps and sieve for use or cover and store.
  • Make new beds and borders, move turf or stack it and rot down. Spread mulches under and around everything possible.
  • Order seed catalogues, potatoes, evergreen and herbaceous plants for spring.
  • Harvest and store last fruits and root vegetables in hard areas. Collect and dry seeds and berries for seed and to feed birds.
  • Pause at least once to enjoy the result of your labours.

Late autumn

  • gardening tips - gardening calendar - spread garden mulch Make a health and hygiene check once a week. Note what needs harvesting, pruning or taking under cover.
  • Decrease frequency of watering for all pot-grown plants to ‘as needed’ as growth slows.
  • Ensure good weed control by hoeing fortnightly or adding extra mulch on top.
  • Cut the grass at least fortnightly, collecting the clippings with the fallen leaves or raking them into rings around trees and bushes. Lime the grass, aerate and spike if needed, adding sharp sand.
  • Lime the vegetable beds.
  • Plant out bare-rooted deciduous shrubs, trees and soft fruit if soil is in good condition and they are dormant. Incorporate compost with all plantings this month.
  • Top up sticky bands and inspect sacking bands on apple trees, and on others if they suffered from many pests.
  • Rework and winter prune apples, pears and non-stone fruits. Check straps and stakes before gales.
  • Spread a good layer of mulch, compost or well-rotted manure under and around perennials, preferably not immediately before a period of heavy rain. Mulch and mark crowns of herbaceous plants.
  • On still, cold nights, protect ripening fruits from frost damage, using net curtains, plastic sheeting or newspaper.
  • Take cuttings of hardy plants as they start to drop their leaves.
  • Check stores, remove and use anything starting to deteriorate before it goes over and infects others.
  • Harvest and store some root vegetables in harder areas.
  • Order seed catalogues, potatoes, evergreen and herbaceous plants for spring.
  • Pause at least once to enjoy the result of your labours.

Early winter

  • gardening tips - gardening calendar - garden bonfire Make a health and hygiene check once fortnightly.
  • Decrease watering for all pot-grown plants to minimum as growth slows.
  • Plant out hardy trees and bushes if soil is in good condition and they are dormant. Check straps and stakes before and after gales.
  • Cut the grass if weather is mild. Collect the fallen leaves and use for leaf mould or rake them in rings around trees and bushes.
  • Lime most grass swards one year in four, more often on acid soil, but not among ericaceous plants or lime haters, and never at the same time as manure or compost.
  • Clean out gutters and drains once last leaves have settled.
  • Top up sticky bands and inspect sacking bands on apple trees, and on others if they suffered from many pests.
  • Clean greenhouse, coldframe and cloche glass and plastic.
  • Prune hardy trees and bushes, roses and do major work to trees and bushes (but not to stone fruits or evergreens.)
  • Make a bonfire of diseased and thorny material saved up and burn it the same day so no hedgehogs can be inside.
  • Check stores, remove and use anything starting to deteriorate before it goes over and infects others.
  • Make your seed orders up and get them in early so you get the best choice in time for the new season.
  • Order seeds, potatoes, evergreen and herbaceous plants for spring.
  • Pause at least once to enjoy the result of your labours.

Mid winter

  • gardening tips - gardening calendar - check slug pubs Make a health and hygiene check. Check straps and stakes after any gales.
  • Check stores, remove and use anything starting to deteriorate before it goes over and infects others.
  • Empty insect traps and nests, collect up and destroy hibernating snails. Make and hang bird boxes, slug pubs, insect traps and plastic bottle cloches.
  • Make sure your seed orders are in.
  • Take it easy and look back over the successes and mishaps of the previous year, enjoy the fruits of your labours and plan for even more fun and endeavour in the coming seasons.


01. January 2011 by admin
Categories: Garden Care, Garden Management | Tags: , | Comments Off on Gardeners Tips – Gardening Calendar

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