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If you’re new to gardening, all the different jobs and tasks can feel a bit daunting at first. Our gardening calendar helps keep things simple by breaking everything down by month. From January through to December, we’ll help you plan your outdoor activities so your garden stays in great shape for you to enjoy all year round.

Each month, you’ll find information about what’s happening in your garden as well as a handy list of maintenance tasks to follow. If you’re growing your own fruit and vegetables, we also offer helpful advice on plant care. For a ‘by month’ overview of when to sow, plant and harvest, you can download our ‘Grow your own’ printable calendar.

Gardening in September

It’s time to plan ahead! The days are getting shorter, but don’t despair – you can start planting spring-flowering bulbs for next year. As your plants die back, you can collect their seeds and use them next summer. Cut off the seed head from healthy plants when they are about to split and dry out in labelled paper bags.

Growing your own

Keep picking and keep digging. Make sure you get to your potatoes before the slugs do. Some plants can get through the winter outside so plant over wintering crops, such as garlic and winter lettuces, and quick crops like baby spinach. You can also plant new fruit trees once any really dry weather is over. Trees have less chance of survival if planted in the heat of the summer and the gap between dry weather and ground freezing is an ideal season.

Download the "Grow your own" printable calendar (PDF)

Maintenance

  • Enjoy those cooler days in your garden by tidying borders and containers so they’re ready for spring-flowering plants.
  • You’re bound to have a lot of garden waste this month, so get your compost going by buying a bin or creating an enclosed area for a heap. It’s important to replace the goodness in the soil and all the trimming and tidying will add organic richness to your soil next spring.
  • Keep weeding! It’s possible to control weeds without resorting to chemical weed killers. If pulling up weeds becomes too much of a chore, install weed barriers, smother them with newspaper or douse deep rooted dandelions with vinegar.
  • Clear garden debris and dispose of any diseased material. Burning is an option, but if you live in a restricted area where you can't set up a bonfire you can bag up small amounts and place in your rubbish. Don't forget to disinfect your gardening tools with a 10 per cent bleach solution in water before rinsing and drying them.
  • Reward all your hard work by starting to plant container-grown shrubs, trees, fruit bushes, perennials and bulbs. Remember to water them well once planted to give them the best possible start.

Gardening in October

It’s a beautiful time of year, so enjoy the crisp autumn colours in the garden. Now’s the time to start preparing for early frosts and, of course, keep raking those leaves!

Growing your own

Continue harvesting the rest of your summer crops. Sweetcorn, spring onions and all tomatoes can be picked now, but may only last until the first frost.

Don’t forget to order your seeds for next year. You can also pot up mint, parsley and chives for the winter. Move these nearer the kitchen door if you can so you can take pinches during the cold months.

Have a look at our calendar to see what you can plant this month. Download the "Grow your own" printable calendar (PDF)

Maintenance

  • Cut back perennials that have died down. If the plant is healthy, the trimmings can be added to your compost. Move tender plants, including pond ones, into a greenhouse if you have one.
  • Prune climbing roses as this will take out any dead or old wood and will encourage new flowering shoots to grow.
  • Check chrysanthemums regularly for signs of white rust (pale yellow spots on the upper leaf). Remove affected leaves, or use a fungicide if necessary. Remove the blooms as they die back.
  • Dig your soil with compost, manure and plenty of organic matter. This exposes pest larvae and eggs to birds and frosts, gets rid of weeds, and improves soil structure.
  • Keep on weeding and tidying up borders, but don’t be too thorough! Leave some seed heads for the birds and keep some areas of winter shelter for wildlife. A pile of leaves can provide shelter for a hedgehog, so always check if you intend to burn leaves.
  • Start your compost if you haven’t already. You can continue to add to it with kitchen scraps over the winter.
  • Clean out your greenhouse so pests don’t hibernate there. Tidy up and wash pots and trays with mild soap. Clean the glass to make use of any sunshine during the winter months.
  • Now’s the last chance to mow lawns and trim hedges in mild areas. Inspect for patches as you go as it’s a good time to lay turf. If you are planning an additional area of grass, you can turf this too.

Gardening in November

Are your garden birds happy and well-fed? They will be if you keep food and water supplies topped up as the temperatures really drop.

This is a good time to drain and disconnect any irrigation lines and any hoses you have stored so that any water in them doesn't expand and crack if it freezes.

Growing your own

Plant soft fruits and currants, garlic, shallots and early broad beans. Sow early peas and protect with netting from mice and birds. It’s also wise to protect your winter cabbages and Brussels sprouts with netting, as birds will be looking for any available sources of food. Set up a bird feeding station to distract them. If you’ve grown parsnips, they’re best harvested after a frost.

Have a look at our calendar to see what you can plant and harvest this month. Download the "Grow your own" printable calendar (PDF)

Maintenance

  • Keep clearing fallen leaves, especially from lawns, ponds and beds. Gather the leaves in a small area contained by chicken wire. After the leaves break down, they provide a nutritious mulch to improve the quality of your soil.
  • Plant out winter bedding to brighten up the wintry days with colourful pots and beds of violas, pansies, cyclamen and primroses. Create containers with spring bulbs under colourful winter flowers. Daffodils and tulips will push up through them in the spring.
  • Protect any outdoor containers from frost by wrapping them in hessian or bubble wrap. Vulnerable plants, like tree ferns and palms can be covered in horticultural fleece.
  • Carry on digging any bare beds until the soil is too hard. This helps to restrain weed growth and expose soil pests. Use a small spade and work over one plot at a time. Your back will thank you.
  • Prune established apple and pear trees. Cut out any crossing or rubbing branches, as open wounds encourage disease. Prune gooseberries so they will produce bigger and better juicy fruit next year.

Gardening in December

It's a quiet time in the garden, but there are always things to do. Winter rain and storms mean that there is often tidying up to do somewhere in the garden. Check climbers haven't blown away from the wall and use wall ties so the wind won't damage them. Don't get carried away with removing the faded flowers on a hydrangea, as they provide frost protection. Deciduous trees (trees which shed their leaves annually) and shrubs can still be planted and transplanted. There is also still time to plant tulip bulbs if the ground hasn’t frozen.

Growing your own

Pile earth around any winter cabbages, cauliflowers and other brassicae to help protect them from wind. Use canes to support any really tall Brussels sprouts. Remove any yellow leaves as they may act as a source of infection. Harvest leeks, parsnips, winter cabbage, sprouts and any remaining root crops.

Have a look at our calendar to see what you can plant and harvest this month.

Download the "Grow your own" printable calendar (PDF)

Maintenance

  • Carry on digging over beds and borders, incorporating as much organic matter as you can.
  • Clear patios, driveways and paths of slippery algae, moss, weeds and lichen, especially after a windy day. Keep clearing up any leaves so that slugs and snails can’t shelter underneath them. Add them to your leaf mould pile if you have one.
  • Clean and insulate your greenhouse if you haven’t already. Cover glass on the inside with bubble wrap, which keeps out the lower temperature but lets in the light.
  • Clean and repair your garden tools, and get your lawnmower serviced. Repair fences, trellises and pergolas, and treat timber with preservative or wood colouring when climbers have died away or lost their leaves.

Gardening in January

The weather can be harsh this month, so check stakes, ties and other garden supports for any damage. You might also want to move some plants to sunnier positions if possible. Don't forget to keep feeding the birds.

Heavy snowfall? Brush snow off conifers and hedges so the weight doesn’t cause damage.

Growing your own

Sow early crops (radishes, beetroot, spinach and lettuces) and tend undercover in a greenhouse or tunnel, or on a windowsill inside.

Have a look at our calendar for an overview of what you can plant and harvest this month.

Download the "Grow your own" printable calendar (PDF)

Maintenance

  • Ventilate your greenhouse on sunny days. Even wedging open the door will allow circulation of air and will reduce humidity as plants need a fresh supply of Co2.
  • Repair and re-shape lawn edges. They will keep their shape as the grass isn’t growing this time of year. Carry on clearing paths of moss and leaves. When soil conditions allow, continue to dig over beds and borders. Once the soil is workable, get the hoe out again.
  • Cover the roots of tender herbaceous perennials with a generous amount of dry mulch to protect these until the risk of frost has passed.

Gardening in February

It's time to prune shrubs, climbers and evergreen hedges.

There’s still a risk of frost and even snow, so continue to protect vulnerable plants, pots and taps by wrapping insulation around them. Use bubble wrap and hessian for protection.

Protect the roots of tender trees and shrubs with a generous amount of dry mulch.

Growing your own

Cover strawberry plants with garden fleece to encourage early fruiting. You can also plant summer-fruiting raspberries. Harvest leeks, Brussels sprouts and sprouting broccoli, and plant Jerusalem artichokes.

Have a look at our calendar for an overview of what you can plant and harvest this month.

Download the "Grow your own" printable calendar (PDF)

Maintenance

  • Continue to dig over beds and borders to help prepare the soil for spring and reduce pests.
  • Prepare vegetable seed beds by using a rake to level the surface to create a crumb like texture on the top. Make new beds and borders when the ground thaws and the soil begins to warm.
  • Protect blossom on apricots, nectarines and peaches from frost by covering trees in horticultural fleece. Use netting to cover fruit and vegetable crops to keep the birds off.
  • It’s a good time to prune winter-flowering shrubs that have finished flowering. Prune wisteria, conservatory climbers, and hardy evergreen hedges.

Gardening in March

Gardening in March

This is a great month to have a blitz on the garden if not yet done in February! Numerous bulbs are flowering now and many trees and shrubs are cheering us up with their beautiful spring blooms.

There will probably be old, dried-up foliage that died off in the autumn from your perennials (plants that come back year on year) covering many of your beds; March is a good month to get rid of this so new growth can happen unhindered.

Weed seedlings are starting to grow and unless dealt with now they will cause problems later.

Now is a perfect time to feed and mulch the beds with organic compost, which will feed the roots and keep the moisture in.

If you’ve been thinking about making some bigger changes like a new patio, some decking or a pond now is the time to start your planning in earnest to ensure you’ll be ready to enjoy the fruits of your labour in the summer.

Growing your own

If you’re keen on growing your own vegetables and fruit March is a key time for sowing both inside and out.

Maintenance

  • If not done in February prune your roses. Always prune no more than 5mm above a bud and do a diagonal cut so water won’t collect on the bud. Trim back silvery and evergreen shrubs such as Lavender to keep them bushy.
  • Lightly fork over borders to aerate and weed then cover with approximately 3-5cm of organic compost/mulch.
  • Aerate your lawn by pushing a fork in 10cm deep and 20cm apart or hire an aerator. This helps air, water and nutrients penetrate the lawn more easily.
  • You can mow for the first time this year but not too short initially. If your first cut is too short you risk traumatising the grass and it may not grow back as strong.

Gardening in April

Gardening in April

The growing season is really underway this month, with plants seemingly coming out of nowhere to burst into life, especially your perennial plants (that grow back year after year). Suddenly winter seems a long way away as so many shrubs, trees and bulbs are in full bloom.

Weeds are also making the best of all the daylight and warmth, so keep hoeing or hand weeding the borders to keep them in check.

Start feeding the lawn this month and apply lawn sand if moss is a problem. Birds will be nesting now so be careful when trimming hedges and bushes, try leaving it till May/June if so.

Get started on any bigger garden projects (Patios, Decking, raised beds etc) in April. Not only is the weather hopefully a little better but the ground will be softer if your project involves digging. Plus doing the grafting now will mean you can enjoy some of the early summer sun in May, if we get any!

Growing your own

April is a key month for planting veg ready for the summer.

Maintenance

  • Dead-head faded flowers from shrubs. Dead-heads are the dead flowers that will be on many shrubs in your garden. You can just pinch the deadheads off with your fingers of if you use secateurs cut back to the next leaf or bud down the stalk. Cut at a diagonal so moisture can run off.
  • Keep on top of weeding by hoeing bare ground.
  • If not done already feed borders with organic fertilizer.
  • If not done in March you can give the lawn a first mow but not too short initially. If your first cut is too short you risk traumatising the grass and it may not grow back as strong.
  • Sow grass seed to repair lawns.
  • Check and repair any fencing or garden structures such as pergolas or arbours.
  • Clean decking.
  • Treat decking, fences and sheds with wood preservative.
  • Jet wash or scrub patios and paths to remove algae.

Gardening in May

Gardening in May
Gardening in May

This month is probably the most colourful of all with many shrubs and perennial flowers looking their best.
Grass will be growing quickly now so regular mowing is now essential to keep the lawn looking its best.
Hedge trimming can start now but check for birds’ nests first.
May is also a good time to plant hanging baskets with bedding plants.
Hopefully you will be well on the way or finished with any larger garden projects such as patios, decking or ponds.

Start feeding the lawn this month and apply lawn sand if moss is a problem. Birds will be nesting now so be careful when trimming hedges and bushes, try leaving it till May/June if so.

Get started on any bigger garden projects (Patios, Decking, raised beds etc) in April. Not only is the weather hopefully a little better but the ground will be softer if your project involves digging. Plus doing the grafting now will mean you can enjoy some of the early summer sun in May, if we get any!

Growing your own

April is a key month for planting veg ready for the summer.

Maintenance

  • Dead-head faded flowers from shrubs. Dead-heads are the dead flowers that will be on many shrubs in your garden. You can just pinch the deadheads off with your fingers of if you use secateurs cut back to the next leaf or bud down the stalk. Cut at a diagonal so moisture can run off.
  • Keep on top of weeding by hoeing bare ground.
  • If not done already feed borders with organic fertilizer.
  • If not done in March you can give the lawn a first mow but not too short initially. If your first cut is too short you risk traumatising the grass and it may not grow back as strong.
  • Sow grass seed to repair lawns.
  • Check and repair any fencing or garden structures such as pergolas or arbours.
  • Clean decking.
  • Treat decking, fences and sheds with wood preservative.
  • Jet wash or scrub patios and paths to remove algae.

Gardening in June

It’s a great month for getting out in the garden, thanks to warm weather and plenty of plant growth. Unfortunately, that means weeds will be flourishing too. Keep on top of them by hoeing regularly when it’s dry.

Gardening in June

Start preparing the ground for bedding plants. Thin out plants you’ve already sown, so they all have plenty of space to grow.

Mow your lawn regularly. When it’s especially dry and sunny, mow less frequently and let the grass grow longer – as long grass copes better with drought than shorter grass. You can also minimise dehydration by mowing in the evening during hot weather.

If there’s an extended dry spell, take steps to save and reuse water.

It’s harvest time for early fruits, lettuce, radish, other salads and early potatoes.

Many vegetables can still be sown as seed.

Have a look at our calendar for an overview of what you can plant and harvest this month.

Download the "Grow your own" printable calendar (PDF)

Maintenance

  • Water hanging baskets and containers every day – twice if it’s hot and windy. Water other plants thoroughly once or twice a week – this is better than watering ‘little and often’ as it encourages them to put down roots. Use collected rainwater or recycled grey water whenever you can.
  • Keep deadheading all your flowering plants – everything from containers, pots and hanging baskets to beds and borders. Feed them all occasionally with liquid feed.
  • Repot any plants that are becoming root bound.
  • Hoe borders and tackle bindweed as soon as you spot it (look for white, trumpet-shaped flowers) as it will quickly choke other plants.
  • Surround strawberry plants with straw to keep the fruit off the soil and prevent botrytis which is grey mould. If you spot it, remove all infected fruits. Remember not to put them on the compost as this will spread the problem.
  • Protect fruit trees, currant bushes and gooseberries with netting – or birds may eat your crop before you do.
  • Even greenhouses can get too hot. Protect plants from scorching by painting relevant panes of glass with white emulsion to create shade. You can also damp down the floor of the greenhouse on hot days to increase humidity.

Gardening in July

Gardening in July
Gardening in July

July can be one of the hottest months of the year, so keep watering! Use collected rainwater if there is any whenever you can.

You’ll want to enjoy the results of all your hard work in the garden for as long as possible – so keep deadheading regularly. It may seem like an endless task, but it really will make your flowering plants bloom for longer.

You can put conservatory plants outside now too.

Unfortunately, pests love warm weather. Keep an eye out for caterpillars and aphids, which can be dealt with by hand if you spot them early enough. Try to attract beneficial insects by growing a wide variety of plants.

Got a pond? Keep it topped up with fresh water to avoid a build-up of algae that can be toxic for wildlife.

Growing your own

Keep all fruit well-watered. Mulch with organic matter (like chopped leaves, compost or wood chippings) to reduce water loss and suppress weeds.

Don’t forget to pick your soft fruit and protect it with netting while it’s ripening – otherwise, the birds may get to it before you do! Now is also the time to pick courgettes, before they become marrows.

Have a look at our calendar for an overview of what you can plant and harvest this month.

Download the "Grow your own" printable calendar (PDF)

Maintenance

  • Check clematis for signs of clematis wilt (rapid wilting of stems, and black discolouration of leaves and stalks) and cut back affected stems.
  • Deadhead flowering plants (including aquatic ones), to ensure continuous flowering.
  • Keep up your daily watering and regular feeding of greenhouse and other potted plants.
  • Keep an eye out for signs of whitefly (yellowing and disfigured leaves) and red spider mites (mottled, yellowing leaves with brown speckles) and use a biological control if necessary.
  • Give your lawn a boost with a quick-acting summer feed, especially if it didn’t have a spring feed.
  • Summer-prune apple and pear trees.
  • Put straw under strawberry plants to keep the fruit off the soil and to prevent botrytis (grey mould). If you spot it, remove all infected fruits. Remember not to put them on the compost as this will spread the problem.
  • If you have a pond, keep water levels topped up. Clean pumps and filters to remove any weeds and other debris.
  • Take advantage of dry weather and give fences, sheds and other woodwork a coat of paint or preserver.

Gardening in August

Another hot month! Keep watering, but remember to be water-wise too. If you’re planning on going away, why not consider investing in an automatic watering system? Keep on top of weeds in borders, the vegetable garden and all your pots and containers. And don’t forget to keep wildlife happy with a pond that’s topped up and algae-free.

Growing your own

Keep watering, weeding and picking! It’s your last chance to sow salads outside, so don’t delay. Plant quick-maturing crops including lettuces, sorrel and rocket. Have a look at our calendar for an overview of what you can plant and harvest this month.

Download the "Grow your own" printable calendar (PDF)

Maintenance

Prune wisteria and summer-flowering shrubs. Don’t stop deadheading! Collect seed from your favourite plants and take cuttings from houseplants. Feed soil with green manures. Plant new strawberry plants and cut the leaves of existing plants to within 3” of the crown. Burn the leaves and peg healthy-looking runners. Prune summer-fruiting raspberries, gooseberries, redcurrants, and blackcurrants. Make sure greenhouse plants don’t get scorched in hot weather by painting relevant panes of glass with white emulsion to create shade. You can also damp down the floor of the greenhouse to increase humidity. Clean out any empty water butts.