The Gardening Year in Six Month Chunks – Part 1

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The next six months are vital in the life of your garden; read on to find out what task should be carried out and when so you can enjoy your garden and its fruits all year long.

January always looks like a dormant period in the garden. The weather can dictate how much we can do in preparation for the year ahead. It can be challenging for new gardeners to know what to do when or even when to start your gardening year. You might assume that gardens only need care in the spring and summer. While these are busy periods in the gardening calendar, there are significant tasks to do in the autumn and winter months.

Moreover, gardening isn’t just about jobs or tasks. Being au fait with the gardening calendar is just as much about knowing what to do at crucial times as knowing what not to do. It’s also true that not all gardeners work in the garden all year. Still, there are many benefits to embracing your garden, not least the mental and physical advantages. Getting the most out of your garden is about knowing what is essential and also what works for you.

Here is a snapshot of the gardening year starting in January:

January Gardening Tasks

January is an excellent time to plan, prepare, and prune your garden. If you haven’t done it already, you should order your seeds, bulbs, and plants for the spring and summer. Clean and sharpen your tools, pots, and containers. You can also repair or replace damaged equipment, such as fences, netting, or irrigation systems.

Prune deciduous shrubs and trees, such as apple, pear, rose, and willow. Pruning will help them grow better and healthier for the upcoming season. You can also take hardwood cuttings from some of them and grow new plants. Sow winter salads, herbs, and flowers and start some slow-growing vegetables, such as onions, leeks, and celery, by planting them in potting compost and placing them in a warm spot in the greenhouse, conservatory, or windowsill.

Protect your plants from frost, snow, and pests. You can cover them with fleece, straw, or cloches. You can remove dead or diseased leaves, stems, or fruits. January is also a great time to plan, so consider what you want to get from your outdoor space this year.

February is Good News For Gardeners

The weather in February can be arctic, but it can also offer some milder days with more light, which makes February a good time to sow more plants while continuing to protect your garden.

Now, you can sow seeds of hardy annuals, such as calendula, cornflower, and nigella, in pots or trays indoors. You can also sow tomatoes, peppers, and aubergine seeds in a heated propagator or a warm windowsill ready to plant out in May. Plant bare-root roses, trees, and shrubs as long as the soil is not frozen or waterlogged. You can also plant garlic, shallots, and onion sets in well-drained soil.

You still need to protect early-flowering plants, such as camellia, magnolia, and rhododendron, from frost damage and now is the time to prune your established late-summer and autumn-flowering shrubs, such as buddleia, fuchsia, and hydrangea, to encourage new growth.

February can be dank, so feed and mulch your plants with organic matter, such as compost, manure, or leaf mould. Mulching can improve soil structure, fertility, and moisture retention. You can apply a balanced fertiliser to fruit trees and bushes and a high-potash fertiliser to bulbs and winter-flowering plants.

Spring is in the Air in March

March is a good time to weed, feed, and seed your garden. Grab your gardening gloves and knee pads and weed your beds and borders, removing unwanted plants and roots. You can also apply a weedkiller or a mulch to prevent new weeds from growing.

Feed your plants a balanced fertiliser, such as blood, fish, and bone, or a liquid feed. You could also add organic matter, such as compost, manure, or leaf mould, to improve the soil structure and fertility. Seed your lawn if it is patchy or thin. You can also aerate, scarify, and rake your lawn to improve its drainage and appearance. You can also mow your lawn for the first time in late March but don’t cut it too short.

If you have a vegetable patch, now is the time to sow the seeds of hardy vegetables, such as beetroot, carrots, lettuce, peas, and radishes, directly in the ground. You can also sow seeds of tender vegetables, such as courgettes, cucumbers, and squash, indoors in pots or trays.

Plant out your early potatoes, onion sets, shallots, and garlic seedlings. Plant summer-flowering bulbs, such as dahlias and lilies, in well-drained soil or containers.

April is no Fool in the Garden

April is a funny month because while spring has well and truly sprung, the gardening jobs are similar to those in February and March. April is a good time to continue weeding and feeding.

You seeded your lawn in March but must continue to aerate, scarify, and rake it to encourage good drainage and growth. April is the best time to sow hardy vegetable seeds directly in the ground, such as beetroot, carrots, lettuce, peas, and radishes. You can also sow seeds of tender veg, such as courgettes, cucumbers, and squash, indoors in pots or trays, leaving them in a sheltered spot to grow.

April is a fabulous month, and your hard work will start to pay off in May and June.

Gardening tasks for May and June

Weeding is a never-ending task, and it continues through the entire year. May and June are still late spring and early summer, so feeding your plants is still something you need to do regularly.

You should mow your lawn weekly in May and June, trimming the edges for a neat appearance. You can now place all your vegetable seeds directly in the ground or keep them indoors in pots or trays – remember to water them daily.

After the last frost in April, you can plant summer bedding and tender annuals, such as sunflowers, cosmos, and nasturtiums. You can also plant late-summer summer-flowering bulbs such as coppertips and gladioli.

Prune spring-flowering shrubs, such as forsythia and chaenomeles, after flowering to keep them compact. You can also prune roses, wisteria, and clematis and remove any dead, diseased, or damaged branches to promote new growth.

We know we have said this before, but it’s essential to water your plants regularly, especially in dry or hot weather. Water early or late in the day to avoid evaporation using a watering can, a hose, or a sprinkler system. You can also collect rainwater in a water butt or a barrel and recycle water when possible.

Harvest your crops as they mature, and enjoy the fruits of your labour. You can also pick flowers for your home or as gifts, and deadhead faded blooms to encourage more flowers.

You can do these gardening tasks in May and June to keep your garden looking its best, or you can ask us – Planet Turf to help. We are your local commercial and domestic garden maintenance and landscaping company based in Dartford and surrounding areas, specialising in artificial turf installation and care.

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