Monthly gardening tips and advice

Whether you're after a reminder of what you need to be doing this month in your garden – or you want new inspiration for other plants or vegetables to try growing our Monthly Gardening Tips and Advice is designed to help.


Monthly Gardening Jobs

January

A month for planning what you want to achieve this year in your garden – the days might be short but they are starting now to get longer, so get thinking about what seeds and plants you want to grow and make sure that any plants you have are protected against the cold weather. Don’t forget to ensure that your garden birds have all the food and nutrients they need to get through the winter too. Also start planning the vegetable patch too and start those first-early potatoes chitting.

  • Firm in newly planted trees to prevent root rock
  • Continue winter digging as weather allows
  • Work well rotted manure into soil
  • Break ice on bird baths and ponds
  • Clean up fallen leaves and debris
  • Order seeds for next season
  • Make garden plans
  • Install water butts ready for summer

February

Nature is starting to spring to life this month, animals start coming out of hibernation and, with them, your garden will start to come alive again too – look out for those bulbs breaking through and make sure you’re pruning back your shrubs and climbing plants. February is a busy month in your shed or greenhouse too for getting ready for Spring.

  • Move shrubs as needed
  • Divide Snowdrops
  • Plant summer flowering bulbs
  • Prune autumn raspberries to soil level
  • Warm up the ground with polythene or cloches
  • Tackle annual weeds before they establish
  • Feed fruit trees and bushes with Sulphate of Potash
  • Have petrol mowers serviced
  • Treat fences and sheds with preservative
  • Prune Winter Jasmine
  • Chit seed potatoes

March

Now the hard work really starts but, with it, comes the rewards too. You might have to do a lot of preparing flower and vegetable beds, sowing seeds and tidying up, but with the days getting longer and warmer you certainly get to enjoy it.

  • Protect young plants from birds and slugs
  • Plant onions & shallots
  • Bring in grow bags to warm up before planting
  • Plant herbs in pots
  • Cut down Ornamental Grasses
  • Fork beds ready for sowing hardy annuals
  • Prepare soil for laying turf or sowing new lawns in April
  • Prune Shrub Roses to new shoots facing outwards at base

April

Blossoming trees, hosts of golden daffodils and bluebells herald that Spring is finally here. Ensuring that you harvest as much of April showers as you can in case of a long dry summer is important, as well as giving your lawns their first cut of the season and treating them post-cut. Don’t be fooled that the weather can be relied on, however, as frosts can still come as if from no-where.

  • Protect vulnerable plants from late frosts
  • Remove faded Pansy and Primula flowers
  • Prune tall Buddleia stems to encourage new shoots
  • Prune Forsythia after flowering
  • Trim winter flowering Jasmine and support new growth
  • Plant out Sweet Pea seedlings
  • Sow greenhouse crops - tomatoes, peppers & cucumbers
  • Keep weeds under control
  • Feed hungry shrubs and Roses
  • Sow new lawns and repair bare patches

May

Mowing the lawn is now in full swing and ensuring that after cut treatment is done is essential. Treat moss patches – remembering to apply a sprinkling of topsoil and grass seed – to make sure that your lawn stays green all summer long. Plant out your bedding and keep on top of the borders which will have sprung to life.

  • Mow lawn regularly and apply lawn feed
  • Water newly planted trees, shrubs and hedging regularly
  • Sow Foxgloves, Wallflowers and other biennials
  • Take soft tip Fuchsia and Hydrangea cuttings
  • Plant baskets and hang them in the greenhouse to develop
  • Tie plants into supports
  • Divide Primula and plant out summer bedding
  • Clip Buxus, Bays and Yew Trees
  • Plant out Dahlias and tender bedding at end of month
  • Prune Spring flowering Clematis after flowering

June

Longer days and, hopefully, a bit of warmth to sit back and enjoy your gardens. Make sure you’ve treated your wooden garden furniture and given the BBQ a good clean down after over-wintering – but don’t rest too easy, otherwise the weeds will be growing under your feet. Make sure you always have a set of weedkillers and a hoe in the garden shed to stop them getting out of hand.

  • Stake tall Lilies in pots & feed Roses
  • Check Lupins for aphids daily
  • Cut spring bulb foliage once it dies back
  • Keep on top of deadheading
  • Plant Clematis in a bright sunny position, but shade the roots
  • Water Clematis regularly in Summer if conditions are dry
  • Damp down greenhouse floors in mornings to increase humidity
  • Protect against pests, insects and birds
  • Hoe borders to keep down weeds
  • Prune spring flowering shrubs

July

Using that water that you harvested through the wetter months to keep your plants hydrated during one of the hottest months is essential now, as well as dead-heading to ensure new growth and long life for your plants.

  • Take Clematis cuttings or peg stems to soil to establish roots
  • Raise French beans in pots to plant out for late crop
  • Check and treat for pests
  • Mow wildflower meadows
  • Take softwood cuttings
  • Pinch outside shoots from tomatoes and peg down strawberry runners
  • Thin heavy crops of fruit
  • Prune Wisteria and trim conifers
  • Keep watering containers and new plants
  • Give the lawn a fast acting feed
  • Save seeds for later sowing
  • Take time to sit and enjoy the garden

August

As with July, August is a hot month, carry on watering, dead-heading and pruning – but don’t forget to relax and enjoy the late summer bank holiday as the hard work of preparing your garden for winter is about to begin again.

  • Clip faded Lavender flowers
  • Harvest crops regularily as needed
  • Deadhead and prune roses unless you want autumn hips
  • Pick off and destroy diseased rose leaves
  • Prune and train pleached trees
  • Ensure tomatoes, cucumbers and other crops never go short of water
  • Grow pots of parsley for the kitchen window sill
  • Keep watering containers and new plants
  • Feed soil with soil conditioners
  • Net Blackberries and Autumn raspberries from birds

September

The vegetable patch will now take over from the plants and flowers of summer by bursting into life and, if you’ve done everything right, you’ll be in for a bumper harvest. Time to start planting out the bulbs that you want to start flowering in the spring too, to ensure that next year is as colourful – if not more-so – than last year.

  • Sow pots of herbaceous annuals
  • Carefully dig out Gladioli
  • Stake Dahlias and Chrysanthemums
  • Prune climbing and rambling Roses
  • Pot up prepared Hyacinth’s and Paper-white Narcissus bulbs
  • Pinch out tops of tomato plants
  • Ventilate greenhouse if warm leaving door ajar to prevent trapping wind
  • Pot up strawberry runners
  • Clear spent crops and flowers
  • Plant spring flowering bulbs

October

Early frost preparation and raking leaves are the focus for October – the nights are getting colder and shorter, but don’t forget to enjoy the wonderful hues of Autumn. Put your garden furniture away, or cover it over with a good waterproof covering.

  • Net ponds to catch leaves
  • Rake leaves and start a leaf mould compost heap
  • Continue planting spring bulbs
  • Clear away and compost summer bedding
  • Lift tender plants and pot up to take inside
  • Continue to water Camellias
  • Plant new shrubs and trees
  • Scarify lawns, treat with Autumn top dressing and re-seed patches
  • Clean greenhouses and insulate
  • Plant garlic
  • Pot up herbs & bring in for the kitchen

November

Wind, rain and frost attack our plants and gardens and, though it might not feel like the easiest thing to do, getting out into that garden when you can to protect against the elements is key, and don’t forget to harvest as much of that valuable water for next years’ garden. A good month to look at getting the Mower, or other garden machinery, serviced to ensure that it’s in good working order next year and you miss the busiest time for the Service centres.

  • Sow Sweet Pea seeds, after soaking for a few hours
  • Sow Aquadulce Broad Beans outside for an early crop
  • Plant bare root hedging saplings such as Beech or Hornbeam
  • Plant new Roses
  • Clear leaves from greenhouse guttering
  • Repair and treat fences
  • Stop winter moth damage to fruit trees using grease bands
  • Clear leaves and debris from ponds
  • Insulate the outside tap

December

Heating your greenhouse and checking your frost and winter protection are the key jobs for the garden. So make sure you have enough coal or logs and sit in the warmth starting next years’ garden plans.

  • Sharpen tools & prune dead stems of perennials
  • Give Wisteria a Winter trim
  • Trim Autumn flowering Heather
  • Prune greenhouse grapevines
  • Check stored bulb corms and tubers for signs of rot
  • Have mowers serviced
  • Prune Autumn raspberries to soil level
  • Plant new fruit trees and bushes
  • Continue digging when weather permits
  • Take hardwood cuttings from soft fruit
  • Order Summer flowering bulbs