Here at Gardencare, we care about gardens – the clue is in the name! But with so many tasks to do at different times of the year, keeping your garden looking beautiful can be pretty difficult to keep track of. That’s why we’ve put together this handy month-by-month guide to help you stay on top of things.
Hopefully your New Year’s Resolution is to take great care of your garden, so let’s get started! It’s hard to get motivated to go out in the cold, but the work you do now will set a great foundation for the months to come.
First thing’s first – a bit of pre-Spring cleaning. Get rid of any dead foliage, as these are a common hiding spot for pests. You may also need to cut down some overhanging or unhealthy looking branches, so it’s a good idea to invest in a long-reach pole pruner.
This might come as a surprise but you can still plant shrubs in January, so don’t pack that planting spade away quite yet and get your green fingers ready for some work!
The upcoming frost is something you may need to think about. Get any vegetable beds ready before the worst of the frost hits and makes the ground too hard to till by hand. If you have any plants that are particularly susceptible to snow or frost, they’ll need to be taken indoors – ideally into a greenhouse if you have one.
It’s nearly Spring where your gardening routine can begin in earnest, but there’s still a few jobs left to do to make sure you’re ready. It may be the quietest month of the gardening year, but that doesn’t make it any less important.
You’ll need to continue your tidying-up from January, including twigs, leaves and other debris that spoil your garden’s overall aesthetic. The rain and slow has probably created enough moisture to allow weeds to grow, so make sure to inspect for – and get rid of – any weeds you can spot.
If you really want to get the best out of your garden, you can take this time to scarify your lawn. Scarifiers may not be a part of every gardener’s arsenal, but they’re an amazing tool for removing dead moss, leaves and grass clippings.
The cold weather is obviously not ideal for your lawn, so a bit of compost will help keep it in tip-top shape. You can even shred any leftover prunings from January to add to your compost mix.
March is finally here! It’s getting a little bit warmer, a little bit brighter and lot more like Spring.
At the start of the month, you may finally have a chance to mow your lawn. Depending on the size of your garden, you’ll need either a walk-behind mower or a ride-on mower. Make sure your first cut of the season is at the highest setting your mower can handle. It’s tempting to try and get all the grass in one go, like taking a set of clippers to a messy haircut, but there’s a risk of damage to both your lawn and your mower if you try to take on too much at once. Trim just the top of the grass and set it a little lower every couple of days until you’ve got your lawn looking just right.
The same technique applies to tidying the edges of your lawn with a grass trimmer. Don’t overwork yourself or your machine, just trim the grass slightly and work your way down to the desired length over time.
The weather should be warm enough by now to bring back any plants that you brought indoors for the winter back in January.
It’s also a great time to start sowing some seeds. Get that vegetable patch planted for a delicious harvest, or just add a bit of colour to your garden with some flowers. For example, March is a great time to get started on growing cabbage, potatoes, broad beans and leek.
It’s undeniably Spring. Flowers are blooming under the wet April showers and now the hard work begins.
The lawn is cut and you’ve been tidying up twigs and leaves for a while now, but something still isn’t quite right. Those hedges are looking a bit unkempt! Time to get to work with a hedge trimmer to even them out a bit. It takes a steady hand and a good eye to get right, but it’s worth it.
You can continue your work from March and keep sowing more plants and vegetables, such as carrots, tomatoes or sweet corn.
If you’ve kept up with our advice for April, then you might find May to be more of the same. Keep mowing your lawn, trimming your hedges and generally keeping things looking prim and proper.
It’s the summertime and the weather is hot – or at least we hope it is!
Unfortunately, pests love being outdoors in the summer almost as much as we do and their favourite snack is a tasty flowering plant. Keep a watchful eye out for any aphids out to make a meal of your garden, especially underneath any leaves where they may be harder to spot. It’s also important to keep your garden free of any dead veggies as these attract a lot of pests.
As with May, you’ll want to keep up with your general lawn and shrubbery trimming, as well as regular weeding. Maintenance is key. If you’re lucky, you’ll have had plenty of sunshine, so don’t forget to water your garden if you haven’t had much rainfall.
If you’ve been growing rhubarb, now’s your chance to get harvesting. You’ve put a lot of work into your garden, why not reward yourself with a delicious rhubarb crumble?
The sun is shining and you’re reaping the benefits of all your hard work by having a barbecue and enjoying the view of your beautiful garden, or maybe just having a snooze in a hammock!
You may find that a few of your plants (such as bedding plants, roses or geraniums) are fading or dead, so make sure to snip off the heads of these flowers to keep your garden looking good and to help with blooming.
Your routine from May and June needs to be repeated here – don’t stop mowing, weeding and trimming. If you’ve been growing cabbages, now may be a good time to harvest them.
If you’ve been growing vegetables, carrots and lettuces should be in a good spot for harvesting.
We hate to say it, but that’s the end of summer. At least a lovely autumn harvest of tomatoes, onions, peas and much, much more might brighten the mood!
The growth hasn’t stopped yet, so keep an eye on your hedges to see if any of them still need a trimming.
All the leftover vegetation and foliage from this bounty should make for a great addition to a compost heap. Although make sure that if it looks diseased or rotten, that it is disposed of elsewhere.
It’s October, the Halloween decorations are filling up the shops and, let’s face it, so are the Christmas ones. But there’s no time to worry about that, we’ve got a garden to tend!
You should have finished most of your harvesting by now, so break up the empty patches of soil by giving them a good digging over. Also, make sure you keep turning your compost over once every week or two to aerate it and help with decomposition.
The leaves are likely falling off the trees too, so keep your lawn looking tidy by removing them with a leaf blower, many of which include a handy vacuum function!
This late in the year, very few people are thinking about their garden. The grass isn’t growing and there isn’t much to do outside of getting rid of leaves.
Here’s a handy tip to make your life easier. Many people don’t think of this, but you can use a lawn mower to lift and dispose of leaves from your garden! The leaves will be lifted, chopped up and thrown into the grass bag for easy disposal or composting. This is easiest when the leaves are dry and crisp.
But here’s another secret. If you have a mulching mower, you can lift even wet leaves and chop them into very fine clippings – much like grass mulching – that are then put back into the lawn and act as a fertiliser. The grass is high in nitrogen and the leaves are rich in carbon, so mulching them together makes a great fast acting compost.
As the old song goes, “the weather outside is frightful” – and we absolutely agree!
Whether you’d love a white Christmas or not, your garden unfortunately hates it. Make sure any soil you plan on using for planting next year is covered up with some polythene sheets to help keep the snow and frost away.
It may be cold and wet, but you still need to brave the elements to regularly tidy the garden of fallen leaves, twigs, etc. Luckily, you’ll hardly need to mow your lawn at all throughout December – only once, maybe twice. In fact, this might be a good time to contact your local Gardencare Network Dealer to look into having it booked in for servicing for the next season.