Use water butts
as much as possible and water
your containers and baskets well in hot weather. Start to feed them with a
balanced liquid fertiliser every 2 to 4 weeks.
Make small 'wells' around individual plants so
that the water can soak the soil to about 25cm (10in). Merely wetting
the surface wastes water, encourages weeds and can lead to surface rooting
making plants more vulnerable.
Keep removing blanket weed from your pond to
allow the plants and fish room to breathe.
Looking after the lawn in June
If there hasn’t been much rain, raise your mower blades to reduce stress on the grass.
Water your lawn during hot weather, particularly newly seeded or turfed lawns. Keep new lawns well-watered.
Warm weather encourages rapid weed growth - apply specific lawn weed killer to tackle them.
Feed your lawn with a special lawn fertiliser
to encourage healthy green growth
Recut lawn edges, or install lawn edging
to make future maintenance easier.
Here are some other jobs to be getting on with this month, unfortunately some of it is hard work:
Check compost bins to see if you have any compost that’s ready to use.
Improve the drainage of heavy soils by incorporating plenty of organic matter.
Top up raised beds with compost and good quality topsoil.
Top dress containers with fresh compost. If your containers are already full, replace the top 5 cm of old compost with fresh stuff.
Keep on top of weeding now that the weather is warming up.
January is the beginning of the gardening year – a time for fresh starts, renewed energy, and grand plans for the twelve months ahead.
Put your new-year enthusiasm to good use by cleaning pots, tools, water butts and greenhouses in preparation for spring. It’s not the most glamorous of tasks, but it will set you up for a great growing season.
Start planning what you want to do with your garden in the months to come. Now is the time to order seeds and plants from the comfort of your armchair (see below)
August time in the garden
Here are some other jobs to keep on top of during August:
- • Give hedges a final trim before they stop growing.
- • Water plants thoroughly when needed instead of every day. Thorough watering supports plants for up to 14 days, while merely wetting the surface wastes water, encourages weeds and can lead to surface rooting making the plants more vulnerable.
- • Use water butts as much as you can to water your plants.
- • Recycle your water - collect washing up water in a bucket outside for watering beds and lawns.
Here’s what to be getting on with in the flower garden this month:
- • Lift and divide perennial plants now, to improve vigour and create new plants for your garden.
- • Divide hostas before they come into leaf.
- • Pinch out the tips of fuchsia shoots and sweet pea plants, to encourage bushy plants this summer.
- • Divide primroses once they have finished flowering.
- • Move evergreen shrubs and trees now, provided the soil isn't frozen or waterlogged.
Start with these four garden tasks this month:
- Order summer bedding and hanging basket plants online now!
- Give your greenhouse a thorough scrub (if you haven’t already) with hot soapy water. This will get rid of pests and diseases and let in more light.
- Prepare beds for the growing season. Dig in a 5cm (or more) layer of compost or well-rotted manure. You can also work in a general-purpose fertiliser, such as pelleted chicken manure, or fish, blood and bone.
- Check your container plants aren’t drying out - the warmer weather will quickly affect soil moisture levels.
Here’s how to look after your lawn this March:
- • Recut any lawn edges if necessary.
- • Install lawn edging to make future maintenance easier.
- • Mow your lawn if it needs it. Choose a dry day and set your blades higher than usual.
- • Lay new turf if the ground isn’t frozen or waterlogged.
- • Prepare soil for growing new lawn from seed. Doing this now allows it time to settle before sowing.
Here are some of the other jobs to do around the garden this February:
- • Trim deciduous hedges before the birds start nesting.
- • Cut back vines such as ivy, Virginia creeper and Boston ivy. Doing this now helps keep windows, gutters and roof tiles clear.
- • Shred or chop any woody prunings before you add them to compost bins, as this will help speed up decomposition.
- • Wash empty pots by scrubbing them with hot water and a mild detergent. Rinse them well afterwards.
Use February to get yourself properly prepared for springtime. The following jobs will set you up for your best growing season yet:
- Prepare your seed beds. As long as the ground isn’t frozen, you can cultivate beds and start to warm up the soil, with fleece, polythene or cloches, in preparation for sowing in the coming months.
- Organise this year’s seeds by sowing date. Get hold of a box with dividers, and file your seed packets by the month they need to be sown in. You’ll be so glad of this effort in the weeks to come.