The gardening calendar seems to be ever slipping backwards and forwards, so being rigid about what needs to be done when in the garden isn’t always that helpful; this list of jobs is only a broad guide for the main seasonal tasks.
You will find that most plants and situations are forgiving enough to allow some seasonal flexibility, but having said that, if you spend any time in the garden you will know that the arrival of Spring always catches us out; even the professional can’t always see it coming. So it’s good to get the Autumn and Winter jobs done when you have time, so that you can give quality time to the ‘nice’ jobs as you rediscover the garden in March and April.
WINTER jobs – December / January / February
• Clear away fallen leaves and garden litter to reduce disease risk and slug and snail populations
• Pruning and reshaping larger shrubs; prune shrubs immediately after they flower
• Lawns: keep off the lawn in the winter if you can, particularly when it’s wet or frosty
• Vegetable garden: dig over the vegetable plot in winter and make sure you include plenty of compost or manure
• Pressure wash patios and decking areas to remove algae build up, and re-stain decking once it has dried off properly.
• Planting: now is a good time to think about what new plants you might want to plant in the spring, so if anything needs lifting and moving to allow for this, now is the time
• Clean down all your garden tools and oil them; replace as necessary.
SPRING jobs – MARCH / APRIL / MAY
• Bulbs: as the flowers fade, remember to top dress them with Fish Blood and Bone at one good handful per m2
• Stake your herbaceous plants with birch or hazel twigs, or bamboo canes, in preparation for the surge of growth
• Lawn: feed with a Spring Weed and Feed to get the grass moving in March, and be ready to do a second application four to six weeks later
• Planting: now is a great time to get on with the planting of hardy shrubs and herbaceous plants
• Weeding: an essential spring job; time spent now tackling the spring burst of weeds will pay dividends later in the season.
SUMMER jobs – June / July / August
• Feeding: top dress all your shrubs and perennials with a compound fertiliser at least twice during the summer
• Liquid feed all your summer bedding plants and vegetables
• Watering: be cautious of under or over watering. In most summers all of your plants will benefit from some artificial irrigation. Water at end of day or early morning
• Flowering: make sure you de-head your shrubs, roses and herbaceous plants to encourage repeat flowering.
AUTUMN jobs – September / October / November
• Lawns: feed with a good Moss Killer and Feed in October/ November
• Slugs: autumn rains will encourage your slugs to reappear so use a one off application of Slug pellets will keep populations down
• If it’s dry and warm think about watering your shrubs and perennials to encourage an autumn blast of colour
• Clean out the greenhouse and sterilise with good horticultural winter wash
• Fences: check all the fence posts on your boundaries, replace now before the autumn equinox winds, or reinforce with concrete supports.