Monthly Jobs/Tips

 

April

What can we sow in April (Beware of Frosts)

  • Sow seed indoors/Greenhouse of marrows, courgettes, pumpkins and squash, sweet peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, aubergines, celery, celeriac, salads and globe artichokes. 
  • Courgettes, marrows, squashes, cucumbers and pumpkins can all be sown in individual 5cm pots, under cover.
  • In prepared beds, Early Beetroot. carrots (for carrots, companion plant onions, leeks or chives or cover with fine mesh to deter carrot fly) 
  • Celeriac needs a long growing season for an autumn/winter harvest, so sow now, under cover then transfer the seedlings to individual pots when they are large enough to handle.
  • Leeks can be sown in seed trays under cover in April, for harvesting from autumn
  • Lettuce is best sown under cover in April.
  • Peas can sown direct outside, but they are a favourite snack for mice – if these are a problem, sow them indoors and plant the plants outside when they are 15cm tall
  • Late April sow Radish, Swiss chard, spinach , turnips

What can we do in April

  • Keep weeds under control
  • Protect fruit blossom from late frosts
  • Sow hardy annuals and wild flower seeds outdoors
  • Feed your hungry shrubs and roses
  • Sow new lawns and repair bare patches
  • Prune your fig trees
  • Tie in climbing roses
  • Construct netting and other support structures now over or around plants which will bear fruit needing protecting from birds. Much easier to do it now before the plant growth spurt and the formation of the fruit. (in The Hut we have a variety of netting and supports)
  • As the sun gets warmer Ants are now becoming a nuisance in some homes. In The Hut we stock 4 Ant Killers.
  • It will soon be warm enough to treat the lawn to some Spring and Summer fertiliser and selective weedkillers if required. 

March

What can we sow in March

  • Some vegetables can be sown outside
  • Plant onion sets, shallots and early potatoes
  • Protect new shoots from slugs and pigeons.
  • Continue sowings of Brassicas, Brussel Sprouts, Summer Cabbage, Cauliflower. 
  • Seedlings will need your daily attention.
  • Check your seed packets, many seed can now be started in trays or pots. (away from frost)
  • Good month for planting roses.

What can we do in March

  • Perennials that are overgrown can be lifted and divided.
  • Dress containers with fresh compost
  • Continue removing weeds from around base of young trees and shrubs
  • Mulch and feed shrubs
  • Continue to prepare seed beds
  • Mow lawn if warm and grass is dry, set mower high. 

Moss in your lawn?

To prevent moss returning, encourage vigorous grass growth by feeding and regular lawn maintenance, paying particular attention to the following:

  • When seeding or laying a lawn in a shaded area, use a grass seed mix or turf specified for shady areas.  Reducing shade will also help
  • For compacted areas use a garden fork to spike the lawn, or a mechanical slitter on large lawns. This will aerate the turf
  • On heavy soils use a manual or mechanical  hollow-tiner in autumn to take out small plugs of soil every three or four years, and then brush in a mixture of three parts sandy loam, six parts sharp sand and one part multi-purpose compost
  • Avoid mowing grass too short
  • On very acid soils an application of garden lime at not more than 50g per sq m (1½oz per sq yd), will slightly reduce acidity and discourage moss

February

What can we sow in February

  • Some vegetables can be sown outside under cover.
  • Sow in warm conditions, for greenhouse, Tomato, Cucumber and sweet Pepper seed.
  • Sow leeks under cover
  • Early sowings of Brassicas, Brussel Sprouts, Summer Cabbage, Cauliflower.  
  • Broad beans can be sown outside if ground is not frozen or waterlogged 
  • Chit potato tubers

What can we do in February

  • Net over winter vegetables to keep the birds off.                                  
  • Remove weeds from around base of young trees and shrubs.                    
  • Mulch and feed shrubs                                                                                       
  • Prune hardier shrubs towards end of month                                             
  • Continue to prepare seed beds                                                                            
  • First cut of lawn if warm and grass is dry, set mower high. 

January 

What can we sow in January 

  • Begonia, lobelia, Pelargonium, Salvia seeds in heated greenhouse or propagator.
  • Sweet peas sown in autumn can be potted on or sown now.

What can we do in January

  • Clean greenhouse, cold frames, pots ready for the spring.                          
  • Prune pear and Apple trees                                                                                   
  • Start to force your rhubarb                                                                                     
  • Put out food and water for the birds                                                                  
  • Plan your vegetable crop rotation

December

What can we sow or plant in December

  • Plant shallots and garlic in mild areas with well-drained soil.

What can we do in December

  • Prune autumn raspberries.                                                                                  
  • Thin out congested spurs on trained fruit trees.                                              
  • Prune apples, pears, quinces and medlars.                                                      
  • Prune red and white currants and gooseberries.                                           
  • Carry on removing yellowing leaves on Brussel Sprouts.
  • Removing plant debris from your vegetable patch or allotment, to reduce the spread and the overwintering of disease and pests.
  • Start to plan a rotation system for vegetable plots to ensure the same crops are not grown in the same beds year after year to help prevent disease build-up.
  • December and January is a good time to thoroughly clean, repair and service all garden and allotment tools.

November

What can we sow or plant in November

  • You can still sow overwintering broad beans, varieties of peas (under cover) such as ‘Douce Provence’ or ‘Meteor’, but outside only in mild areas
  • Buy and plant new fruit trees and bushes. Don’t plant if the ground is frosted or too wet.

What can we do in November

  • Thin out congested spurs on trained fruit trees.
  • Prune apples, pears, quinces and medlars.
  • Prune red and white currants and gooseberries.
  • Parsnips can be left in the ground until needed. They taste better when frosted.
  • Remove yellowing leaves on Brussel Sprouts.
  • Remove plant debris from your vegetable patch or allotment, to reduce the spread and the overwintering of disease and pests.
  • Clean and store bamboo canes in the shed or other dry place to ensure they’re still in good condition for next year.

October

What can we sow or plant in October

  • Sow overwintering broad beans, varieties of peas (under cover) such as ‘Douce Provence’ or ‘Meteor’, but outside only in mild areas.
  • Plant out spring cabbages, autumn onion sets and garlic cloves.
  • Plant and pot grown fruit, take cuttings of gooseberries and currents.
  • Green manures can still be sown until the middle of the month.

What can we do in October

  • Cut back the dying tops of Jerusalem artichokes to ground level.
  • Cut back asparagus foliage and give the plants some mulch afterwards.
  • Remove yellowing leaves on Brussel Sprouts.
  • Remove plant debris from your vegetable patch or allotment, to reduce the spread and the overwintering of disease and pests.
  • Now is a good time to mulch under fruit trees and bushes.
  • When clearing old pea and bean plants, just cut off the tops for compost, leave the roots to be later dug into the soil. They return valuable nitrogen to the earth, acting as a natural fertiliser.

September

What can we sow in September?

  • To mature next spring? Winter Lettuce, Spinach, Turnip Overwintering onion sets, and spring cabbages should be ready to plant out.
  • Sow green manures, when dug in they will conserve nutrients and improve soil texture.

What can we do in September?

  • Harvest apples and pears, indication that they are ready are falling fruit and also assess taste and texture.
  • When asparagus foliage turns brown, cut it down and give the plant a good Mulch.
  • Regular watering during dry spells will help prevent splitting of root vegetables, flower abortion in runner beans and bottom end rot in tomatoes.
  • Pumpkins and winter squash will still need regular watering to prevent their growth from being checked.
  • Finish planting out rooted strawberry runners.