Swanley Village in
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Photography by Dennis Molyneux 01322 669523
Remember that if the weather is very dry do not waste water on your lawn as it will survive drought better than any other part of the garden.
Many thanks to all who helped us this year - and we hope that we can be as successful in 2011.
We now show
a month by month guide of general gardening jobs
(perhaps for those inexperienced gardeners!) to help them plan their year in their gardens. Back to Home Page
This is the month to get
all winter pruning done as it is a good job for cold, frosty weather.
· Sort out tools and repair any than need fixing.
· Prune fruit trees
· Plant climers if the conditions in your garden soil allow
· Start planning your vegetable garden for the coming season
Lawns – a first cut can
often be made this month but only trim the very tops of the grass and always
collect it up
(for the compost heap)
· Plant trees
· Prune roses, buddleia, clematis and autumn flowing shrubs.
· Sow seeds under cover
Mulch the bare ground
with a thick layer of organic material such as homemade garden or mushroom
Weed first, taking care to remove all perennial weeds.
· Weed now to get the worst of your weeds cleared, it is then much easier to stay on top of them.
· Turn the compost heap using all made compost as mulch, especially in the vegetable garden.
· Deadhead daffodils
· Plant summer flowing bulbs – lilies, dahlias, gladioli, alliums
· Plants any herbaceous perennials. Divide and replant any than have become too big or that you wish to spread.
· Plant new deciduous shrubs.
· Plant all climers and prune all late-flowering (after end of June) clematis down to the lowest healthy buds, removing last year’s growth.
· Spring clean lawns by scratching them with a wire rake. Aerate with a fork – stick in deep.
Cut grass, mixing
clippings with straw for compost.
· Start a regular sowing regime of vegetables to ensure constant supply.
· Plant evergreens.
· Keep sowing hardy annuals and prick out any that have been sown into seed trays last month.
Plant out sweet peas into containers or open ground with support
· Sow hardy vegetables.
· April is a good month to make a lawn and time spent preparing the ground is never wasted.
Continue cutting established grass in dry weather, but no more than once a week.
The weeds will grow
faster this month than at any other time of the year. Weed a little every day
if you have the time.
· With the warmer weather, slugs and snails become more active. Go out with a torch and collect them up.
· It is not too late to start a garden from scratch – seize the moment!
· Plant out tender bulbs such as gladioli and dahlias.
· Plant out tender annuals such as sunflowers, nasturtiums and zinnias.
· Sow biennials such as wallflowers, foxgloves, forget-me-nots, or winter flowering pansies.
· Prepare the soil so that there are no clumps or stones
· Prune early flowering shrubs (such as forsythia) immediately after flowering.
· Plant out tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers into a greenhouse from the middle of the month.
· Keep lawns mown once a week, but leave as much grass to grow long as you can.
This will save time and money , will look lovely and will encourage beneficial insects and mammals to enjoy the garden.
Just cut a simple path through it.
Whenever the ground is
dry and no rain is forecast for a day, get out and hoe, even if it is only for a
This is the most effective and easiest when the weeds are tiny.
· Deadhead as much as you can and sow and plant our tender annuals to maintain flowing through to autumn.
· Clear away spring annuals and biennials to make room for tender annuals.
· Trim box hedges and topiary.
· Deadheading in general is essential if you want to keep flowering going as long as possible.
· Water young or newly planted trees once a week.
· Plant out tender annual climers.
· Keep tying up sweet peas
· Plant out French beans, sweetcorn, leeks.
· Harvest strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries, redcurrants, peas, broad beans, herbs and salad crop.
· Sow carrots, lettuce and chicory
· Remember that if the weather is very dry do not waste water on your lawn as it will survive drought
better than any other part of the garden.
It is not too late to be
planting annuals nor to start a vegetable garden.
· Water plants in containers
· Shade the greenhouse
· Weed, especially with a hoe, early in the morning, so that the cut weeds will die in the sun.
· Lilies, gladioli and chocolate cosmos are coming into flower and should be staked as necessary
· Prune wisteria, climing roses and jasmine.
· Sweet peas are at their very best and should be picked every ten days to maintain a supply of
good flowers for as long as possible
· Peas and beans should be harvested regularly, and new potatoes should also be harvested now.
· Remove side shoots from tomato plants regularly
· Lift and dry garlic as soon as the foliage yellows
· Do not mow lawns more than once a week, leaving grass slightly longer if the weather is hot and dry.
Do not waste any water.
Weeds tend to have a new
lease of life in August so keep on top of them. At least stop perennial weeds
from setting seed
· Keep deadheading
· Pick fruit and collect vegetables as they become ready.
· Cut hedges
· Buy spring flowering bulbs and begin planting them from the middle of August.
· Keep deadheading dahlias and stake where necessary
· As annuals finish flowering lift and add to the compost heap.
· The buddleia is at its best in August and will attract butterflies.
· Trim hedges
· Harvest sweetcorn. Lift onions and dry on a rack – the drier they are the better they will store.
· Sow winter salad crops such as lettuce, rocket, parsley, and spinach.
Sow grass seed or lay
turf. Have a tidy up of all scruffy and straggly areas, weed and generally get
the garden into shape.
· Turn the compost heaps ready to rot down over the winter and to make space for the end of summer tidy-up.
· Plant daffodilese, crocus and scillas and other early spring bulbs – but not tulips.
· Plant out biennials for next year, such as forget-me-nots, wallflowers, sweet Williams and foxgloves.
· Begin moving perennials
· Deadheading is essential for the late-flowering perennials
· The tender plants will continue as long as the weather is warm.
· Evergreen trees and shrubs can be planted or moved
· Sow more winter salad crops to be grown under cover
· Lift maincrop potatoes and store in a cool, dark place
· This is the best month to make a new lawn.
Prepare existing lawns for winter by raking with a wire rake and aerating the soil with a fork.
Start digging and
preparing borders and beds – which will provide huge amounts of material for the
for next year. The more ground that is dug and manured the longer the soil will have to break down over the winter.
· Continue planting spring bulbs but wait until November for tulips.
· Plant deciduous trees.
· Sow garlic and broad beans.
· Resist the temptation to cut the lawn too short. Continue raking moss and aerating then brush on a dressing of compost
and sharp sand into the holes made by the aeration.
Plant deciduous trees,
hedges and shrubs.
· Mark out and dig new borders.
· Plant tulips – as deep as possible up to 15cm.
· Plant grasses and herbaceous perennials now.
· Mow lawns weekly but only if the ground is dry enough.
· Sweep up all deciduous leaves and collect them. If they are moist they will rot down by next spring.
to make excellent mulch for woodland plants.
· Scrub paths and patios with diluted bleach to prevent slippery algae.
· Protect tender plants such as tree ferns or palms by covering them with straw or bracken, and wrapping in Hessian or fleece.
· Protect valuable pots and statues from frost.
Finish planting tulips
· Finish clearing borders (if not already done)
· Much of December’s work is consolidating and trying to complete the things you began last month and could not finish
through bad weather or lack of time.
· Keep sweeping leaves and storing them. They are the best possible conditioner for the soil.
Burn all diseased leaves and woody material. If at all possible, try to dig all new ground by Christmas.
This gives the weather a chance to break it up before you prepare it for cultivation in the Spring.
· Make paths and patios as time allows.
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