Gardening Jobs

MONTH BY MONTH GARDENING JOBS

wisteria 2

AUGUST

  • Summer prune wisteria if not done already
  • Pick autumn raspberries.
  • Dead head roses
  • Keep your baskets and tubs fed and watered

SEPTEMBER

  • Weed kill paths and open beds
  • Divide perennials
  • Start cutting down perennials that have died back
  • Hedges- tidy and trim
  • Collect seed from your perennials
  • Lawn scarification
  • Start planting Spring bulbs
  • Pick Autumn raspberries

OCTOBER

  • Start putting your garden to bed –
  • Cut down your perennials
  • Rake up leaves on a regular basis
  • Divide perennials that have become too big
  • Prune climbing roses
  • Try to get at least one more mow in
  • Bulb planting
  • Pick apples and pears

NOVEMBER

  • This is the month for planting trees/shrubs and roses
  • Prune roses Bush roses by 1/2 – 1/3 of current year’s growth to prevent wind rock
  • Insulate tender plants to protect from frost
  • Weed and edge up beds and borders

DECEMBER

  • Complete putting your garden to bed –
  • Get your garden leaf free, weed free and edge up
  • On a DRY frost free day mow your lawn
  • Plant new trees
  • Prune apples and pears

JANUARY

  • Clean your greenhouse in and out in readiness of the new season ahead
  • Prune apples and pears if not already done
  • Prune wisteria, last year’s growth back to 2/3 buds
  • Dig your vegetable plots over.

FEBRUARY

  • Prune winter flowering shrubs that have finished flowering
  • Dig over perennial borders and beds
  • Finish pruning wisteria if not yet done
  • Finish digging vegetable plot over
  • Plant early potatoes

MARCH

Whoopee spring is coming

  • On a frost free DRY day mow your lawn
  • Prune coloured stem Dogwoods hard back
  • Start hand weeding where necessary
  • Plant 2nd early and main crop potatoes

APRIL

  • Do a weed kill spray on paths and open bed areas
  • Start seed sowing in earnest, annuals and hardy plants
  • Feed roses, shrubs, hedges and fruit trees
  • Mow weekly
  • Protect fruit blossom from frosts
  • Plant out cabbage, lettuce, Brussels sprouts, onion, leeks
  • Sow carrots, parsnips

MAY

  • Shade your greenhouse
  • Keep an eye out for late frosts
  • Plant out your summer bedding at the end of May
  • Keep weeds under control, hand weed when necessary
  • Mow weekly
  • Earth up potatoes
  • Plant tomatoes in frost free greenhouse

JUNE

  • Weed regularly
  • Complete your summer bedding plant out
  • Stake perennials in need
  • Shade greenhouse if not already done
  • Dead head roses regularly
  • Keep on top of watering your baskets and tubs

JULY

  • Dead head roses regularly
  • Keep baskets and tubs watered and feed with tomorite
  • Put a summer feed or weed and feed on your lawns
  • Summer prune wisteria – all new shoots prune back to 5-7 buds

Tips for tree and shrub planting – bare root

Being on Leigh clay means taking some extra care when planting large shrubs or trees,

  1. Dig a hole about a spade’s depth and around allow about 8’’ (20cm) all the way around the root ball, so if the root ball is 20’’ across, your hole needs to be around 36’’across in width, a circular hole is fine. Keep the soil you have removed in a wheelbarrow or on a large plastic sheet, fork the bottom of the hole over, mix a good handful of Bone meal into the bottom of the hole, fork well in, mix another handful into your soil removed, do your best to break this soil up into crumb ( easier said than done on clay )
  2. Look for the slightly darker ‘watermark’ on the tree’s trunk that indicates where the soil level was when it was first grown. Place the bare-rooted tree in the centre of the hole and a cane across the hole so you can check that this line is level with the soil around your hole as trees shouldn’t be planted deeper or shallower than they were first grown. If necessary, add or remove soil to achieve this. Any trees that have been grafted onto a rootstock should have the join above ground.
  3. Now back fill the hole, be careful to add the soil working it into any voids around the tree roots, use gloved hands to do this and pack soil well in, then put your crumbed soil into the hole ( not to much at a time ) and say a quarter of the soil before packing, by hand to start with then by the heal of your boot, do this for each quarter fill, then when you get to the finish make sure virtually all the soil is back into the planting hole, if you have more than a couple of shovels full left you have not been thorough enough.

Pot grown trees and shrubs

Use the same methods as above with one exception, and that is you absolutely must use a hand fork or border fork to prize the roots on the root ball out of the spiral root system they would have become in the pot, if you don’t there is every possibility that the roots will never grow away from the ball, and just sit doing nothing until possible eventual death.

To mulch or not to mulch this is the question!

There is much advice in favour of adding mulch to the planting soil and even at the bottom of the hole, however it is my opinion that mulch will only sit wet all winter and become very water logged, leaving the tree to die before it even gets a chance to grow in its first season.

Why? it’s simple – a hole dug from clay acts like a bucket and will hold water for long period of time, stagnating and creating very undesirable conditions for your young tree, and for this reason I never use any mulch when I plant and also why I PACK the soil back in, for the very same reason to avoid air pockets which would then become water pockets.

MD