Key Garden Jobs Month by Month
While our gardens may be a joy and a pleasure, they do require a bit of maintenance to keep them looking good and growing well. But what needs doing depends on the weather and the season. In addition, doing the right job at the right time of year not only keeps your garden looking its best, but can also save you unnecessary work down the line. Bark mulch suppliers Madingley Mulch, Cambridge, have compiled a month by month guide to help you stay on top of key jobs in the garden throughout the year.
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Frost and heavy winds can cause great damage to your garden, so it is worthwhile spending January in the garden ensuring stakes, ties, fleeces and all other varieties of supports are in place to protect your plants from as much damage as possible. If you have any potted plants think about defending them from the wind by placing them in a sheltered area or against a higher object such as fencing or benches.
If you grow apple and pear trees, it is a good idea to start pruning these to help them grow sturdier in preparation for their prime months. Rhubarb can also be forced this month to give you an earlier harvest which will not only taste sweeter, but also won’t need to be peeled.
February brings with it warmer temperatures and signs of spring, with new bulbs beginning to show and wildlife appearing more frequently. To help your garden flourish, hedges and shrubs can be pruned for a neat and tidy appearance, which will also help them as it gets warmer.
Birds become much more active as the months get warmer, and we would suggest covering vegetables and fruit with netting or shelters to stop the birds from feasting on your leftover winter produce, as well as your newly sown seeds.
Dead and long winter grasses can be trimmed to keep the garden looking fresh and neat, and if the soil isn’t frozen or waterlogged you could consider planting raspberry canes and blackberries. Fruit bushes can also be sown in February, including redcurrants, blackcurrants and gooseberries.
With March comes spring, and plants will begin to grow much quicker this month under the influence of the warm spring light, so it is a good idea to start preparing your seed beds, sowing seeds and trimming winter plants to give yourself more space to work with.
If you are feeling adventurous and fancy trying something new, kohl rabi, a hardy annual vegetable, is both easy and quick to grow, maturing just 8 weeks after sowing. The kohl rabi is purple with white flesh, which is succulent and can be eaten raw or cooked.
This is also a great time to apply manure and mulch around key plants or on entire beds or borders. Mulching reduces evaporation from the soil surface, which cuts water use greatly, so it’s a good idea to have it in place ready for the hot summer months. It will also help to suppress any weeds and keep your weeding workload down during the summer. Mulch comes in a many varieties and materials, so it may be confusing which to use – Madingley Mulch wood chip and bark mulch suppliers just outside Cambridge will be happy to advise on the best type of mulch for your particular conditions.
April showers are common, along with warm sunny days, which is great news for your lawn which can start to recover from the harsh winter weather. Now is a good time to hoe or dig out any weeds that are starting to take hold, before they get too big.
Herbs can be sown during April, including chives, coriander, dill, basil and parsley which can either be sown into the ground or into small containers inside your home. For a burst of colour try sowing Swiss chard, which has bright and colourful stems which even look pretty in flower beds.
Your lawn will begin to grow swiftly as we go into May, which means lawn cutting season begins in earnest. Keen gardeners may decide to mow the lawn weekly to keep it in top condition, and small weeds should be hoed off at the same time where possible.
You may decide to vent your greenhouse on warm days, to help the plants inside get some well needed fresh air. Outside of the greenhouse, sunflowers and poppies can be sown for an injection of colour to the garden. Poppies, cornflowers and scabious can also attract bees and butterflies to your garden, which will return year after year for breeding.
The sun starts to shine for longer in June, with the longest day of the year on the 21st. This additional sunlight unfortunately will encourage weeds which will grow up from cracks in the pavement, flower beds and tiles. When the weather is hot and dry, try hoeing these out to keep your garden well maintained.
Salad leaves can be grown now for an almost instant crop just 3 or 4 weeks later, providing a fresh accompaniment for sandwiches and main meals. If you have a greenhouse, you may want to consider growing cucumbers which taste even better when home grown.
July, the hottest month of the year, is the perfect time to sit, relax and enjoy your garden. Plants can be watered regularly to keep them looking pristine, and dead heads can quickly and easily be removed by hand. Conservatory plants can now be moved outside if you are looking to make more space inside, as the weather will now be warm enough to help them survive.
At this time of year you might also want to take advantage of the good weather and consider installing a new patio. If you are a dab hand at DIY, it might be a good idea to save money and carry out this work yourself. We sell a wide range of attractive paving slabs. Click here to view.
The weather in August tends to be hot and humid, with little rainfall. Make sure plants are well watered this month to avoid them drying out. And if you didn’t already apply a layer of wood or bark mulch in the spring, it’s not too late to apply some now, to help keep roots moist and reduce the amount of watering you need to do.
Flowering shrubs can be cut back and pruned throughout August, and seeds can be collected from your favourite plants to reuse next summer.
The days now become shorter, and the weather begins to get colder. September is one of the best months for gardeners, as your fruits and vegetables will now be ripe and ready to harvest. Autumn raspberries can now be picked and eaten, as well as potatoes, sweetcorn and runner beans. If you are lucky enough to have too much produce to use right now, think about freezing, storing or preserving as appropriate.
Pumpkins can be helped to ripen in time for Halloween by removing any leaves that cover the pumpkin so that it gets more light throughout the day. Pumpkins and squash should also be raised off the wet soil on a piece of slate or wood to prevent them from rotting.
Autumn begins now, and with it comes the endless job of raking leaves off your manicured lawn. Old and damaged lawns can be helped this month with strong fertilisers, and new grass areas can be created by putting turf down. We sell excellent quality turf to create the ideal lawn. Click here to buy.
October should be spent cutting old and dead plants back, and delicate plants should be moved into the greenhouse for protection. Apples, pears, nuts and grapes can be harvested throughout October for a delicious and healthy snack.
Wind and rain feature heavily throughout November, and plants will now need to be covered for protection against frost and heavy rain. Plants can be moved into sheltered spots or the greenhouse if you have one, or alternatively can be covered with pots during the worst of the winter weather.
Daffodil bulbs can be planted now for a beautiful and colourful start to the following year, as well as tulip bulbs and bare-root roses which can be planted between now and March. Sprigs of holly with berries can be cut off to be turned into Christmas garlands next month.
November is a good time of year to fix broken fence panels or install new fencing. Consider the size and design of fencing that will suit your outdoor environment. Do you want to install fencing for privacy, to mark boundaries, or both? We sell all you need to construct fencing, including professional lap panels, picket fencing, heavy duty trellis, fence posts and fence post mix.
Of course, sub zero temperatures are a key worry this month, but if you still have a good layer of mulch on beds and borders from earlier in the year, it will be helping to protect dormant roots and bulbs from frost. In addition, check winter protection structures are still in place and make sure that your greenhouse heaters are fully turned on.
December is a laid back month for gardeners with very little to do, so sit back, drink mulled wine and enjoy the warmth of your house. Now is a great time to concentrate on your interior and, if you have a home fire, to stock up on seasoned logs to create a cosy interior over the winter period. Christmas decorations are always a good way to brighten your home even on the darkest of evenings, and we have some stunning real Christmas trees in all sizes to get you into the festive spirit.
Bark Mulch Suppliers Cambridge – Click here to view our range of mulch products.
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