Gardening through the seasons

Every month there’s lots of jobs to do in the garden. Use this table to choose a month, or click on a crop / product to see the relevant months that this will require attention.

  • Prune apples trees and bushes if no harsh frosts are forecast check for disease. If planting new apple trees now is a good time using bare-root plants.
  • Prune blackcurrant bushes if not already done, fruit forms on young wood so prune to remove older wood living young shoots. Inspect for swollen buds infected with mites, remove and destroy. New blackcurrents should be planted now using bare-root plants, plant deep to encourage new shoots.
  • Harvest purple sprouting broccoli spears. Continue to remove any diseased leaves.
  • Harvest Brussels sprouts starting from the lowest sprouts, they should be tightly closed and firm and about the size of a walnut. Snap them off with a sharp downward tug. Like all brassicas the flavour improves if the sprouts have had some frost.
  • Winter cabbages will be ready to harvest now.
  • You can start harvesting celeriac now or leave in the ground until required. Cover with a thick layer of straw or bracken before the ground freezes.
  • Continue to harvest chard.
  • Plant new cherry trees.
  • Prepare soil for planting dill.
  • Prepare soil for planting Florence fennel. Dig over in entire area, remove weeds and incorporate lots of well-rotted manure or compost.
  • Prune grapes as required. Place pottad vines outdoors so they get sufficient cold. Plant new grape plants now.
  • Continue to harvest kale. Place netting over kale is pigeons are eating it.
  • Leave leeks in the ground until needed. This is the best way to store them. Harvest large ones first, leaving more space between smaller ones to grow bigger.
  • Prepare soil for lettuce and salads. Lightly work in a bucket full of compost or manure every square metre, sprinkle 70g of Growmore two weeks before sowing our planting.
  • Sow mizuna for ‘cut and come again’ undercover in greenhouse or in pots, thin to 5cm apart. Continue to harvest ‘cut and come again’ crops.
  • Prune pear trees while they are dormant. Check for any signs of disease like canker and prune out. Apply a winter wash to control overwintering pests. Plant new pear trees now using bare-root plants.
  • Chit potatoes now by standing them ‘rose end’ up, the end with the most small dents in the skin. Use egg boxes or something similar, in a light frost-free place. An unheated room is ideal.
  • Prune autumn raspberries. Check for any signs of disease and prune out. Plant new raspberries now using bare-root plants. When planted cut back to 30cm.
  • Remove diseased or very old branches from redcurrant bushes.
  • Prepare soil for broad beans now for spring planting.
  • Sow early carrots now 13mm deep in rows 15cm apart. So thinly or thin out once the seeds start coming up to between 5 and 7.5cm apart. Keep carrots covered with fleece or insect proof mesh from the time you sow to protect from carrot fly.
  • Harvest winter cauliflowers now. Sow summer cauliflowers in a cold frame or greenhouse.
  • Prepare ground for new chard crops. And well-rotted organic matter and fertiliser.
  • Mulch cherry trees with well-rotted organic matter in late February. Feed with general fertiliser. Net buds against birds. Formative pruning in spring as the buds begin to open.
  • Prepare soil for planting chervil now. Remove weeds and add plenty of well-rotted manure or compost.
  • Sow cucumbers in a heated greenhouse. Sow the seeds on their side, 13mm deep in small pots.
  • Mulch area around gooseberry with well-rotted organic matter. Cover bushes with fine netting to protect from birds.
  • Sow kohl rabi seeds in modules.
  • Sow early leeks in individual pots in South trays allowing 3 to 4 plants per cell.
  • Sow lettuce in seed trays indoors.
  • Harden off mizuna under glass and then plant out. Sow more ‘cut and come’ seeds undercover in greenhouse, thin to 5cm.
  • Sow peas in lengths of guttering to germinate indoors for later transplanting team when the weather warms. Keep well-watered underlying.
  • Sow radish seeds in the ground under cloches for fleece or in containers in a greenhouse.
  • Prepare soil for runner beans for sowing in spring by working in well-rotted manure, one bucket-full per square metre.
  • Prepare soil for spinach by adding well-rotted menu or compost.
  • Start sowing tomato seeds in doors at the end of February for tomatoes that will grow in the greenhouse. So seeds in pots and trays of compost. Place the Potter tray in a propagator are in a clear plastic bag and keep at 18°C.

Sow beetroot seeds under cloches or fleece at the start of the month or without protection later in the month. Sow in modules or pots indoors, depending on the weather.

Sow broad beans 5cm deep and 20cm apart. Dwarf variety is 15cm apart. Sow in double rows, 20cm apart. Make sure to place stakes along the rows ready to tie up the stems as they grow.

Plant broccoli under glass in modules or trays of transplanting later.

Plant Brussels sprouts from mid-March. Sow thinly 13mm deep in a seedbed in rows 15cm apart, use early and late varieties. Thin seedlings to 7.5cm apart.

Sow summer cabbage seeds in trays.

Plant early summer cauliflowers from early to mid-March in a coldframe or greenhouse.

Sow chard in models are trays and transplanted when margin off to handle.

Sow chervil in shallow 13mm trenches and cover. Rows should be 30cm apart. When large enough thin so seedlings are 15cm apart.

Sow chive seeds thinly across very small pots or into plugs. Cover with thin layer of vermiculite, water and place in heated propagator to germinate.

Transfer germinated cucumber plants to 25cm pots of compost.

The fig trees: any dead stems and weak branches need to be cut out before growth starts.

Sow Florence fennel in modules to avoid root damage, plant as soon as roots fill the container.

Prepare soil for French beans by working in some well-rotted manure, one bucket-full per square metre.

Sow kale indoors in modules for a summer crop. Once germinated grow in unheated greenhouse. They will be ready to trance playing plant to the final growing position in 6 to 8 weeks when the young plants have 4 to 5 to leave.

Thin kohl rabi seedlings when they are 2.5cm high, until they are 15cm apart. Transplant seedlings some in modules.

Transplant leek seedlings into individual pots. Plant out when they are the thickness of a pencil.

Sow lettuce seeds outdoors for early crop.

Thin mizuna to 5cm apart.

Sow parsley seeds outdoors in shallow 1cm deep trenches. Cover and water. When large enough to handle thin seedlings to 15cm apart with 15cm between rows.

Also, sow parsley seeds in greenhouse in pots. So thinly across 25cm pot filled with seed compost, cover with a 1cm layer of compost and water, leave in cool spot to germinate. Thin out the seedlings, leaving about 2cm between clients.

Transplant peas outdoors weather allowing.

Plant early potatoes.

Prepare the ground for pumpkins by digging in two buckets of rotted manure per square metre.

Sow radish seeds where they are to grow. So thinly, one seed every 5cm, space rows 15cm apart.

Fertilise summer raspberry with general fertiliser. Also use mulch at the base to keep in moisture and prevent weeds.

Continue to sow salad leaves for later summer and autumn crop. Plant out earlier seedlings, weather allowing.

Plant individual tomato seedlings into 9cm pots when they have 2 to 4 leaves. Keep the compost moist, but not soaking, provide bright light and avoid plant leaves touching each other.

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