Gardening jobs for September

TREES, SHRUBS AND FLOWERS

  • Reseed bare lawn patches. Use horticultural fleece or netting to protect the seed from the birds.
  • This is the perfect tome to plant crocus, daffodil and iris to make a spring time display.
  • Move self seeded biennials such as foxgloves.
  • Prune jasmine.Summer flowering jasmine is pruned by cutting back to a strong new sideshoot below the flowered stems. Completely remove weak or congested stems to encourage new growth.
  • Plant perennials and shrubs while the soil is still warm and there may be les need to water.
  • Tidy hedges to keep them looking sharp over winter
  • Divide herbaceous perennials that have finished flowering. keep and replant only the most healthy and vigorous plants.
  • Control grubs in the lawn. If you have a problem with chafer grubs or leather jackets use a biological control.
  • Prolong summer displays.Keep containers and hanging baskets looking good by continuing to deadhead, feed and water.

FRUIT AND VEGETABLES

  • Crop sweet corn. They are ripe when the tendrils at the end turn brown and if you push your finger nail into a kernel they release milky sap. If the sap is still watery wait a week or two before picking them.
  • Gather autumn raspberries. Finish harvesting autumn raspberries, but leave the fruited canes in place for pruning next February.
  • Pick pumpkins and winter squash. Harvest squashes later in the month, once the skins have hardened but before the frosts.

GREENER GARDENING

  • Leave areas of long grass to act as shelter for wildlife as the weather gets colder.
  • Feed hedgehogs. Help them to build up energy reserves before they go into hibernation by leaving out meat based cat or dog food or special hedgehog food.
  • Net your pond. Lots of decaying leaves reduce the amount of oxygen in the water and builds up silt at the bottom. Catch and compost fallen leaves instead.
  • Clear nest boxes so birds can use them for roosting in winter. Line them with dry grass to make them warmer for small birds.

Gardening jobs for August

TREES, SHRUBS AND FLOWERS

  • Tidy up perennials. Cut back spent flowr stems and foliage.
  • Take cuttings for more plants. Use this season’s non flowering growth to take cuttings from Choisya, Hebe, Cistus, Penstemon and Dianthus. Keep in moist compost in a warm, bright space but out of direct sunlight.
  • Gather seed for next year. Store in labelled paper bags in a cool, dry place for sowing next spring.
  • Water ericaceous plants. Camellias and rhododendrons in pots need regular watering as they are setting new flower buds for next spring.
  • Extend your potted displays. Carry on watering, deadheading and feeding your summer containers to keep them looking good.
  • Deal with vine weavil. It is an ideal time to apply nematodes as a biological control.
  • Feed house plants. Feed once a month, for flowering plants use a potassium rich feed.
  • Eliminate weeds. Hand weed and hoe off weeds in the borders before they set seed.
  • Give hedges a trim but check for late nesting birds.
  • Maintain lavender plants. Cut back lavender after flowering about 2.5cm into the flowering stem, but do not cut into old, brown wood.

FRUIT , VEGETABLES AND HERBS

  • Rejuvenate herbs. Encourage a new flush of foliage by cutting back now.
  • Remove old raspberry canes. Cut the fruited canes of summer fruiting raspberries to soil level.
  • Lift, dry and store onions. As leaves yellow and go over , lift onions and dry under cover for two weeks then store in net bags.
  • Remove surplus squash fruit.
  • Make new strawberry beds. Plant up strawberry runners from healthy parents Avoid disease by choosing a new spot and replanting every three years.
  • Sow green manure

GREENER GARDENING

  • Hold back when cutting seedheads. Leave some for wildlife during autumn and winter.
  • Clean water butts.
  • Leave fallen fruit. Windfalls are a valuable source of food for birds so leave or put on the bird table.
  • Support birds. Clean birdbaths regularly and keep them topped up with fresh water.
  • Don’t water turf, even if it is brown. Healthy turf will recover once autumn rain arrives.

Gardening jobs for July

TREES SHRUBS AND FLOWERS

 

  • Prune flowering shrubs that flower in early summer, such as Philadelphus and Weigelia, to healthy new growth lower down. Prune the oldest woody stems down to ground level.
  • Water new plants regularly
  • Pick sweet peas regularly and remove any seed pods. Give a weekly high potassium feed such as tomato food.
  • Divide bearded iris to encourage better flowering next year.
  • Keep mower blades high to make the grass more resilient to drought.
  • Increase your lavender, rosemary and sage by taking cuttings from non flowering stems.
  • Feed hanging baskets with high potassium fertiliser weekly.
  • Shape evergreen topiary.

GREENER GARDENING

 

  • Keep birdbaths topped up and remember to clean them often.
  • If levels drop top up your pond with collected rainwater.
  • Check for holes in fruit cage netting and make sure that it is taut to prevent birds from getting trapped in it.
  • Baby hedgehogs will be appearing now so put out some meat based cat food for them.

 

FRUIT , VEGETABLES AND HERBS

 

  • Start growing for winter and spring. Sow spring cabbage, turnips, oriental vegetables, chicory, fennel and salad for winter cropping.
  • Keep sowing salad and spinach.
  • Tidy citrus plants. Pinch out the tips of vigorous , leafy growth.
  • Water tomatoes to prevent them from splitting.
  • Sow late beans in a pot or directly into well prepared soil.
  • Encourage herbs. Pick leafy herbs regularly so plants continue to produce planty of fresh foliage.

Gardening jobs for June

TREES, SHRUBS AND FLOWERS

  • Define lawn edges with a half moon edging iron or spade.
  • Give container plants a regular feed of high potassium liquid feed, you can make your own by putting comfrey leaves in a bucket of water somewhere out of the way and leaving for 2 to 3 weeks.
  • Trim evergreen hedges but check that birds have fledged first
  • Support sweet peas by regularly tying them in to their support weekly.
  • Deadhead annuals, perennials and repeat flowering roses.
  • Remove fading bulb foliage once it has gone brown.

FRUIT, VEGETABLES AND HERBS

  • Feed tomatoes every 10 to 14 days.
  • Lift early potatoes.
  • Plant tender veg such as courgettes, beans and cucumbers.
  • Regulate the temperature of your greenhouse by opening the doors and vents.

GREENER GARDENING

  • Put saucers under your container plants to catch run off when you water them.
  • Fill birdbaths regularly.
  • Let weeds flower in your lawn to attract pollinators
  • Support bees by letting your herbs flower.

 

 

Gardening jobs for May

TREES , SHRUBS AND FLOWERS

  • Prune Spring flowering shrubs
  • sow hardy annuals such as sunflowers, nasturtiums and Nigella direct into the ground.
  • Plant up hanging baskets and containers with bedding, if you have a bright , frost free place to keep them until they can go outside later in the month if you live in the South where the risk of frosts should have passed.
  • Improve lawns. There is still time in early May to over-seed patchy lawns.

FRUIT, VEGETABLES AND HERBS

  • Sow little and often. Continue successional sowing of carrots, beetroot, spinach and other salad crops. Many herbs can be direct sown in late May such as Parsley and Coriander.
  • Protect soft fruit. Cover currant bushes and raspberry canes with taut anti-bird netting.
  • Tender beans. Sow climbing, runner and French beans under cover for planting out in June.
  • Frequent weeding. Weed around vegetables, especially onions, leek and garlic.
  • Gooseberry health. Regularly check gooseberry bushes for gooseberry sawfly caterpillars and pick them off the leaves.
  • Control apple pests. Place pheromone traps in apple and pear trees to monitor attacks by codling moths that cause ‘maggoty’ fruit.
  • Earth up potatoes.When the new stems reach about 20cm draw up the soil to cover the lower half of the stems. This helps to protect young growth from late frosts and prevents young tubers turning green and poisonous in the light.

GREENER GARDENING

  • Attracting pollinators. look out for those seasonal plants that are attractive to pollinators such as Antirrhinum, Calendula ,heliotrope, Nicotinia and single poppies.
  • Play host to butterflies. Plant Buddleja davidii to attract butterflies However avoid planting if you live in the countryside as it can self seed and spread prolifically and out compete native plants.
  • Help birds. Put up nesting boxes for birds that are still to nest in late spring and early summer, such as finches and swifts.
  • Check your pond for tadpoles and for newts laying eggs. Make sure there is a shelf , stone or ramp so that wildlife can safely enter and exit the water.
  • Wildflower lawn. Leave an area of the lawn unmown or mow paths into it so you can enjoy the wildflowers normally hidden in the turf.
  • Clear pond weed. Remove duck weed and blanket weed, but before composting leave it to dry by the side of the pond so any invertebrates in it can scurry back into the water.