Gardener`s Monthly Corner



                                                Month by Month Checklist



March at-a-glance

March is known to be windy........remember the old rhyme about March winds and April showers! and a sharp frost can still catch you out. In March days become longer, the ground is warming up and the weeds are starting to grow! the month of March is definitely all go but by keeping on top of it all in early spring, the rest of the gardening year runs like clockwork......Happy Gardening

General Garden Tasks

Spring clean the garden- fork over the soil in borders, weed and mulch.

Remove weeds and moss on paths and drives.

Deal with wormcasts and molehills.

Make the first cut of the lawns if it is dry enough.

Lay any new turf by the end of the month if you didn`t in Autumn.

Plant pot grown shrubs, trees and climbers.

Prune modern bush roses, vigorous climbing roses, coloured stemed 

dogwoods and willow.

Tidy up patio roses and species roses grown for their hips.

Move deciduous trees and shrubs and plant new bare-root plants

before they start into growth.

Renovate overgrown climbers.

Tidy up the rock garden, alpine screes and sink gardens, top up stone chippings and fill any gaps with new rock plants.

Divide snowdrops `in the green`.

Freshen up pots containing winter bedding.

Prepare soil, then sow lettuce, rocket, radishes, spring onions, leeks, onions, broad beans, parsnips, spinach, turnips and early varieties of carrots and peas.

Plant early potatoes frown in pots undercover; plant outdoors at the end of the month.

Prepare an asparagus bed for planting next month.

Spring clean the fruit garden, weeding and mulching everywhere.

Plant rhubarb, pot-grown fruit trees and bushes and strawberry plants.

Water pot grown fruit.

Clean the greenhouse.

Sow tomatoes, chillies, sweet-peppers, aubergines.

Pot up plug plants and young plants as soon as possible after delivery.

Star dormant begonias and dahlia tubers by potting them and keeping in a frost-free greenhouse.

Plant early crops of summer cauliflowers and summer cabbages in pots.

Water and hand-pollinate strawberry plants.

Clear netting from ponds in time to stop emerging marginal plants becoming entangled but be mindful of herons!.

Feed fish if weather is warm and fish are active.

Watch out for

Slugs, snails, woodlice and greenfly under glass.

On cold nights cover vulnerable plants with horticultural fleece.


Plants in their Prime

Erica, Daphne, Spirea, Viburnum, Garrya, Mahonia, Skimmia, Clematis `Freckles` Forsythia, Jasmine, Malus, Bergenia, Hellebores, Primula, Viola, Iris retiuclata, Primroses, winter flowering pansies, Anemone blanda, Arabis, Saxifraga, Tulips.

April at-a-glance

As if to prove that spring is really here, the blossom is out in force in April with everything from flowering cherries to garden fruit trees contributing to the show. On those perfect early spring days, when the air is clear, the sun is shinning, and the blackbird is trilling away in the tree tops, get out in the garden and enjoy it.........Happy Gardening

General garden tasks

Spring clean borders, keep on top of weeding and hoeing.

Feed roses, borders, hedges, trees, shrubs and spring bulbs with general-purpose feeder.

Treat moss and weeds and re-seed barre patches.

Sow grass seed to make a new lawn if you cannot wait until autumn.

Mow lawns once a fortnight or once a week in really mild weather.

Feed acid-loving plants.

Prune winter jasmine and hydrangea, and tie in shoots of climbing or rambling roses, wall trained shrubs and newly planted climbers.

Tidy up hedges and clip if necessary, although this would usually be next month.

Wait for six weeks after flowers of spring bulbs are over before cutting the foliage  down.

Towards the end of the month plant dormant dahlia tubers outside.

Plant new alpines and top up scree bed with gravel and grit.

Continue to sow hardy annuals outside.

Remove insulation from borderline-hardy plants.

Plant spring bedding and summer bulbs in pots.

Plant alpine troughs.

Sow broad beans, summer cabbage, Brussel sprouts, early peas, summer/autumn cauliflower,  sprouting broccoli, leeks, beetroot, radish, spring onions, lettuce, rocket, turnips, parsnips, swiss chard, chicory, carrots and onions.

Plant first early, second early and maincrop potatoes.

Earth up shoots of early potatoes to protect them from frost.

Look after your veg - water and hoe regularly, thin out and transplant seedlings.

Give support to peas and beans sown earlier.

Watch out for flea beetle, particularly on rocket, turnips, radishes and some brassicas.

Harvest the first overwintered spring onions, and the last of the sprouting broccoli and swiss chard.

Sow hardy herbs.

Plant and tie in a new grapevine and figs.

Check and harvest forced rhubarb.

Feed blackcurrents, blackberries and hybrid berries.

Prune stone fruit trees if necessary.

Ventilate the greenhouse on sunny days but shut it down mid-afternoon to retain the heat at night.

Towards the end of the month, start standing bedding plants and frost tender vegetables outside on fine days to harden them off gradually.

Prick out seedlings and pot up any cutting taken last year.

Repot any permanent  greenhouse pot plants that need it.

Take stem-tip cuttings from pot-grown hydrangeas and leaf cuttings from Cape primroses.

Sow tomatoes.

Tie in vine rods.

Thin out vegetable and salad seedlings.

Spring clean the pond.

Divide overgrown plants and put in new water plants.

Towards the end of the month, start feeding your fish.

Watch out for

Slugs and snails on newly emerged perennials.

Flea beetle on vegetables.

cold damage.

Plant in their Prime

Corylopsis, Forsythia, Magnolia, Ribes, Spirea, Camellia, Mahonia, Clematis varieties, Darmera, Epimedium, Helleborus foetidus, Polygonatum, Gold-lace polyanthus, Viola, Erythronium, Tulips, Muscari, Arabis, Aubrieta, Narcissus, Pulsatilla, Saxifraga.

May  at-a-glance

May is the end of spring and the start of summer depending on how you look at it. May is, for me, one of the most exciting months in the garden, because you can see new flowers opening every time you step outdoors. Longer evenings and warmer weather, the best of the year is yet to come......Happy Gardening.

General garden Tasks

From the middle of the month onwards plant bedding plants, pot-grown dahlias & sweet peas

Keep on top of weeding and hoeing

Feed established lawns if not done so in April

Mow lawns weekly

Prune forsythia & flowering current after flowering

Tie in new growth on climbers and wall shrubs

In mild climates move tender conservatory shrubs in pots outside

Clip beech, hornbeam, box and Leyland cypress hedges late this month or early next

Support perennials

Divide clumps of primroses after flowering

Sow seeds of perennials

Cut back alyssum, arabis & aubritea after flowering

Continue dead-heading & feeding spring flowering bulbs

Plant & train sweet peas

Plant tubs, troughs, window boxes & hanging baskets in the middle of this month at the ealiest

Water the vegetable patch regularly in dry weather

Sow swede, beetroot, maincrop carrots, autumn cabbage, peas, swiss chard, radish, lettuce & spring onion, calabrese, & cauliflowers

Direct- sow frost-tender vegetables, e.g. French & runner beans, sweetcorn, courgettes, squashes & pumpkins

Plant out leeks

Continue earthing up potatoes

Harvest asparagus, lettuce, radishes, rocket & over wintered onions

Water soft fruit bushes with swelling fruit & newly planted fruit trees.

Protect strawberries from grey mould & birds

Ventilate the greenhouse well by day, & water plants more frequently

Apply shading paint to greenhouse

Damp down regularly

Continue to prick out & pot on seedlings, cuttings & young plants

Continue hardening off bedding plants & frost tender vegetables by standing them outside on fine days, but return to the greenhouse at night

Plant tomatoes in early May & sweet pepper, chillies, aubergines, melons & cucumbers in late May

Water, feed, trim & train new plants regularly

Harvest baby potatoes

Add new floating plants to ponds

Divide over-grown waterlilies or put new waterlilies in the pond

Remove unwelcome weeds

Introduce new fish to the water garden & continue to feed fish

Watch out for

Late frosts

Pests in containers, in greenhouses, in the garden & in conservatories

Plants in their Prime

Berberis, Contoneaster, Kerria japonica, Magnolia, Potentilla, Ribes, Sambuscus, Spirea, Viburnum, Camillia, Ceanothus, nChoisya, Cistus, Clematis varieties, Ajuga, Brunnera, Eremurus, Dwarf bearded iris, Paeonia, Papaver, Polygonatum, Trollius, Dicentra, camassia, Tulips, Alliums, Pulsatill, Viola.

June at-a-glance

Watch out for

Plants in their prime

Please check website for monthly updates

Contact:     Tina Lloyd     01704 550154            Mobile:  07870842093

Email   :      tdps@talktalk.net                           Website:  www.mosshousecottageplants.co.uk

You will also find my plants for sale at Bill Rimmer`s Farm Shop & Tea Rooms, Longacres Farm, Bentams Way,  Southport, PR8 4HX.        Open 7 Days A Week          (Opposite Dobbies Garden World)


"Traditional & The Unusual"

 Moss House Cottage Garden Plants