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Monthly Gardening Tips

January Tips

1.Dispose of your Christmas tree by shredding or recycling.

2. Wash out bird feeders and check that they are filled regularly. Hillside Nursery stock a complete range of bird care products.

3. Rake any remaining leaves off the lawn. Avoid walking on frosted lawns as this will cause blackening of the grass.

4. In mild weather plant roses & bare rooted shrubs & trees.

5 Fruit Trees should be winter- pruned now.

6. Brush snow off shrubs and small trees to avoid damage from weight.

7. Place over- wintered dahlia tubers in trays of lightly moistened compost & keep in the light.

8. Start sowing cabbage and cauliflower seed towards the end of the month. This should be done under heat.

9. Wisteria should be winter-pruned this month.

10. Plan new projects and visit the garden centre for seeds, tubers & bulbs.

February Tips

1. Give timber garden furniture a sanding down & apply a wood preservative. Hillside Nursery stock a range of products for this purpose.

2. Untidy lawns can be given a high cut in dry weather.

3. Plant out bare rooted soft fruit plants, adding bonemeal to the planting hole.

4. Place upturned pots over rhubarb crowns to force an early crop.

5. Cut back raspberry canes to ground level.

6. Clip back heathers which have finished flowering.

7. Plant shrubs & trees in good weather.

8. Inspect bulbs, corns and tubers for rot and destroy any which have been affected.

9. Give your indoor pot plants a freshen up by wiping with a leaf shine product.

10. Sow seed for greenhouse tomatoes this month. Under- heat for quick germination.


March Tips

1, Cover seedings in the greenhouse with newspaper if the sun is bright to avoid scorching

2, Lawns will need mowing this month

3, Treat the lawn with lawn sand to kill off moss. When blackened, remove the moss with a rake

4, Apple, pear and plum trees should be planted by March. Before planting work a well rotted maniue into the planting hole with a slow release fertiliser.

5, Clematis & roses should be pruned by March.

6, Tidy up the Herbaceous border by removing dead matter & applying a general purpose fertiliser. Divide overgrown clumps.

7, Check houseplants for pest infestation.

8, Purchase main crop potatoes for planting in April or May.

9, Be prepared for the infestation of slugs & snails, & protect young seedlings & new growth.

10, Bird lovers can add nesting boxes to the north side of trees.

April Tips

1, Keep watch for frosty nights and continue to protect vulnerable plants & shrubs.

2, Apply a Spring feed to the lawn.

3, Visit Hillside Nursery Centre to have a look at what’s in bloom.

4, Keep on top of weeding and mulch bare ground to keep in moisture.

5, This is a ideal time to put in a pond. Visit Maidenhead Aquatics at Hillside Nursery Centre for advice and all your aquatics needs.

6, Over see or re-turf any areas of worn grass. Scarify and established lawn using a springbok type rake.

7, Make room for the new growth by removing weeds & tidying up flower beds and borders.

8,Apply firth, blood & bonemeal to the soil around small trees and shrubs.

9, Cotinius, Forsythia, Hydrangea & Spirea will all benefit from pruning now.

10, Ensure conservatory plants are adequately ventilated. Keep well watered & fertilise if necessary.

May Tips

1.Lawn mowing should be a weekly task this month.

2. Fertiliser should be applied to the lawn if you have not already done so.

3. Apply fertiliser to your rhubarb crowns. Fork in a handful of fish blood & bone to each plant and the apply a mulch of well-rotted manure.

4. Tidy up climbers by tying in growing shoots. Apply a handful of fertiliser & a layer of manure or compost.

5. Harden off bedding plants by placing in a sheltered out position. At night cover with protective fabric or bring into a shed or garage.

6. Plant up hanging baskets now using surfinias, geranium, lobelia, diascia, fuchsias and bacopa.

7. Earth up potatoes as required.

8. Fill tubs and containers to give a colourful display during summer.

9. Move houseplants away from strong sunlight to a shadier position.

10. Carrots, Turnips & swedes seedlings should be planted now to produce crops through Summer & Autumn.

June Tips

1. Lawns will benefit from another application of fertiliser this month.

2. Alternating the direction of mowing each time you cut your grass will result in a better finish.

3. Check fruit bushes for signs of pests and treat with an insecticide if necessary.

4. Prune out unwanted growth of early flowering shrubs.

5. Bedding plants should be planted out now.

6. Continue to water newly planted shrubs and trees generously as a severe dry spell will kill them. Water all shrubs growing against walls.

7. Deadhead all Spring flowering shrubs as they finish to keep the garden tidy and conserve the plant’s strength.

8. If your soil is alkaline, this is the time to apply Sequestrene to the soil to keep Hydrangeas blue.

9. Strawberries will be starting to ripen now.Pick them over daily taking the stalks along with the berries.

10. Root vegetable and Winter salad plants should be sown now.

July Tips

1 .Dead head flowering plants daily to prolong flower displays.

2. Water regularly if the weather is dry.Mulch to help preserve moisture.

3. All grass cuttings and leafy garden waste can go into a compost  bin. Add a compost activator every 6 in. or so. This should be fit for use as a compost in the Autumn.

4. Spring flowering bulbs can be lifted now and stored. Place in a single layer in a cool airy place to dry. Plant Autumn flowering bulbs at the end of July.

5.Tomatoes will need feeding now with a tomato fertiliser. Steady watering is also crucial.

6. This is the start of the fruit picking season so check that plants are protected against birds.

7.Regular lawn mowing will continue in July. Do not set the mower too low if the lawn is dry.

8. Apply a light application of fertiliser to lawns. If using a granular feed apply only before rain. Alternatively use a liquid lawn feed.

9. Trim hedges towards the end of the month.

10. Check that plant supports such as stakes and netting are doing their job properly. Continue tying in new growth.

Don’t forget to sit back and enjoy your garden after all your hard work!

August Tips

1. Ensure that tall plants are well staked against late Summer gales.

2. Start cutting everlasting flowers for drying. If you haven’t grown flowers especially for drying ,experiment with what you have. Hang upside down in a dark airy place.

3. Keep cutting Sweet Peas to fill your house with scent and to keep the plants flowering.

4. Continue dead heading roses to prolong the flowering season. Spray against black spot and mildew if necessary.

5. Collect the flower heads from Lavender to make Pot Pourri.

6. This is a good time to take cuttings of shrubs, especially Hydrangeas, Cornus, Buddleia, Philadelphus and Berberis.

7. Gather all vegetables as they ripen. Keep root vegetables well watered to prevent splitting as a result of a sudden growth spurt when the rains come.

8. Second early and main crop potatoes can be lifted as you need them.

9. Continue feeding and watering tomatoes this month.

10. Early flowering tuber Begonias and Amaryllis bulbs should be dried off ready for storage.

September Tips

1. Patios and walkways should be power washed and rinsed before Winter.

2. Remove leaves from ponds with a net and mix into your compost bin.

3. Wash down plastic garden furniture and stow away under cover.

4. Reduce frequency of lawn mowing and raise the height of the cut.

5. Some early maturing apples and pears can be picked now.

6. Late Summer flowering shrubs should be pruned in September.

7. Continue to dead head flowers to prolong flowering performance.

8. Pelargonium cuttings can be taken now so that they can be well rooted by the time the cold weather comes.

9. Spring flowering bulbs can be planted any time from September until November. Even if you don’t have a garden they can be planted in hanging baskets and window boxes.

10. September is a good time of year for planting evergreens and conifers as the ground is still warm but also quite moist.

October Tips

1. Lawn mowers and other garden machinery should be serviced now.

2. Lawn scarification should be carried out this month.

3. Prune climbing and rambling roses. Remove branches which are growing in the wrong direction and tie up unsupported growth.

4. Bush roses should be cut back to about half their height.

5. Continue this month to plant new trees, shrubs and hedges.

6. Divide large clumps of perennials and use for replanting or giving away to friends.

7. All greenhouse glass and staging should be cleaned with garden disinfectant.

8. Pot up Hyacinth bulbs in bulb fibre and store in the dark for six weeks.

9. Dig up Summer bedding displays, put them in the compost bin and clear the ground for the next display.

10. Plant out Spring cabbage plants and onion sets for early use.

November Tips

1.Regularly collect fallen leaves and place in the compost bin or leaf compound.

2. During dry spells turf may still be laid as a new lawn or for patching up worn areas.

3. If lawns still need mowing set the blades for a high cut.

4. Lift and divide rhubarb crowns and re-plant in well prepared ground to which manure has been added.

5. Winter-prune apple and pear trees by cutting back leader branches by a third and prune back side shoots to six inches.

6. Spring flowering bulbs should be planted in November if this has not already been done.

7. Composting should continue with all waste vegetation going in to the garden recycle bin.

8. Spring bedding displays such as Bellis, Wallflower and Myosotis should be planted now

9. Slugs and snails can be a problem during wet weather. Scatter slug pellets for best results.

10. Tidy up herbaceous plants now for the Winter by cutting down to the ground as soon as leaves die down.

December Tips

1. Continue with pruning of roses this month. Roses which suffered from black spot in the past can be sprayed with fungicide this month.

2. Check that gutters and drains are not blocked by fallen leaves.

3. Clean ice from garden ponds so that fish are not deprived of oxygen.

4. Over-Wintering geraniums and fuchsias will need an occasional light watering.

5. Ensure bird feeders are kept well stocked.

6. Avoid walking on frosted lawns as this will lead to blackening of the grass.

7. Check stored apples and discard any which show signs of disease.

8. Garden soil which needs improving should be tackled now. The ideal soil is a rich, free draining, dark loam.

9. December is the best time to clean and oil your garden tools to keep them in good order.

10. This is the time of year to sit by the fire with your gardening books and plan for next year.