Gardening Through The Year needs careful planning to get the most done with the least effort. You don’t want gardening chores piling up all in one month and with this garden job planner you should be able to get well organised and see in advance what gardening month by month you will have to do.
Snow and ice, with outdoor jobs at a standstill; all hands busy in the potting shed, preparing seed boxes and composts, oiling and sharpening tools. Or, if a mild spell occurs, work on paths, fences, pergolas, and screens. Beware of the temptation to move plants: roots dislike disturbance when frosts are about, and January weather is treacherous.
- Turn over vacant soil.
- Bastard trench vegetable plots if weather permits, and if this has not been done already.
- Ridge heavy soil: it will break up easily after frost.
- Use lime, I.e., chalk (on light soils) or builder’s lime (on heavy soils).
- Use soil fumigants and winter washes. Spread manure during frosts.
- Order seeds.
- Apart from the usual seeds, make a note to try out one or two new or unusual varieties—Golden Wonder potato for flavour, alpine strawberries, or the Paramount sugar pea. A practical novelty or two will give additional interest to your garden.
- Thoroughly prepare food plots by single or double digging, ridging, and liming. Annual dressings of lime are better than very heavy dressings once in three years.
- Set seed potatoes to sprout, rose end up in shallow trays, in a light, frost-proof place.
- Plan the plot for sowing,; order seeds.
- Order sufficient seeds ‘for the season, but sow only a part at a time, so that crops are raised’ in succession.
- Plan for a rotation of crops; no ground should lie idle for any great length of time, particularly in spring and summer.
- If a warm sheltered plot is available, the first sowing of the year—a row of broad beans—can be made.
- Prune hardy orchard trees: apples, pears, plums, damsons, but not peaches, cherries or apricots.
- Cut back trees that are to be grafted. Heel grafting scions into the ground where they will lie dormant.
- Use winter washes.
- Avoid planting this month.
- Loosen the soil surface on vacant flower beds, so that plenty of air penetrates the top spit.
- When mild spells occur, loosen the soil between bulbs that are showing.
- Protect autumn sown annuals with mats, newspapers, etc.
- Wheel manure to beds that are intended for spring sowing of annuals.
- Dust powdered lime between herbaceous plants, if no renovation of the borders has taken place recently.
- General Maintenance
- Make and repair paths.
- Keep evergreens free from snow as far as possible.
- Use creosote or white lead paint on all garden woodwork except oak, teak and red cedar: these woods need no preservative.
- If cement is used in repair work, keep it well covered during frosty weather, until it is quite dry, otherwise it will crack badly.
- Repair all non-living edges; use stone or tiles to separate grass from gravel, but not wood, or insect pests will be encouraged.
- Take stock of tools, fertilizers and insecticides. Thee can usefully be ordered for the season now, to save time when the rush of outdoor work begins.
- Sort over stakes and plant labels. Order stocks of these and also of tying material.
- Wash all pots, and also the pieces of crock to be used for drainage. A disinfectant bath for these will prevent many losses among seedlings.
- Prepare and paint, if necessary, tubs, flower-boxes and plant vases.
- In mild spells climbers, from pots, can be planted: prepare good soil beds for these, remembering that they have to make a great deal of growth if they are to be really effec e.
- Press back the sç1l round all growing plants if it has be n loosened by frost; this will prevent flosses in all parts of the garden.
- Make up the first hotbed of the year with leaves and manure; this will create enough heat to raise many half-hardy vegetables and flowers.
- Shorthorn carrots and early cauliflowers are useful fiist crops for the hotbed.’ Cold frames and cold greenhouses should be ventilated on mild days, the lights and windows being closed again an hour before sundown. This conserves solar heat.
- Set cloches in position over rhubarb and sea-kale in the open.
- Use rows of continuous cloches over early lettuces and early peas sown in the open garden. Such sowings should only be made now on warm borders.
- Sow onions in boxes in the frame—preferably in boxes raised a little over a hotbed.
- Leeks and parsley can also be sown in a frame if plenty of room is available.
- Radishes and mustard and cress can be forced when opportunity permits; a hotbed will produce good radishes in a few weeks.
- Sweet peas can be sown now in deep boxes, covered with a sheet of glass, and stood under a south wall if no frame is vacant. Raise the glass in. when the first sign of the seedlings is shown.
February fill-dyke! Black or white, the month is likely to be wet.. Gardeners must beware of trying to work very wet soil, but every opportunity must be seized to get up to date with outdoor work. Pruning, manuring, and all constructional work are jobs to be completed in spite of the weather.
February Work in The Garden
- Prepare the ground for March seed sowing. A good tilth means even seed germination and a correspondingly good crop.
- Get ahead with sowings under glass, and if an opportunity occurs, sow some of the earliest seeds in the open.
- Plan spring planting and sowing. Begin to use spring fertilizers. Make sure you have plenty in stock.
- Keep soot swept from domestic chimneys: it darkens, and so warms, the soil; it destroys pests; it possesses a little food value.
- Soot and fertilizers used a fortnight before outdoor sowings will be appreciated by the seedling plants.
- Clean, with hoe or digging fork, plots that were dug in autumn and left vacant through the winter. These have probably btcome weedy.
- Plant artichokes, shallots, and (if liked) garlic on the plot.
- A dusting of one-three-one fertilizer is the best for general use in the food garden. This is made up of one part sulphate of potash, three parts superphosphate, and one part sulphate of ammonia.’ Two ounces per square yard is a sufficient dressing.
- Dust the fertilizer over just before hoeing. This allows it to mix freely with the few inches of soil on the surface.
- Tidy up parts of the plot that have been occupied by brussels sprouts, winter greens, etc. Burn woody refuse, put disease-free soft rubbish in the compost pit to decay and make manure.
- Ash from the bonfire is useful in all parts of the food garden. It must be dry when applied.
- Sow a few early peas. Field-mice play havoc with these in some parts. Coat the peas by immersing them in paraffin and then rolling them in red lead before sowing. This will prevent losses.
- Sow broad beans if they were not sown in November.
- Prepare a sheltered nursery or seed bed. Some crops are better raised and transplanted, and this method saves valuable space on the plot.
- Finish pruning of orchard fruits. Prune gooseberries, red and white currants.
- Mulch with rpanure all trees in borders and beds. If this is not possible, give a good surface soil dressing, mixing artificial fertilizers with the soil before use.
- Make new strawberry beds if desired.
- Stocks to be grafted can still be headed back.
- Winter washes can only be used while buds are still quite dormant. The end of this month is probably too late.
- Order bordeaux mixture, lime sulphur or other insecticides for use when needed. Perris powder is the best general insecticide for the fruit garden.
- Buy and plant delphiniums, irises, peonies, and other early flowering perennials. Later flowering perennials can be planted next month, but the sooner the early bloomers are in the better, as they may then be expected to give some show of flower this season.
- Lift and replace’, herbaceous plants, but do not diviiie the roots of slightlytender subjects unless the weather is very mild and open.
- Sow sweet peas under cloches; but delay, ordinary sowing in the open until March.
- Prepare annual flower beds. A fine tilth is desirable for these as for the food garden sowings.
- Roses can be planted this month, but should not be pruned until late March.
- All flowering climbers can be planted now.
- Sort over plants stored for the winter. Chrysanthemums, carnations, and other almost hardy plants wintered in cold frames can be moved to the open as soon as a spell of sunshine has really warmed up the soil. Dahlias and similar dormant tubers must be removed from store and set to sprout in trays of moist soil, in a frostproof place.
- Clean gravel paths, resurface them with tar dressings and fresh gravel.
- Roll and sweep the lawns as soon as the weather allows. Fertilizer used this month will greatly improve the appearance of the lawn in spring.
- Sulphate of ammonia, an allowance of 1 oz. to the square yard, mixed with sand to make even distribution possible, is one of the finest lawn fertilizers. From now until midsummer this dressing can be used every two or three weeks.
- Prune late flowering shrubs, clip hedges, and trim living border edges as necessary.
- Sow carrots, lettuces radishes on hotbeds.
- Raise seedlings of flowars, leeks, cucumbers, aubergines, onions and tomatoes, for later planting outdoors. These need a hotbed, or very warm, sunny frame or greenhouse, if artificial heat is not available.
- Start dormant tubers of all kinds, take cuttings of bedding plants, prick out seedlings, mid generally push on with the work of raising, plants for the open.
Erratic! An ounce of March dust is worth a king’s ransom. In other words, March is sowing time and a dry dusty March makes the ground surface in good condition for sowing. But beginners should note that the experienced gardener does not sow by the calendar, but by the weather. Wait for favourable conditions, and meanwhile continue with the indoor work of sowing and pricking out.
March Gardening Work
- Sow seeds outdoors, beginning with the hardiest kinds. Sow both on the plot and on nursery beds.
- Plant almost anything — herbaceous plants, hardy bedding plants, roses (during the first half of the month), shrubs (except tender evergreens), and hardy annual seedlings.
- Renovate and alter the arrangement of small gardens.
- Prune roses (during the last week of the month) and other shrubs as necessary.
- Use slug killers; these pests are very troublesome among tender seedlings, but any of the modern slug killers will solve the problem.
- Make and repair lawns. Begin to mow regularly.
- Plant potatoes, beginning with first earlies.
- Sow most of the small seeds, i.e., a part of each packet of quick maturing crops like lettuce; and the whole packet in the case of such crops as parsnips, which are to stand.
- Hoe and rake the top soil thoroughly and use fertilizer according to the intended crop before you sow the seeds. Two or three inches of fine crumbly soil should form the surface.
- Draw drills in this fine crumbly soil, alongside a line stretched taut, so that the lines are straight and parallel. Move the line before covering the seed.
- Prepare a nursery bed for sowing such crops as cabbages, sprouts, and broccoli that are to be set out permanently later. Sow on a favourable day, broadcast or in rows, and thin out the seedlings as necessary to prevent crowding.
- Outdoor sowings on the plot include broad beans, carrots, onions, radishes, parsley, parsnips, peas, spinach, garden swedes and turnips.
- Plant out lettuces raised in the hotbed in February. Cloches are sufficient protection for these on the plot.
- Dig deeply and manure well the trenches where celery is to be grown. (Sow celery seed under glass.
- If birds are troublesome on the food plot, set a board studded with nails at each side, and criss-cross black cotton over the row of young plants.
- Protect the opening blossom of wall fruits from frost and birds.
- Hoe and use fertilizers as needed round orchard and bush fruits.
- Finish planting; when buds have burst it is dangerous to move trees.
- Begin grafting, if trees were headed back in January for the purpose.
- Spray pears in the green bud stage with lime sulphur or bordeaux mixture against pear scab.
- Plant out chrysanthemums, carnations and similar hardy bedding plants.
- Plant gladioli and hardy lilies.
- Sow all hardy annuals, dwarfs for edging in both ornamental and in food gardens, and taller varieties for border display and to cut for the vases.
- Divide rock plants of suitable kinds such as mossy saxifrage.
- Break down the surface of ridged soil, ready for seed sowing and planting. Repair all grass walks: use fertilizer as for lawns.
- Order new plants for water gardens (April and May are times to put them out).
- Order fruit netting, straw for strawberries, pea sticks for, the food plot, bean sticks and flower stakes if the present stock is not sufficient.
- Make or re-lay crazy paving paths; cement work can usefully be done in springtime.
- Apply weed killer to paths.
- Hedge bottoms should be cleaned out before growth begins. They harbour weeds and pests. Fork over the soil and hand pick the roots of perennial weeds, devil’s twine, nettles and the like. Then, if the roots invade the garden plot, cut these off with a sharp spade close to the side of the hedge. Any gaps can be filled in with little plants like the hedge.
- Keep the hoe going amongst crops every two weeks. Work with sharp tools.
- Cloches are of supreme importance this month. Seedlings of lettuce, etc., raised in hotbeds can be transferred to the open garden if a row of cloches can be set over them immediately.
- Seeds sown under cloches will produce early crops of spinach, carrots, mustard and cress. All these are crops rich in vitamins.
- Prick out or plant out under cloches all January sown seedlings.
- Sow all half-hardy annuals, tender annuals that are to be grown on indoors, and seeds of perennials likely to flower in the first season, such as Japanese chrysanthemums, bedding dahlias and carnations.
- Sow broccoli, leeks, lettuce, onions, peas, celery, tomatoes and vegetable marrows under glass for outdoor cultivation.
- Ventilate freely but avoid draughts.
- Maintain a frost-free temperature in hotbeds by the application of fresh stable manure round the sides.
Showers, with a good prospect of sunshine and mild open spells. In a favourable April all the work of seed sowing for the summer crops and summer flowers can be completed. Beware of too much haste in setting out plants that are not quite hardy.
April Jobs in the Garden
- Sowing — almost every flower and vegetable grown for summer use can be sown now in the open—and planting out occupy the main part of the gardener’s time this month.
- Delicate evergreens can be moved where their sites are needed for the food crops. If showers do not occur frequently afterwards, an overhead spray with the hose morning and evening will help them to recover the shock of removal.
- Grafting and spraying, the taking of cuttings from started dahlia and other plants, and the first steps against active pests are among the month’s tasks. As warm days come, green flies, slugs, caterpillars and all sorts of troubles will come too, and only the gardener prepared with remedies in advance can hope to combat them.
- Look over the stock of insecticides without delay.
- Main crop potatoes are planted now. Reduce the number of sprouts on each tuber to one or two strong ones, and then set the tuber carefully in the open furrow. A little extra care such as the amateur gardener can well give to the work of planting will make considerable difference to the crop.
- As rows of seedlings gradually show, run the hoe through the soil that divides the rows, and at the same, time, pull out by hand weeds actually in the rows.
- If seedlings are disturbed by hoeing or weeding, press them immediately back; unless the roots are in close contact with moist soil, the plants cannot grow.
- Sowings delayed through bad weather in March must be carried out now. Seeds that must be in the ground before the month ends are onions, main crop carrots, radishes, summer spinach, swedes. Other seed sowings for the month include beet, salsify, scorzonera, endive, kohlrabi, lettuce (for succession), peas (tall varieties), and perpetual spinach.
- Plant out hardened seedlings only; remember that frosts are still probable. Keep light litter, mats, and other material handy for the protection of open-air plants should severe frosts come.
- Thin crops sown on the plot as soon as convenient: two thinnings are best, taking out the seedlings only as they crowd each other.
- When potatoes and other vegetables come through the soil, and frosty weather is not yet past, a little soil drawn up over or against the young stems will protect them.
- Slugs on the food plot can be fought with slug killers from the sundries shops.
- Sage, mint and chives can still be planted. These will be found specially useful in the wartiine garden, as flavourings for meatless meals.
- Use derris dust on vegetables to prevent attacks of caterpillars.
- Finish grafting.
- Finish pruning if by chance this has been delayed.
- Watch for the signs of big bud on black currants. Spraying with lime sulphur wash when the foliage is about the size of a shilling, and again a fortnight later is a certain cure.
- Use bordeaux mixture on pears to prevent scab (if this was not done last month).
- Apply spring fertilizers, specially on light soils.
- Plant out all hardy annuals and hardy bedding plants, sweet peas, violas, pansies, carnations, antirrhinums, etc., from frames and from the markets.
- Stop chrysanthemums as needed.
- Plant tubers of dahlias if no means of starting them in heat under glass is available.
- Lift bulbs as the tops fade: it pays to allow the leaves to turn yelloW before lifting, but should it be necessary to lift the bulbs earlier, so as to replant the beds, lift them with soil adhering, and replant them close together in a corner of the vegetable garden.
- Bulbs that have completely finished their season of growth can be dried and stored.
- Sow half-hardy annuals where they are to flower. The South African annualsvenidium, heliophila, ursinia, and dimorphotheca, etc., can be sown this month in the open.
- Dress beds with bonemeal where annuals are lifted to make way for summer bedding plants.
- Sow biennials and perennials in a nursery bed. Such plants as wallflowers and forget-me-nots should be raised in quantity for use in spring borders and to edge food plots. Aquilegias, hollyhocks, and Russell lupins are examples of the flowers that can be raised from present sowings, for planting in the herbaceous borders next season.
- Prick out asters, stocks and other half-hardy annuls sown in February.
- Sow runner beans, cardoons, marrows, and ridge cucumbers for the food plot.
- Plant out frame cucumbers on a hotbed.
- Prick out tomato and celery seedlings..
- Harden off and plant out brussels sprouts, celery, and all other seedlings as soon as possible.
- Keep litter handy for protection or cold frames.
- Probably some hot sunny weather, but still the possibility of frost at night. The most- critical month of the whole year for raisers of bedding and vegetable garden seedlings.
May Work in the Garden
- Plant out hardy plants from frames. Sow quick maturing annuals for succession.
- Sow tender vegetables in the open.
- Watch the progress of the weather, and be prepared with protection for all seedlings.
- Prepare beds and sow seeds of biennials.
- Keep the plot and borders clean. Hoe regularly.
- Mow regularly.
- Fight pests: many of the worst are now busy laying eggs.
- Prepare to plant out tender summer bedding plants, and plan how to fill gaps in the summer colour scheme.
- Crops should be well advanced, and will now be liable to attacks of pests.
- Onion and carrot flies in particular come this month to lay their eggs. Soot and lime, or whizzed naphthalene dusted along the rows will keep the flies away. Whizzed naphthalene is obtainable from all horticultural chemists.
- Black fly on beans is likely to come too. Spray to prevent its appearance, using derris powder in liquid form.
- Derris insecticide is also useful to keep green flies away from peas and othercrops; it is harmless to animals and can be used freely in the food garden.
- Use quick-acting fertilizers. Nitrate of soda will effect a quick change when used on crops thaf ought to make more growth—lettuces, greens and onions in particular benefit. A teaspoonful to a yard of row, dissolved in water or watered well in after distribution is sufficient for a fortnightly dressing.
- Rotted waste matter is useful as manure, but not if weed seeds are present. Burn weed plants that already carry seed pods.
- Earth up potatoes: this helps to keep the tubers a good colour and also protects the growing shoots in case of late frosts.
- Set small twigs amongst pea seedlings as a first support.
- Sow now french, runner, waxpod and dutch brown beans in the open garden. Cloches over the rows will be of great help, specially in late frosts.
- Sow more peas, beet, endive, radishes, sweet corn, chicory and summer spinach on the plot.
- Sow cauliflower and broccoli in the nursery bed.
- Plant out brussels sprouts, savoy, broccoli, colewort and cauliflower from the nursery beds.
- Plant out March-sown frame cucumbers on the hotbed.
- Plant marrows and tomatoes in sheltered positions at the end of the month.
- Mulch with manure all fruits on light dry soils.
- Prune apricots, Morello cherries, nectarines and peaches as required.
- Reduce the number of runners on the strawberry plants, leaving only those that will be required for fresh autumn plantings. Dust fertilizer along the rows, and hoe it in before placing straw or other litter round the plants.
- Plant out bedding plants, beginning with the hardier kinds; leave tender subjects such as dahlias, cannas, eucalyptus, standard ftichsias, heliotropes, etc., until the end of the month.
- Sow biennials and perennials as desired.
- Divide such rock plants as arabis, anbrietia, cushion saxifrage, primulas, and double daisies when the flowers have faded.
- Thin out, stake, and peg down annuals as they need this attention.
- Trim away faded flowers from rock plants and early summer bedding plants unless seed is required.
- Watch for green fly and other pests on roses. Derris dust is a good general insecticide, and green sulphur powder a good cure for fungoid diseases such as mildew. Apply with powder bellows.
- Syringe newly planted trees both early and late in the day.
- Water newly pricked out seedlings; hoeing is usually sufficient among established large plants, but the roots of seedlings only penetrate a shallow surface layer of soil.
- Lift bulbs, and if they are fully ripened store them for autumn planting. If the foliage is still green replant the bulbs in some odd corner until they are ready for storing.
- Daffodils, snowdrops, and bluebells are better left undisturbed. Hyacinths, tulips and such edging bulbs as scillas and grape hyacinths can be lifted annually.
- Be ready with night protection: frosts may occur as late as the last week in May.
- Turnips and carrots on hotbeds under glass should be ready to pull as required, from about the last week of this month.
- Plants raised for outdoor culture can be moved from the hotbed to the cold frame and gradually hardened off. These include both food crop plants and flowers.
- Keep the cloches in use; nights are cold and all newly planted seedlings will benefit from slight protection. Remove the cloches early if the weather is fine.
- Flaming June, if we are lucky: in any case a fair amount of sunshine and warmth. Showers may well turn out to be heavy thunder-showers, which will test the rigidity of rose pillars and other plant supports.
- Avoid root damage this month, and if plants must be disturbed, as in the case of bedding-out material, keep up the water supply artificially for a time.
June Gardening Jobs
- First crops are ready to harvest—salads, summer spinach, a few peas and early potatoes.
- Hoe, and keep on hoeing! This keeps down weeds and aerates the soil.
- Finish all summer bedding.
- Plant out seedlitigs from nursery beds on to the food plots as opportunities occur.
- Use one-three-one or a good general fertilizer. It can be used anywhere.
- Put scrap of annual weeds unseeded, grass clippings, vegetable parings from the house on the compost heap. A dusting of sulphate of ammonia over organic matter will accelerate decay.
- Dig the first early potatoes as they are ready. Potatoes to be stored, even for a short time, should lie on the ground to dry for an hour after digging.
- Hotbed cleared of carrots and turnips can be used without further additions for the cultivation of marrows and ridge cucumbers.
- Fresh manure, if available, can be used to make up mushroom beds.
- Transplant from the nursery bed to the plot: kale, savoys, cabbages, cauliflowers, brussels sprouts, and broccoli.
- Move from frames to the open: outdoor tomatoes, leeks, couve tronchuda, aubergines, celery, celeriac.
- Sow, for succession: french, runner, waxpod and brown dutch beans, also quick-maturing peas.
- Sow, also for succession, such crops as , endive, chicory, kohl-rabi, lettuce, parsley, radishes, and summer spinach.
- Stake peas and runner beans.
- Keep up the water supply: hoeing is best, but in long dry spells it may be necessary to use the hose or the can.
- Feed regularly when plants are well established; ‘never feed newly planted seedlings or sickly plants.
- Grass cuttings are a good mulch for dry soil. Between turnips they are specially good. This mulch is turned in when the crop is cleared, so that it eventually decays and enriches the soil.
- Thin out superfluous shoots on fruit trees, and pinch or stop as required.
- Provide support for trees that are cropping very heavily.
- Use derris powder freely against caterpillars and green flies.
- Raspberry and loganberry beetles can be controlled by dusting derris powder into the open flowers. As they open in succession, treatment should be carried out daily for a few weeks.
- Net cherries and other fruits where birds are troublesome.
- Summer prune red and white currants. Layer loganberries if more stock is wanted.
- Remove weak, unwanted canes from raspberries. Keep sufficient to ensure a good crop next summer. Six young canes td a root are generally sufficient.
- Water strawberries during a dry spell.
- Summer prune grape vines as soon as convenient.
- Cut away dead flowers to encourage further blooms.
- Disbud roses, carnations, chrysanthemums as necessary.
- Spray with insecticides and fungicides: prevention is better than cure.
- Cut rose blooms with long stems: this ensures better blooms for the second crop.
- Finish all bedding out.
- Prepare a cutting plot: double wallflowers, sweet rocket, etc., can be propagated there.
- Sow more perennials, such as delphiniums, lupins, and hollyhocks.
- Provide a sufficient number of stakes and ties in the mixed borders.
- Save all bulbs by storing in a dry cool place. Tulips should be cleaned and stored in a shallow box. Daffodil bulbs can be’ left in the soil to come up another year. Lilies if given ample drainage when planting can be left permanently in the soil. Bulbs naturalized in grass should now be cut down and the grass mown in the ordimary way.
- Take a daily walk with, the lawn mower and roller.
- Use fertilizer still on lawns and among all growing plants.
- Clean out the frames as plants are removed to summer quarters. White lead paint is useful on the window frames, particularly inside, as it reflects all available sunlight in winter.
- Dig. Over and lime all vacant seed beds and prepare them for use again.
- Prepare a propagating frame: many plants root best in slimmer.
- Hoe! Hoe regularly! Hoe everywhere!
- Give plenty of air to all seedlings and plants left under glass.
- Shade very young seedlings from brilliant noonday sun.
- Keep cucumbers sprayed and trained in the frames.
- Fumigate cold greenhouses and frames if pests are troublesome. If mildew occurs, use green sulphur powder and allow more ventilation..
Hot and close, with drought and heavy rains in the balance. Staking becomes necessary, and neglect often means a ruined herbaceous border just when it should be at its best.
- The fruit harvest occupies some time this month. Currants, gooseberries, strawberries, and raspberries are ready to use:
- Gather soft fruits as they can be dealt with; they preserve best when freshly gathered.
- Preserve surplus harvests of vegetables when possible. Cut and dry mint and other herbs. Make potpourri.
- Hoe, weed, water, and top dress with mulches of old manure or with prepared rich soil, as possible.
- The harvest this month includes salads, peas, spinach, french and waxpod beans, carrots, turnips and beetroots, summer cabbages and cauliflowers (these last two from the hotbeds).
- Look after the tomatoes on the plot. Pinch out all side stems, leaving a single cordon growth.
- Feed tomato plants with fertilizer, or with liquid manure made from animal droppings and soot.
- Remove male flowers from cucumbers; this will prevent seed formation, and the flavour of the fruits will be improved.
- Take up and store shallots as the foliage begins to wither.
- Well-formed seed from a few plants that have no more flowers to set can be saved to provide seeds of peas and french beans.
- Lift the second early potatoes; dry and store them carefully.
- Earth up the main crop potatoes.
- Keep the hoe going between the late crops; intercrop with lettuce and radish.
- Watch for “ blight” disease on potatoes; spray whether it appears or not, using bordeaux miicture. Spray on both sides of the foliage. (Affected potatoes will not store.)
- Wash all utensils used for copper sprays immediately after use.
- Sow turnips, beet, and carrot for winter in beds previously planted with peas, etc.
- Winter spinach can now be sown.
- Plant out celery, if not already done.’ Also plant out late sowings of cabbage, sprouts, and broccoli.
- Thin out fruits and overcrowded growths on fruits of all kinds.
- Keep a sharp look out for pests, and cut out diseased wood.
- Water loganberries and any other fruits that require this attention.
- Train cordon and espalier trees. Watch for mildew and spray or dust with sulphur.
- Summer prune as needed.
- Bud fruit trees if stocks arid buds are available.
- Silver leaf will be easily detected amongst plums and cherries now that they are in full leaf. The branches attacked show a distinct silvery colouring and begin to die back from the tips. The affected branches should be cut clean away and burnt. Cut back to healthy wood; the diseased wood has a brown stain in the centre. Paint over the cut portion with white lead paint, sterilize the secateurs or pruning knife with strong carbolic solution frequently during pruning operations.
- Layer border carnations that have flowered.
- Take cuttings of hardy plants under cloches or in a propagfting frame.
- Sow pansies and violas.
- Mulch, stake and tie up dahlias and other tall herbaceous plants to bloom in late summer.
- Prick out and plant out seedlings of hardy flowers raised in frames and nursery plot.
- Train flowering climbers.
- Bud roses.
- Remove dead flowers; stake, and water regularly.
- Hoeing, weeding, and watering are the tasks of the month in most parts of the garden.
- Keep down weeds on paths, and cut and roll lawns regularly.
- Attend to the shrub borders; some need pruning at this season after the spring flowers have passed.
- Many shrubs can be increased by layering, and this simple method of increase does not encroach on the space of frames and pits.
- Collect tops of early perennials, unwanted stumps from the cabbage patch, etc., and put all material that will rot into the compost pit. Burn other waste matter and use the ash immediately on the flower beds, or on vacant food plots.
- Make plans for winter storage of surplus crops. Some crops can be stored in sacks in shed or cellar, but large harvests of roots are better stored in the open. Straw is needed for this.
- Sow Brompton stocks and border carnations in frames for next season.
- Give plenty of ventilation to tomatoes, aubergines, etc., in cold frame and greenhouse.
- Propagate carnations by layers or cuttings, stake and tie those that are coming into bloom.
- Stake, tie, and pinch or disbud chrysanthemums as desirable.
- Propagate perennial herbs by cutting or division.
- Wash, repaint, and put into good order all frames and greenhouses not at present occupied; they will be needed for food crops later if not for flowers.
- Doubtful. Soil will, however, be warm from summer sunshine, and with (possible) rain it will be in ideal condition for propagation work.
- Harvest is in full swing, and work for next season already begun.
- When on holiday visit other people’s gardens; many gardens are open to the public and useful tips can be picked up by chatting with the gardeners. Local flower shows are a mine of information.
- Harvest crops as they become readY. To leave plants in the soil too long is generally not useful, and often harmful.
- Seize the opportunity to increase stocks of flowers, shrubs, fruits, etc. Cuttings root readily outdoors at this season.
- Sow seeds for next summer.
- Order seeds kir autumn sowings and bulbs for the spring garden.
- Pot up the first bulbs for indoor blooming.
- Sow seeds of lupins or mustard for green manure if any plot áf land is to lie idle for a bit.
- Winter storage should begin as the harvest proceeds. Do not tuck away roots in odd corners, but cover them, in boxes, with sand, or store them in clamps in the open. This will keep them moist.
- Bend over the necks of onions to hasten, ripening.
- Herbs for drying must be cut before they reach flowering stage.
- Any remaining potatoes in the home garden should be ready to lift now.
- Snip off the extreme tops of Jerusalem artichokes if they show signs of flowers.
- Pinch out the tops of outdoor tomatoes when three flower trusses have set. Other fruits might form, but would have little chance of reaching maturity.
- A few of the lower leaves may be cut away from tomatoes, so that the fruits are not unduly shaded. This assists ripening. The removal of too much foliage will make the fruits small.
- Gather broad beans as they ripen. If the plants are not infested with fly, pull them up whole, and hang them to dry. The straw makes good mats for the protection of frame lights in winter.
- Clear all spent crops from the ground, and roughly dig it if it is not to be replanted, at once. A few seeds can be sown for green manure.
- Make still more sowings of endive, radishes, and winter spinach.
- Sow for spring use cabbages, parsley, onions. These can be sown in the open on a prepared bed of soil in a sheltered position.
- Protect wall fruits from birds and from wasps. The best way the latter can be defeated is by wrapping the fruit in grease-proof bags.
- Cut away a little foliage if this prevents proper ripening.
- Destroy pests that have been collected by grease bands on trees.
- Cut away old canes from raspberries and loganberries when the fruit has been gathered.
- Cut back black currants after the harvest. The best fruit is borne on new wood, and hard pruning of old worn-out stems benefits the plants and improves the quality as well as the quantity of the fruit.
- Spray gooseberries, to prevent caterpillar damage.
- Make new strawberry beds; the rooted runners can be set out immediately they are ready.
- Spring flowering such annuals as pot marigolds and Californian poppies.
- Iceland poppies, antirrhinums, etc., for next season. In warm gardens these can be wintered in the open.
- Take cuttings of hardy bedding plants in sandy soil in the open—geraniums, pansies, violas, saxifrages and roses of the noisette, bourbon, and hybrid perpetual type will all root now.
- Plant the first of the spring bulbs—narcissus and such bulbs as snowdrops and winter aconites, which require a long season of growth.
- Rooted cuttings of carnations and pinks can be set out permanently if desired.
- Seedlings of summer-sown perennials can be put out on a warm border where they will remain all winter.
- Look over bulbs in store; plant odd lots in the wild corners of t e garden.
- Plan the change over from summer bedding to spring bedding.
- Plan the food garden so as to allow for the maximum of vacant ground in winter, when it can be dug over and allowed to benefit by frost action.
- Make sure- that some winter crops remain; winter greens are even more useful than summer cabbages.
- Begin to collect dead haulms, grass clippings, etc. It is impossible to have too much of such material to dig in during winter.’
- Begin to sow lettuce in the cold frame; salads in winter need some glass protection.
- Clean the cold greenhouse, and make it ready for bedding plants next month.
- Sow cabbages for spring use and cauliflowers for spring planting.
- Take cuttings of rock and border plants.
- Plan to make the best possible use of frames and cold greenhouses in winter. An extra shelf in the greenhouse makes more food production possible!
- First frosts probable. With luck, and perhaps a little extra care, summer flowers may be kept unharmed through the first night frosts, and if so, there is a probability that they will continue to produce blooms for several extra weeks. Keep your weather eye open!
- The gardener’s year begins this month. Plan autumn alterations to the garden. Fresh from your holidays you will be full of ideas. By planning to carry these out while your ideas are fresh you will get better results.
September Work in the Garden
- Move tender plants under glass, and plant out those that are to stand the winter in the open.
- Clean up the garden as vegetables, flowers and fruit complete their season.
- Order autumn and winter fertilizers.
- Plan autumn planting and make out orders for plants, trees and shrubs.
- Move immediately any evergreens that have to be transplanted; it is not safe to move them when the soil has become cold.
- Clear away finished crops. Dig over the ground. If it is not to be immediately replanted, trench it and bury below the top spit material taken from the compost pit.
- Lift any potatoes that remain. If you are to keep your own seed potatoes, select tubers about the size of eggs, I.e., weighing approximately two ounces each. Only perfectly healthy tubers must be chosen, and only from potatoes that were grown from fresh seed, I.e., seed from a distance, this year.
- Lift onions that have ripened.
- Preserve surplus runner beans and other summer vegetables for winter use.
- Lift and store roots. Jerusalem artichokes are ready for use when the tops turn yellow, but these need not be stored in clamps; like parsnips, they can be left in the ground and dug as required. Any roots can, however, be lifted and stored in clamps if this is more convenient.
- First sowings of endive may now be ready to be blanched. This can be done by inverting a clean flowerpot over each plant, laying a piece of tile over the hole, to exclude light.
- Some of the celery and leeks will be ready for earthing up.
- Watch for caterpillars on cabbages, and for their eggs, which are laid on the underside of the leaves. Pick these colonies of eggs off and burn them.
- Dust derris powder ‘ over the remaining foliage.
- Winter spinach and onions can still be sown in the open.
- Spring cabbage’s can be planted out as soon as the plants and vacant ground are ready.
- Gather tomatoes, green or ripe, before the frosts come, and bring them indoors to ripen. Green tomatoes are useful for
- Harvest and store such fruits as apples and pears, but only as they become ripe, or ready for gathering.
- Apply grease bands to trees. This prevents the winter moth from reaching the top of the tree.
- Cuttings of small fruits—gooseberries, red, white and black currants—can be taken now.
- Prune raspberries and black currants if this has not already been dime.
- Plant out rooted strawberry runners to make a new plantation.
- Thin out fruits on ‘,apples and pears if they are overcrowded.
- Plan new fruit gardens and order he tree,s and bushes required.
- Take cuttings of such bedding plants as antirrhinums, hollyhocks, petunias, pentsternons, if specially good varieties are present and an increased stock is desired.
- Plant spring bulbs of all kinds, except tulips. October plantings are satisfactory, but the sooner the bulbs are in the better.
- Sow hardy annuals for early flowering.
- Plant peonies, delphiniums, oriental poppies and iris, and other border plants that flower early in the year.
- Examine the ties on roses that were budded in June. Loosen them if the buds have taken.
- Plant hardy lilies among border shrubs.
- Plant out biennials, perennials, seed-/ lings, and rooted cuttings from frame and nursery plots as convenient, leaving all the space possible in the sheltered corners for those plants that dislike our hard winters.
- Watering is not generally needed this month in the open, as nights tend to be dewy even if the weather is not showery.
- Hoeing must be continued. Beds made quite weed free during this month will not suffer if they are left untouched for several months in the winter.
- Sweep and roll lawns and where necessary, make new lawns from seed.
- Prepare all glass structures for the winter.
- Pot up bulbs for indoor flowering. Bring under cover all tender plants from beds and borders.
- Take plenty of cuttings; young plants are often stronger than old ones and so survive winter better.
- Reduce the water supply under glass, and if summer shading has been used, wash it off the glass.
- Fumigate the greenhouse before stocking it for the winter.
- Night frosts become almost inevitable, and plant growth slows down. Leaves begin to fall.
- Tops die back in the herbaceous borders.
- Fully grown plants mature, fruits , ripen, but the development of seedlings is very slow. Nature is settling down to a long rest.
October Gardening Work
- Prepare ground, Main winter digging can begin.
- Prepare glass and other forms of protection—mats, screens, hurdles, straw.
- This is the gardener’s new year, and stocks of plants, fertilizers and soils should be overhauled.
- Perennial plants, trees and shrubs should be ordered and a garden planting plan made so that they can be prepared for in advance.
- Continue to hoe and weed.
- As ground becomes vacant, clear away rubbish to the compost pit and the bonfire, and begin to trench.
- Lime can be used immediately after digging.
- Trim away yellow leaves from cabbages and sprouts. Throw them into the compost pit to decay.
- Gather any remaining fruits on tomatoes.
- Clear asparagus beds and cut down stems. Cover the beds with manure to a depth of two inches.
- Lift and store celeriac, carrots and beet.
- Blanch celery and leeks by earthing and the use of paper collars. ,Finish planting out cabbage seedlings; any plants not set out this month should be left in the nursery all winter.
- Watch for frost; protective covering will often save a late crop.
- Cauliflowers can be protected in the open with portable cloches.
- Corn salad and dwarf early peas can be sown on a warm south border in the sheltered parts of the country.
- Plant rhubarb. This is a permanent crop, and should be planted where the ground will not be required for any other crops.
- Onions sown in beds last month can be thinned, but care should be taken not to disturb the remaining seedlings.
- Prepare holes for new orchard fruits, and dig over plots intended for new plantations of raspberry, currant or gooseberry.
- Towards the end of the month planting can begin.
- Apples and peers can still be gathered and stored.
- Some pruning can be done this month, if convenient.
- Old fruit and old wood that is not wanted can be cut out from fig trees now. This allows room for full development of the remaining new growths.
- Grease bands, if not yet in position, should be put round orchard tree trunks immediately.
- Clear away summer flowers from the beds and after forking the soil and manuring as needed, replant them with bulbs and spring herbaceous flowers.
- Lift and store gladiolus corms, dahlia tubers, and bedding (tuberous rooted) begonias.
- Renovate herbaceous borders; lift and divide perennials, and treat the soil with bonemeal before replanting.
- Fork lightly over the soil surface, of borders that do not need to be completely renovated. A dusting of lime between the plants is useful.
- Plant hyacinths, narcissi, and other bulbs in groups in the mixed border.
- Plant beds or border edgings of anemones.,
- Sever carnation layers, and plant the new plants in permanent or winter quarters.
- Make new lawns from turf.
- Dress old lawns for worm trouble.
- Prick over and use fertilizer or sifted’ soil and manure on lavcins in po r condition. A sandy, leafy top dressing works wonders at this season.
- Clean up lawns and paths; keep the fallen leaves in a heap to decay. They are best just damp, but should not be left in a very wet heap, or they do not decay satisfactorily.
- Bring under cover sifted soil, sand, leaf-mould, and other materials likely to be wanted for pots and boxes, during the frosty weather; you cannot easily obtain soil from a frostbound garden.
- Watch temperatures carefully. Keep frost out by the use of mats, straw, strawy manure piled round the sides of the frames, hurdles used to keep off winds or any other means that suggest themselves.
- Pot up more bulbs for indoor flowering.
- Bring chrysanthemums indoors — the border varieties to winter packed closely together in a cold frame, and the late flowering types in their pots, to provide colour in the cold greenhouse.
- Sow sweet. Peas’ in a frame.
- Prick out cauliflower seedlings into frames.
- Begin to force rhubarb if desired.
- Lift parsley, mint, etc., and pack into soil in a frame if fresh winter supplies are wanted.
- Clear away old hotbeds. The bulk of the old manure can be used in mixing potting soil.
- Sow lettuces in good rich soil in the greenhouse. Radishes and mustard and cress are other good winter salads to grow under alass.
Cold and misty, perhaps frosts, but usually not so severe that they last through the day. Just right for pruning, tree and shrub planting, and winter digging unless an exceptionally wet or cold spell occurs.
November Work in the Garden
- Sweep the leaves; these will have all fallen and the garden, including lawns and paths, can this month be cleaned up thoroughly for the winter.
- Dig and ridge all vacant land.
- Plant protection becomes an urgent matter. Newspapers, mats, straw, mats made of the old broad bean stems, hessian, cloches, evergreen twigs, bracken —all these are useful protective material.
- Keep the bonfire going; woody waste matter and any seeding weeds or diseased plant waste that might be the cause of future trouble should be burned. ,
- Tree prunings should be burned and any large wounds made by cutting out branches of forest trees should be painted over to keep out rains.
- Dig and trench vacant ground. If no manure is available, and the compost pit does not provide sufficient humus, use hop manure as a substitute.
- Spread lime over dug soil, particularly over heavy soil; it helps to break down the lumps so that a fine tilth can be secured.
- Soil infested with pests such as wire-worms should be treated now with soil fumigant, which must be dug in below the top spit. –
- Lift and store all root crops. Parsnips are best after a light frost has touched them, but if left in the ground too long, there may be a difficulty in digging.
- Indiscriminate manuring is wasteful, and some fertilizers are quite expensive. Ground to take peas and beans should need little nitrogenous food, and therefore will be sufficiently manured with the contents of the compost pit. Ground to take cabbages would benefit from a dressing of rich stable or poultry manure.
- Cover the manure on asparagus beds with a layer of soil now.
- Remove bean poles, pea sticks, etc., and sort and clean them before storing.
- Watch growing crops of spinach, turnips and onions for signs of slugs. Any modern slug killer will prevent trouble.
- Lift sea-kale roots and store them for forcing as required. They can be put into sand or ashes in the open.
- Lift rhubarb for forcing under glass.
- Sow broad beans if you have a position ready on a warm, sheltered border. Plant horseradish.
- Plant fruit trees and bushes, of all kinds.
- Prune fruits of all kinds.
- After pruning, fruit trees benefit by a dusting of fertilizer; a tree never really goes to sleep; you will notice the fruit buds swell between November and February. A good tonic for clay soils is basic slag, this supplies phosphates, 1 oz.. To 2 oz. Per square yard is sufficient. Kainit is also slow acting and can be applied now at the rate of a oz. Per square yard.
- Take cuttings of gooseberries and currants if further plantations are desired.
- Lift cuttings that were rooted last year and plant them in permanent homes.
- Spread manure between strawberry rows if available.
- Complete remodelling of the flower garden can take place now if desired.
- Plants lifted should have their roots protected from frost while they are out of the soil.
- Do not divide roots except of very hardy plants such as Michaelmas daisies; leave others to be divided in March.
- Plant roses. These are labour-saving flowers, and excellent for the wartime gardener.
- Clear away fallen leaves, specially from the rock garden.
- Arrange for the protection of such plants as Christmas roses that are to flower in the open in winter.
- Arrange for woolly-leaved rock plants to have protection from the worst rains.
- Plant tulips in shrubbery, borders and formal beds.
- Attend to constructional details: gate hinges and latches, greenhouse doors and frame hinges. A touch of oil or a coat of paint may make years of difference in wear.
- Clean all glass; sunshine is scarce enough, and none should be lost through films of dirt on windows. Limewash inside walls of lean-to greenhouses.
- Repair pergolas, paths, screens and fences.
- Plant protective screens; wattle hurdles as temporary shelters help the young hedge plants to establish themselves quickly.
- Ventilate and fumigate as needed.
- Bring indoor bulbs into the greenhouse or living-rooms from the cold frames. Do not bring in every bowl or pot at once, but allow for a succession of bloom.
- Watch for yellowing leaves on geraniums and similar plants; remove these and burn them. Ventilate as much as possible, avoiding frosts, but water sparingly.
- In mild weather, take the frame lights off cauliflowers and similar vegetables that are being grown in the frame; they will stand mild winter days well enough, and are best kept hardy.
Unfit for any serious disturbance of plant roots. Probably cold if not actually frosty, and usually either rainy or snowy. Garden work indoors is probably more useful than outdoors unless the days are dry enough for digging.
December Gardening Jobs
- Make plans for next season. Planting pans are needed both for flower and vegetable garden.
- Work out in detail systems of plant rotation, what fertilizers are to be used, and where, what insecticides are needed, what seeds will be required.
- Clean, sort, tie in bundles and store all idle plant stakes, labels, etc.
- Clean up tool sheds. Wash pots. Reorganize the non-living details of the garden such as pegs for tools, bins for fertilizers, storage places for soils, new compost pits and so on.
- Tour the garden and see that wind breakages and damage through snowfalls are quickly repaired.
- In many ways December is the best month to bring pests that trouble the garden under control. American blight and other pests that attack fruit trees can be destroyed with a tar oil wash. Soil pests like wireworm and leather-jackets can be reduced by applying naphthalene during digging. It should be well below the soil to get the maximum results. All weeds whether in paths or under hedges should be removed and dumped in the compost pit.
- The foliage from rose bushes attacked by black spots should be raked or picked off the beds and burnt.
- Lawns can receive a dressing of lawn sand which will help to control weeds. And prevent these spreading during the winter months.
- Dig, dig, and dig again. You need to trench or bastard trench vacant ground annually for the best results.
- In addition, fork the top spit of soil over as many times as possible during the winter; it aerates the soil, and also brings pests to the surface to be preyed on by birds.
- Do not dig when the ground is very frosty; on such days do the work of wheeling manure from place to place, setting it out in heaps for easy distribution as digging is don.
- Watch stored roots—remove any that become rotten or they will infect the whole store.
- Protect broccoli from frost by bending, a leaf over the flower that is forming. Garden soil is ‘most easily sterilized with chemicals, and this can best be carried out during winter, when the soil is” vacant.
- Very ‘little sowing can be done between November and February on the plot, but in a mild spell a few broad beans could be sown in a sheltered border.
- Where peas are growing in the open, draw a little earth up against them as a protective measure. Treat broad beans in the same way.
- Prune outdoor grape vines.
- Prune other fruits as required, but pruning must be avoided during very heavy frosts.
- Spray fruit trees and bushes with tar oil winter wash. If green crops are growing below the fruits, cover them with sacking or hessian before you spray.
- Burn dead wood and prunings.
- Remove and burn big buds from black currants if present. Make a note to spray these with lime sulphur in spring.
- Continue planting only if the weather is mild and open.
- Protect Christmas roses with pieces of glass. Otherwise the blooms get ruined by rain splashes.
- Finish bulb planting if any bulbs are – still out of the ground.
- Protect autumn sown anemones with light litter.
- Protect autumn sown annuals with evergreen twigs pushed in close to them.
- Protect tender roses by strewing light litter among the stems.
- Distribute rotted manure over the. Herbaceous borders, forking it lightly in when opportunity occurs.
- Distribute winter fertilizers—lime or kainit or both—as required.
- Potash is specially needed by orchatd fruits, and kainit applied now is a good way to supply the required potash.
- Lime for heavy soils and chalk for light soils must be applied in winter. Order supplies immediately.
- Repair work of all kinds is urgent—order gravel, surfacing chips, paving stone, and any new posts and trellis that maybe needed.
- Give a coat of paint or creosote where needed.
- Rhubarb, sea-kale and chicory are ready for forcing. Light is best excluded from all, as the flavour is thereby improved.
- Seed potatoes, if already in hand, can be set to sprout. These do better if allowed some light.
- Clean and limewash the greenhouse if this has not already been done.
- Prepare potting and seed ‘ composts.
- Pay great attention to ventilation; all the air possible without endangering the plants should be admitted daily.
- Reduce water supplies for resting plants to a minimum. *Fuchsias and similar plants in pots can lie over on their sides for the present.
- Keep up the supply of small saladings. Mustard and cress can be grown still from fortnightly sowings under glass.