Gardening Calendar for December

December should be the quietest month in the garden, but as the saying goes there’s no rest for the wicked (or gardener).  This month the guide will help prepare for the busy season ahead.

To Do

  • One of the few things that you can sow at this time of year are broad beans for the earliest crops.
  • Prune fruit bushes like gooseberries and fruit tree.  Don’t forget to also protect your fruit trees from winter moth grubs with glue bands.
  • Any weeds you can remove now will save you some hard work later in the year.
  • Remove any over wintering pest lurking around but try not to disturb any beneficial insects taking shelter.
  • To help your wildlife over winter leave undisturbed log pile, special nesting sites and give your birds extra food and fresh unfrozen water.
  • Now is a good time to take care of your tools, repair and wear and tear, treat wooden handles and sharpen edges.
  • Prepare old pots for a new life with a good scrub clean, ready for new sowings in January.
  • If the ground is not waterlogged or frozen you can still prepare new vegetable beds, add lots of manure to beak down over the winter.
  • Plan your planting for next year, browse through the website and the planting guide for inspiration or order the new organic seed catalogue

Links

Gardening Calendar for November

fallenleaf

November is a good month to do some essential preparation for winter.

To Do

  • Ok so theres not a lot to sow this month, but there are a few things you can, like Brun D’Hiver a great winter lettuce.  Have a look at the planting calendar for other ideas
  • Plant fruit trees and bushes now while they are dormant, we recommend using Carbon Gold’s Tree Enhancer and Protector.
  • Divide clumps of rhubarb once they are dormant
  • Prepare a bed now for perennials, great for planting up rhubarb crowns and asparagus crowns.
  • Make Leaf mould, the great thing about Autumn is giving us all those leaves we can put to great use.  If your not sure how to do it follow our guide.
  • Spread manure over your beds and let it rot down over winter
  • Turn compost heaps and really heat them up
  • It’s a good time to dig up root crop but try and leave parsnips in the ground until after the first frost
  • Plant garlic
  • Prune Apple and Pear trees
  • Set out new strawberry plant and runners.  Strawberry bed need to be refreshed every few years
  • Give all your bird feeders a deep clean this month so that they’re ready for winter when your wild birds will need them most.
  • Insulate the greenhouse to keep in the heat
  • Wash out old pots and have a good tidy up for winter
  • Browse our selection and order your vegetable seeds and seed potatoes now
  • Follow us on facebook, to find out about our special offers and discounts

Links

Gardening Calendar for September

September is when I really start to notice the days are getting shorter.  It’s a great time of year to add to your organic harvest with some great foraging.

To Do

  • Store excess harvests like beetroot and make yummy pickles for the winter
  • Keep on top of slug and snail control by using slug traps, egg shells, nematodes, organic slug pellets and destroying eggs.
  • Continue to water your greenhouse regularly, it can still be very warm and sunny at this time of year.
  • Propagate new new strawberry plants from their runners.
  • Growth starts to slow in perennial weeds now so it’s best to deal with them as soon as possible.
  • Dig new beds for your vegetables.  Now is a great time of year to start digging and let them overwinter.
  • Check out the planting guide for vegetables to sow this month.  Quick growing salads like our baby leaf mix are great for cut-and-come-again salads.
  • If you still have a lot of green tomatoes left try leaving them with a ripe banana to ripen up faster.
  • Look after your wildlife, consider providing overwinter accommodation for bees and ladybirds.
  • Harvest onions and try storing them with raffia plaits.
  • Make a pond or do a bit of maintenance on existing ponds, even a tiny pond will increase the biodiversity of your environment.  Take out any fallen leaves  and thin out vigorous plants.
  • Use biodegradable leaf sacks to make beautiful rich leaf mould
  • Take hardwood cuttings of fruit bushes

Links

Gardening Calendar for August

august_beesAugust is a month of abundance, if your away on your holidays why not let your neighbors or friends look after your lovely organic vegetables for you so nothing is wasted.  There are lots of jobs to do and plenty of time to sit back and enjoy the benefits of all the hard work you put in earlier in the year

To Do

  • Remember to water pots, grow bags and hanging baskets
  • There are still lots of things to sow including carrots, cos lettuces and many more. The planting guide has lots more suggestions.
  • Don’t forget to thin out carrots late in the day so you don’t attract any carrot root fly.
  • Harvest courgettes regularly to get the most out of your plants
  • Keep your tomatoes healthy, water regularly, feed with a natural fertilizer and remove any yellow leaves
  • Make a nettle brew it’s a great fertilizer and discourages pests like aphids.
  • Watch out for pests, prevention is often better than cure. Use crushed eggs shells around plants to deter slugs and use nets to cover brassicas.  For extra help try a few organic solutions like nematodes
  • Tackle weeds early to stop them getting established, hoe up in hot weather and hand pull when wet.
  • Keep vents open in the greenhouse in hot weather and use shade netting to prevent scorching.
  • Take cuttings of herbs for propagation and try drying any excess trimmings you have
  • Don’t leave any empty space on your plot fill with an organic green manure,like crimson clover, they will add nutrients, stop them leaching out the soil and restrict weed growth.
  • Look after the wildlife in your garden, try butterfly feeding stations or houses for them to over winter in.
  • Prune plums and damsons as soon as they have been harvested.

Gardening Calendar for July

july_ladybirds

July can be the hottest and driest month of the summer.  It’s a great time of the year to sit back enjoying the weather and reap the benefits of freshly harvested crops.  Water conservation is important this time of year when any rain can be precious.

To Do

  • Lots of things can be planted this month, like lettuces, cabbage and radishes.  Why not try Golden Detroit beetroot which has an interesting colour variation.
  • Make sure carrots aren’t over-crowded and thin out, do this in the evening when the smell is less likely to attract carrot fly.
  • If your strawberries have started to send out runners, peg these down into the soil so roots can form.
  • Pests are always a problem, keep an eye out for slugs and aphids and treat early to avoid heaving infestations.
  • If your growing any of your veg’s in pots make sure to water them every day in hot weather.  Watering is best done in the evening to avoid evaporation.
  • If you have a greenhouse check the humidity regularly. Open vents in hot weather and put up shade nets to prevent scorch
  • Hoe regularly to stop weeds taking over, in dry weather they will wilt and die very quickly.
  • Take cuttings of your favourite herbs, these will root very easily in the warm weather.
  • Long dry days are a good time to do maintenance on sheds and other structures. A new lick of wood preserver or felt can keep your shed going for years.
  • If your fruit trees are cropping heavily support the branches to avoid them snapping.

Gardening Calendar for May

May can be a little tricky for the gardener, late frost can sneak up on you or we can get glorious summer sunshine.

To Do

  • Protect vegetables and fruit trees from late frosts
  • Sow some more seeds, why not try some unusual squash like custard white, or more usual carrots (we recommend autumn king) try the plant now guide for inspiration
  • Watch out for aphids and other pests they can be a nuisance now, biological control are very effective when you spot pests
  • Seedlings you planted earlier may need pricking out now
  • Grow flowers for your birds, sunflowers are great for this and kids love to grow them, or try a wildflower mix
  • Add an organic mulch it will help retain moisture and add nutrient as it rots down
  • Carrots might need thinning now, carefully pick out weaker seedlings. Be careful not to attract carrot root fly by doing this in the evening
  • Some early potatoes might be ready to earth up now, get any potatoes left into the ground now.
  • Protect fruit bushes from birds they can decimate a crop in no time.

Links

Gardening Calendar for April

DSCF0006

April has got to be my favourite month and it’s not just because of the easter eggs, who could not love the smell of blossom in the air.  Glorious warm sunshine or snow showers we need to be prepared for it all this month.  Take every opportunity to get out side and get those job done, but don’t fret if your suck indoor theres plenty to be sown on the windowsill.

To Do

  • Plant early organic potatoes in prepared bed or planters
  • Protect new shoot from slug attack, try using organic slug pellets or natural nematodes to keep them under control.
  • Start sowing outside, why not try some carrots or beetroot.  Keep an eye on the weather and use protection when needed.
  • There is so much that can be sown this month, pick your favourites or try them all.  Check out the what to plant guide for inspiration.
  • If your veg is starting to grow, then so are the weeds,  keep on top of them now to give your plants the best chance.
  • Give your trees a good organic mulch around the bases.
  • There is still time to dig over any plots you haven’t got around to yet and don’t forget to add lots of organic matter.
  • Keep an eye out for aphids and over wintering pests and treat them as soon as they appear.
  • Sow seeds for companion planting, try marigolds and nasturtiums.
  • Plant wild flowers, in border around ponds or as a meadow. There are  different combinations that bees,butterflies and birds will love.
  • Force rhubarb

Gardening Calendar for March

DSCF0009Spring is definitely on it’s way this month, occasionally it stops raining and the sun comes out. Bulbs are showing themselves and the days are getting longer and thankfully warmer. March is often the busiest month for sowings, if your space is limited then plant your favorites first before you run out of room, or like me plant everything you can wherever you can, you can always give them away later.

To Do

  • Get sowing, there are lots and lots of organic vegetables to be sown this month. Check out the what to plant now guide for inspiration.  It’s the last chance to sow tomatoes and peppers
  • Add lots of organic matter to veggie bed and finish any digging.  Remeber not to dig in frozen or waterlogged soil.
  • Get the early organic seed potatoes that you have been chitting into warm soil, but don’t rush keep an eye out for late frosts.
  • Watch out for pests and protect any early shoots from slugs, Nematodes are available for delivery in March and will protect young plants for upto 6 weeks.
  • Soil that has been warmed with cloches and matting can have some early sowing, but check the weather for your area.
  • Take control early on and deal with any weeds that start to appear.  That hoe you sharpened over the winter is just the thing.
  • This is your last chance to prune fruit trees.  Take excess buds off young and biennial fruiting trees
  • Carry on planting bare root fruit trees and canes,  Make sure to protect them little critters (quite large geese in our case!)
  • Force rhubarb, use a dustin, a large pot or a pretty decorative forcer, just make sure there is no light and they could be ready in around 8 weeks.
  • Divide perennial herbs that are a bit overgrown and clumpy like mint and oregano
  • Create a wildlife pond to help out our native species of wildlife or clean and repair the lining of the pond you have.  Frogs and toads are great at keeping the slug population down.

Links

Gardening Calendar for February

Spring is in sight! With light levels increasing and hopefully temperature too Spring could be just around the corner. February is a great time to finish our preparations in the vegetable patch ready for the busy season ahead.

To Do

  • Prepare all of your vegetable beds, dig in any manure but  you can use cloches and fleece to start warming up the soil and put some early sowings under these.
  • Keep and eye out for weeds, increasing soil temperature will increase growth, but this is a good sign that your soil is warm enough for vegetable sowings.
  • Continue chitting your potatoes.
  • Fruit trees, canes and hedges can still be planted (we are planting hedges and fruit trees around out smallholding, check out the blog for more information).
  • This time of year is good for taking hardwood cuttings of fruit trees and shrubs.
  • You still have time to clean out your greenhouse and shed, make sure all your seed trays are cleaned and store them when dry.
  • Sow some seeds undercover . There is a lot that can be sown this month, have a look at the planting guide for all the vegetables ready for sowing.
  • If you have been keeping any tree seeds in cold storage since Autumn, now is a good time to sow them.
  • Watch out for pests that have over wintered, slugs and snails can be around at this time of year also. Consider pre-ordering nematode pest control to keep on top of common pests.
  • If you have a wildlife pond now is a good time to repair and damage or leaks with minimal disturbance.
  • Check on your compost heaps,they may want turning.