Bring in houseplants that were moved outside for the summer, before temperatures start to drop. Lift and divide congested clumps of perennials, once they have finished flowering. Plant spring bulbs such as daffodils, hyacinths and snake’s-head fritillaries. Take cuttings of fuchsias, pelargoniums and salvias.
Raise the cutting height on your mower so that lawns can cope better in the hot dry weather. Feed your lawn with a high phosphate feed which will strengthen the roots for the winter. Mow meadows now to help scatter established wildflower seeds. Water containers, new plants, rhododendrons and camellias. Continue deadheading faded blooms but consider leaving some seedheads for the birds to eat.
Cut back herbs now to encourage new growth which you can then harvest before any frosts. Trim lavender plants now. Keep harvesting vegetables as the are ready which will then encourage the plants to put energy into new vegetables. Pinch out the tips of climbing runner and French beans when they have reached the top of the frame they are growing on. [Read more…] about August Gardening Tips by Wellie
July is the month to really enjoy your garden, and to make a note of what might need splitting or moving in the Autumn. It can be very dry this month so prioritising this job should be top of your agenda followed by dead heading to keep your display of flowering plants looking great for longer.
If tall perennials are flopping a bit, put some stakes around them to help them and tie in and train any new growth on climbing plants. Give your beds, pots and baskets a feed which will help them to stay looking lush and healthy for longer. Prune early-summer flowering shrubs, such as Philadelphus, once they have finished flowering. Cut back flowered growth to a strong lower shoot and thin out up to a fifth of old, woody stems. [Read more…] about July Gardening Tips by Wellie
Harvest early peas, and prepare for a late sowing to get an autumn crop. Thin fruit, especially apples and plums for bigger fruit,less biennial bearing and fewer broken branches. Sow lettuces and radishes to fill in any gaps between slower maturing vegetables such as brassicas. Net soft fruit bushes to stop the birds taking the fruit. Sow overwintering carrots, such as Autumn King’. Plant out leeks when they are pencil thick. Make a deep hole with a dibber and drop the leek into the hole, if the roots are very long they can be trimmed to roughly 2cm, do not push the soil around the plant, just pour water into the hole and let the earth fall around the plant.
After the extremely dry summer last year and the very cold temperatures we experienced back in December many plants are looking a little (perhaps an understatement for some plants!) dead. Plants I have noticed that have suffered are Pittosporum, hebes, Penstamon,Salvias, Rosemary, Bay and Choisya.
The weather can be very changeable, it can be warm and sunny during the day, but the temperatures can still really drop over night.
Plant out second early potatoes in the first two weeks and main crops in last two weeks of April. Carry on sowing vegetables directly into prepared soil including carrots, turnip, peas, broadbeans, spinach and lettuce. Sow tender courgettes, cucumbers and pumpkins indoors. [Read more…] about April Gardening Tips by Wellie
March can be a busy time in the garden, as Spring begins you will notice the busy activity of bird in your garden building their nests. To help them out tie up bunches of tiny twigs, moss and stringy plant material around your garden.
Hedgehogs and frogs begin to come out of hibernation this month, make sure there is availability of water and food for them.
Lift and divide overgrown clumps of herbaceous perennials that were not split in the Autumn. [Read more…] about March Gardening Tips by Wellie
Wellie’s gardening tips are written a month in advance and the weather outside at the moment is extremely wet and windy, but also very mild. It will be interesting to see which plants, especially the more temperate plants that will survive after the minus temperatures we had in December. In the 20 odd years that I have been working as a gardener, 2022 was the first year that the leaves (especially some of the oaks) had not all fallen by Christmas. The suggestions below are just that – suggestions, and are all dependent on the weather.
Plant bare-root roses, shrubs, hedging and ornamental trees, as long as the ground isn’t frozen. Remove and bin hellebore foliage marked with black blotches, to limit the spread of leaf spot disease. Deadhead winter pansies and other bedding regularly, and remove any foliage affected by downy mildew. Check for rot on stored bulbs and tubers, and ensure dahlia and canna tubers haven’t totally dried out. Continue pruning climbing roses, while they are dormant.
Aerate your lawn now before winter sets in. Either use a lawn aerator or simply insert a garden fork at regular intervals and lean it back slightly to let air in. Continue to clear fallen leaves off the lawn to keep it healthy using a light rake. Set your lawn mower to a higher cut-height for winter. Prevent containers becoming waterlogged by raising them off the ground for the winter using bricks or ‘pot feet’. Encourage hungry birds into your garden by investing in bird baths and bird feeders. Our feathered friends will keep garden pest numbers down and bring joy on a bleak winter’s day.
Some Broad beans and pea varieties (such as Aquadulce Claudia and Pea ‘Douce Provence’) can be sown now for an earlier crop next year, along with spring cabbages and spinach (which might need to be covered from frosts).
Onions and garlic can also be planted now for harvesting next year. There is still time to sow some salad crops such as winter lettuce mixes and mizuna, and why not put in a row or two of radishes as they are quick to mature.
Watering is key this month, particularly container-grown plants and border plantings not yet established. Keep Camellias and Rhododendrons well-watered now to ensure good flower bud formation next spring. Top up ponds and bird baths regularly. Stake tall or top-heavy dahlias and lilies to prevent wind and rain damage.
Regular feeding and dead heading keeps the garden looking its best until autumn, dead-head lilies for a better flower display next year. Dead-head annual bedding plants and perennials to encourage them to flower into the autumn and stop them self-seeding, but it’s a good idea to leave some to form seedheads, providing a nutritious food source for birds. [Read more…] about August Gardening Tips by Wellie
Divide congested clumps of bearded iris after flowering. Dead head bedding plants, roses and herbaceous plants to encourage more flowers. Trim evergreen hedges, including conifers. Feed dahlias and cannas every two weeks with a high potassium fertilizer, such as tomato feed. Prune early-summer flowering shrubs, such as Philadelphus, once they have finished flowering. Cut back flowered growth to a strong lower shoot and thin out up to a fifth of old, woody stems.
20th June is the longest day this year bringing extra sunlight hours (and perhaps warmer weather).
Gardens will be full of flowers and the veg gardens producing lots to harvest, but the weeds will be having a merry time as well and need to be kept in check.
Plant out summer bedding once the risk of frost has passed. Keep an eye on the weather forecast, and protect with horticultural fleece if necessary.
Dahlia plants can be planted out at the end of the month. Stake any herbaceous plants that will flop over or be damaged by high winds. Evergreen hedges can be cut from this month, but check for nesting birds before getting the shears or hedgecutter out. [Read more…] about May Gardening Tips by Wellie
Hydrangea flowerheads left for winter protection can be cut off now. Remove old flowerheads of mophead and lace cap hydrangeas to just above a pair of buds, cut out any thin, weak stems around the base of the plant and remove one or two of the largest, oldest stems as low down as possible to the base to promote new shoots. Hydrangea serrata and quercifolia are lightly pruned, just removing old flower heads.
Hydrangea paniculate and aboresens, which flower on this year’s growth can be pruned back harder without losing this year’s flowers.
[Read more…] about April Gardening Tips by Wellie
Dead head daffodils as they fade, but allow the foliage to die down naturally.
Plant in the garden any forced bulbs that you had growing indoors such as hyacinths and daffodils so that they can add more colour to your garden next year. Feed borders with a general purpose fertiliser, but feed acid loving shrubs such as azaleas, rhododendrons and camellias with an ericaceous fertiliser.
Bulbous and tuberous plants kept in containers over winter can get damp and rot. Pots of dahlias, agapanthus and lilies should be stacked on their sides, one on top of the other, in a cold greenhouse to stop moisture getting into the roots. When the weather improves in February or March, stand them the right way up, water well and start them growing again.
Cut back herbaceous perennials and deciduous grasses left for winter interest before new growth commences. Prune shrubs hard such as Cornus and Salix grown for winter coloured stems. Winter flowering jasmine can be pruned after it has finished flowering. Prune Wisteria and Campsis by cutting back side shoots to 2 or 3 buds. Prune late summer flowering shrubs such as Buddleja, Lavatera and Fuchsia hard. [Read more…] about February Gardening Tips by Wellie
If the weather is cold and wet, why not sit inside with a cup of tea and a slice of Christmas cake and plan what you would like to do in the garden for the rest of the year. Look at seed catalogues for ideas of what to sow. Apple and pear trees can still be pruned now, if there is no risk of frosts, by taking out any diseased, crossing or dead branches. Aim to end up with an open tree that allows light and air into it.
Prune outdoor grapevines by mid January, rising sap ‘bleeds’ from pruning cuts later in spring. Buy and start chitting early potatoes. Chitting will help to bring on a slightly earlierand heavier crop. [Read more…] about January Gardening Tips by Wellie
Clematis pruning guide
Group 1 – Spring
No pruning needed except to control the size or shape of these clematis.
If necessary, lightly prune, back to a pair of healthy buds, immediately after flowering
Tip: Early flowering clematis can become overgrown as they age. A hard pruning can rejuvenate the plant but the next seasons flowers will be lost. In early spring, cut stems back to a pair of healthy buds several inches above the ground to encourage new growth