Wisborough Green Horticultural Society
The Gardener's Calendar by Ian Clemens
· Plant summer-flowering bulbs such as Lilies and Gladiolus into beds, borders and containers.
· Divide Hostas before they come into leaf. Pot them up and bring them along to the May plant sale.
· Divide primroses after they have flowered.
· Deadhead daffodils and tulips as the flowers finish but leave the foliage intact allowing it to die back naturally.
· Plant your chitted potatoes outside in the ground or in potato grow bags, but remember to keep well covered if there is a chance of frost.
· Protect your fruit blossom from late frosts by covering them with fleece on cold nights.
· Plant out strawberry beds, making sure you enrich the soil first with plenty of well-rotted manure. Place cloches over your strawberry plants for earlier crops.
· Protect your fruit blossom from late frosts by covering them with fleece on cold nights.
· Keep an eye on your seedlings - as soon as they have their first true leaves, prick them out into pots or modules for growing on.
· If you haven't already, give your greenhouse a thorough scrub with hot soapy water to get rid of pests and diseases and to let more light in. I actually spray mine with household bleach solution which seems to kill off everything.
Finish cutting back any dead foliage left on your perennials and ornamental grasses to make way for new growth.
Prune overwintered fuchsias back to one or two buds on each shoot.
Deadhead daffodils as
the flowers finish and let the foliage die back naturally.
before new growth appears.
Cut off the old leaves
of Hellebores to remove any foliar diseases and make the spring flowers more
Towards the end of the
month plant your chitted early potatoes outside in the ground.
Plant onions, shallots
and garlic provided the soil isn't frozen or waterlogged. Alternatively
plant into individual pots for transplanting outdoors
later on when soil conditions are more favourable.
Start to sow vegetable
seeds such as carrots, radishes and lettuce in greenhouse borders or outside
Plant fruit trees and
raspberry canes now.
raspberry canes to the ground to stimulate new cane growth. Cut the tips of
summer-fruiting raspberry canes that have grown
beyond the top of their supports; cut just above a bud.
Protect the blossoms of
apricots, peaches and nectarines from frost with horticultural fleece.
Mulch rhubarb with a
thick layer of well-rotted manure to keep it healthy and reduce moisture
loss through the soil. Take care not to cover the
crown. You can also plant fresh rhubarb crowns now.
Covering your strawberries with a cloche will encourage earlier fruiting.
· Any dormant fuchsias that you’ve over-wintered in the greenhouse can be put on the staging so that they are in full light and given a misting of water to encourage them to start wakening up.
· This is your last chance to winter prune that wisteria. Really!
· Check stored dahlia tubers, discarding any that have rotted. Move the tubers into a light, warm place and they’ll soon come into growth.
· Start planning this year’s bedding display. Time to plant antirrhinums, marigolds, begonias, cosmos, lobelia petunias and pansies from seed.
· Hopefully you’ve been saving egg boxes to use for chitting your seed potatoes. If not then a seed tray or similar will do. Chit them now for planting from mid-March onwards.
· Sow windowsill crops of salad leaves and herbs.
· Start planting broad beans, brassicas, carrots, parsnips and onions.
· Indoors sowing of tomatoes, cucumbers, chillies and peppers.
· Plant new fruit trees and continue to prune those that are already established.
Remove old leaves
to make the new blooms more visible as they emerge this spring.
· Remove any faded flowers from your to stop them setting seed and prolong flowering.
· Cut back the old foliage from before growth begins - clip them to within a few centimetres of the ground.
· now in a sunny position for spectacular summer colour.
· Start chitting (sprouting) - stand them on end in a module tray or egg box and place in a bright cool frost-free place.
· Remove yellowing leaves from your as they are no use to the plant and may harbour pests and diseases.
· Prune to maintain a productive framework.
· Try by placing an upturned bucket or bin over the crown. This will force tender pink stems to grow that will be ready in
about 8 weeks.
· in pots now for stunning indoor flowers in early spring.
Start to , climbing
roses, vines and fruit trees.
· Leave the faded flower heads on your until the spring, as they will provide frost protection to the swelling buds further down the stems.
· of shrubs or bedding plants to a sheltered spot; clustering them together helps protect the root systems from suffering frost damage.
· Take from suitable trees and shrubs.
· Lift and divide established clumps of to renew the plant's vigour.
· Remove yellowing leaves from your as they are no use to the plant and may harbour pests and diseases. Cover with to
protect them from pigeons.
· Dig over and pile manure on top - let the worms and frosts break up the clods of soil.
· Apply or grease bands to the trunks of fruit trees to prevent wingless climbing the trunks and laying their eggs in the
· Plant raspberry canes now whilst they are dormant.
· Plant blueberries for an attractive addition to the fruit garden.
· There's still time to and other spring flowering bulbs.
· Plant out displays of pansies, violas and primulas.
· Start to - they can be planted any time between now and March.
· Continue to , begonias and gladiolus corms to store dry over the winter months. Remove the dead foliage before storing.
· Cut back the yellowing foliage of , and lift and divide overcrowded clumps to maintain their vigour.
· after the first frosts when their flavour will have sweetened.
· Divide mature clumps of once they are dormant.
· If you have access to , now is the time to spread it across the surface of your vegetable beds to rot down over winter.
· Build a to take the bending out of vegetable growing.
· and draw up some soil around the base of the stem to prevent wind rocking the plant and causing damage to the roots.
· Now is the ideal time to whilst they are dormant.
· now for a delicious home grown crop.
· and promptly remove any showing signs of disease or rotting.
· Tidy up your - cut off any dead leaves and remove runners.
· anytime between now and February. But don't be tempted to prune your plum trees now as they will be susceptible to the silver leaf fungus - wait until midsummer.
· Apply or grease bands to the trunks of fruit trees to prevent wingless climbing the trunks and laying their eggs in the branches.
As colder weather is approaching, with or bring into a frost-free greenhouse or conservatory.
Once the first frosts have blackened
and store in a dry frost free environment over the winter months.
Lift Begonia tubers and Gladioli corms
and remove the dead foliage before storing them.
, and for a glorious spring display.
as , , and .
the first frosts.
When beans and peas finish cropping simply cut the plant away at ground level,
leaving the roots in the soil. .
These crops fix nitrogen which is slowly released into the soil as the roots break down
Continue for a bumper
earlier crop next summer.
· Any plants with remaining can be hung upside down indoors to ripen.
to increase ventilation. Shear back old foliage to encourage
fresh new growth.
· from fruit cages to allow birds to catch and eat any pests that are lurking there.
Continue to feed and dead-head your hanging baskets and container plants,
they will often keep going until the first frosts.
Start to divide herbaceous perennials as the
Plant spring-flowering bulbs such as daffodils,
crocus and hyacinths now.
Keep dead-heading your
to prolong flowering.
Cut off the foliage of
at ground level 3 weeks before lifting them to prevent blight spores
infecting the tubers as you lift them. This will also help to firm the skins
of the potatoes improving their storage qualities.
Keep feeding and watering
to make the most of them. When beans and peas finish cropping simply cut the
plant away at ground level, leaving the roots in the soil. These crops fix
nitrogen which is slowly released into the soil as the roots break down.
Start planting overwinter onions and garlic,
including elephant garlic, for early crops the following year.
Cover your brassicas with
to prevent birds making a meal out of them.
Pot up strawberry runners to make extra plants for
next year. Plant out any rooted runners of strawberries for a good crop next
Mow long grass under fruit trees to make it easier
to spot windfall fruits.
Look out for rotting fruits on your pear, apple
and plum trees. Pick them off as they will spread disease if left on the
Take hardwood cuttings to increase your stock of currants, gooseberries & figs.
• Plant out annual summer bedding plants in borders, containers and hanging baskets now the risk of frost has passed.
• Lift and divide clumps of snowdrops and bluebells once the leaves start to yellow.
• Pinch out the tips of your fuchsias to encourage a bushy habit and more flowers.
• Cut back bulb foliage once it has died down naturally.
• Plant out tender vegetables like courgette, squash, tomatoes and sweetcorn now the chance of frost has past.
• Look out for yellowing of autumn planted onion and garlic foliage. This is a sign that they are ready to harvest.
• Continue to earth up main crop potatoes and think about harvesting your first earlies (ready 10 weeks after planting)
• Harvest salad crops and sow new every two weeks to ensure a constant supply of tasty leaves.
• Thin out congested branches on fruit trees for bigger and better fruits.
• Protect developing fruits from birds and squirrels by netting your plants.
• Peg down runners on strawberry plants to create more plants for next year.
• Continue earthing-up potatoes and harden off outdoor tomatoes, courgettes and pumpkins for planting early next month.
• Thin out direct-sown vegetables such as spinach, carrot and lettuce seedlings then water the rows well.
• Plant out brassicas and leeks to their final positions.
• Weed around your onions and
garlic to reduce competition for nutrients and water. Applying an onion fertiliser
will boost growth.
• Hang pheromone traps in plum and apple trees.
• Surround strawberries with straw to protect fruit and net them to keep birds off.
• Erect netting around your soft fruit plants to prevent birds eating your crop.
• Remove blossom and fruits from newly planted fruit trees to allow them to establish properly during their first year.
• Take cuttings of tender perennials such as Fuchsia, Argyranthemum and Pelargoniums (geraniums).
• Harden off half-hardy plants by leaving them outside during the day and bringing back under cover at night for 7 to 10 days before planting outdoors.
• Don't be tempted to cut down
or tie up the foliage of spring-flowering bulbs, let them die down naturally.