- Harvest fruit, vegetables and herbs while they are in prime condition. Freeze, store or give away produce if you cannot use it all immediately.
- Net vunerable crops to protect them from insects that will smoother the plants and butterflies that will lay eggs and have caterpillars that will eat the leaves.
- Weed and deadhead plants regularly, checking for pests and diseases at the same time.
- Cut herbs for drying and take cuttings.
- Mulch while the soil is moist to reduce the need for watering and to keep down weeds.
- Check regularly to see if new plants need water. New plantings are all particularly vulnerable and may need water every day.
- Hoe to expose and dry out surface weeds, mulch beds and borders and be on the lookout for all pests.
- Collect and sow or store ripe seeds before they fall.
- Clip fast-growing established hedges such as privet.
- Mow the lawn weekly or more often if necessary; frequent mowing encourages dense growth.
- Prune summer-flowering shrubs over three years old as they finish flowering.
LI>Adjust supports as plants grow.
- Don't stop weeding!
- Feed trees, shrubs and plants that are performing badly with high-nitrogen liquid feriliser.
- Reduce the length of wisteria tendrils by half.
- Propagate Conifers from cuttings
- Gather aromatic leaves and flowers to dry for pot pourri.
- Top up garden pools to replace water lost through evaporation.
- Take cuttings of carnations, fuchias, herbs and many shrubs and perennials to root in the greenhouse.
- Sow seeds or buy young plants to plant out:-
- climbing and runnwer beans
- carrots, sweetcorn, marrows, squashes and cucumbers.
- bedding plants such as African marigolds, petunias, lobelia and antirrhinums.
- begonias and pelargoniums.
- quick-growing perennials.
- Organise shading for the greenhouse using blinds, shading nets or a shading wash.
- Ventilate cold frames and the greenhouse whenever possible to encourage sturdy plant growth.
- Water and feed plants in the greenhouse regularly.
- Continue sowing chervil, dill and parsley, early spring cabbage for planting out in October, endive, French beans, lettuce, radish, spring greens, spring onions, carrots, swedes and turnips. For composting sow green manures (alfalfa, buckwheat, clovers, fenugreek, phacelia and trefoil).
- Plant out leeks.
- Pinch out side shoots from tomatoes.
- Support beans and peas with canes.
- Harvest onions and shallots and leave them to dry off.
- Cut cucumbers and pinch back shoots.
- Nourish pot-grown melons and tomatoes with comfrey and/or manure water.
- Train climbing beans up supports.
- Harvest vegetables as they ripen. (It's especially important to harvest courgettes and beans while they are young and tender)
- Cut culinary herbs and dry or freeze to use later in the year.
- Feed tomato plants regularly.
- Make sure leafy vegetables such as lettuces and spinach, fruiting crops such as tomatoes and marrows, and peas and beans as their pods begin to swell, get sufficient water.
- Lift garlic bulbs, bunch loosely and hang in an airy place to dry.
- Increase and harvest your crop of tomatoes.
- Pick soft fruit and prune after picking.
- Propagate strawberries from runners.
- Look out for caterpillars on fruit. Pick off any with leaf miner larvae or mildew on and be on the alert for slugworm damage. Set pheremone traps.
- Thin peaches, apricots and green gooseberries; if mildew appears on gooseberries, prune out worst infected shoots and water well at the roots.
- Check raspberry canes for raspberry beetle, spur blight and cane midge.
- Thin grape bunches on vines: feed with manure water or comfrey tea.
- Water strawberries and, if growing under cover, ventilate to allow bees access.
- Cover the ground under strawberries with straw or matting to protect the ripening fruit from mud and from slugs and other pests.
- Make sure fruit trees and bushes have sufficient water while the fruit is setting otherwise fruitlets are often shed.
- Prune summer-flowering deciduous shrubs over three years old as they finish flowering.
- Sow spring-flowering biennials such as forget-me-nots, sweet williams and wallflowers.
- Deadhead roses to encourage repeat flowering unless the roses are being grown for the colour and profusion of their hips.
- Plant autumn-flowering bulbs such as amaryllis, nerines, colchicums and autumn crocuses.
- Water plants growing in containers regularly.
- Pinch out the tips of dahlias to promote bushy plants.
- Water dahlias regularly and feed fortnightly, paying particular attention to young plants which are slow to grow.
- Feed long-flowering and late-flowering border perennials.
- Ensure the surface of ponds are kept clean by removing floating weeds and any slime algae.
- Clean out the pond if necessary.
- If present scoop out and collect mats of tiny-leaved duck weed and twirl hair-like blanket weed from the surface with a stick or garden cane.
- Put them in a heap on the edge of the pond overnight so any aquatic creatures can crawl back into the water. The next day add the heap to the compost heap.
- Put new aquatic plants in the pond either in the soil at the bottom or using special aquatic baskets.
- Oxygenate the pond with plants like Mash marigolds and Callitriche.
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(c) Compiled by B V & T M Wood.