Hempstead
& District Gardeners' Club


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RHS's top 10 tips per month for the Garden

H&DGC are members of the RHS - www.rhs.org.uk

January | February | March | April | May | June | July
August | September | October | November | December

(For monthly rainfall figures click here)
January
  • Recycle your Christmas tree by shredding it for mulch
  • Ventilate the greenhouse on sunny days
  • Dig over any vacant plots that have not been dug already
  • Repair and re-shape lawn edges
  • Inspect stored tubers of Dahlia, Begonia and Canna for rots or drying out
  • Prune apple and pear trees
  • Start forcing rhubarb
  • Plan your vegetable crop rotations for the coming season
  • Keep putting out food and water for hungry birds
  • Prepare a polythene shelter for outdoor peaches and nectarines, to protect them from peach leaf curl
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February
  • Prepare vegetable seed beds, and sow some vegetables under cover
  • Chit potato tubers
  • Protect blossom on apricots, nectarines and peaches
  • Net fruit and vegetable crops to keep the birds off
  • Prune winter-flowering shrubs that have finished flowering
  • Divide bulbs such as snowdrops, and plant those that need planting 'in the green’
  • Prune Wisteria
  • Prune hardy evergreen hedges and renovate overgrown deciduous hedges
  • Prune conservatory climbers
  • Cut back deciduous grasses left uncut over the winter
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March
  • Plant shallots, onion sets and early potatoes
  • Protect new spring shoots from slugs
  • Plant summer-flowering bulbs
  • Lift and divide overgrown clumps of perennials
  • Top dress containers with fresh compost
  • Mow the lawn on dry days (if needed)
  • Cut back Cornus (dogwood) and Salix (willow) grown for colourful winter stems
  • Weeds come back in to growth - deal with them before they get out of hand
  • Start feeding fish and using the pond fountain; remove pond heaters
  • Open the greenhouse or conservatory doors and vents on warm days
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April
  • Keep weeds under control
  • Protect fruit blossom from late frosts
  • Tie in climbing and rambling roses
  • Sow hardy annuals and herb seeds
  • Start to feed citrus plants
  • Increase the water given to houseplants
  • Feed hungry shrubs and roses
  • Sow new lawns repair bare patches
  • Prune fig trees
  • Divide bamboos and waterlilies
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May
  • Watch out for late frosts. Protect tender plants
  • Earth up potatoes, and promptly plant any still remaining
  • Plant out summer bedding at the end of the month (except in cold areas)
  • Collect rainwater and investigate ways to recycle water for irrigation
  • Regularly hoe off weeds
  • Open greenhouse vents and doors on warm days
  • Mow lawns weekly
  • Check for nesting birds before clipping hedges
  • Lift and divide overcrowded clumps of daffodils and other spring-flowering bulbs
  • Watch out for viburnum beetle and lily beetle grubs
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June
  • Hoe borders regularly to keep down weeds
  • Be water-wise, especially in drought-affected areas
  • Pinch out sideshoots on tomatoes
  • Harvest lettuce, radish, other salads and early potatoes
  • Position summer hanging baskets and containers outside
  • Mow lawns weekly
  • Plant out summer bedding
  • Stake tall or floppy plants
  • Prune many spring-flowering shrubs
  • Shade greenhouses to keep them cool and prevent scorch
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July
  • Check clematis for signs of clematis wilt
  • Place conservatory plants outside now that it is warm
  • Water tubs and new plants if dry, but be water-wise
  • Deadhead bedding plants and repeat-flowering perennials, to ensure continuous flowering
  • Pick courgettes before they become marrows
  • Treat apple scab
  • Clear algae, blanket weeds and debris from ponds, and keep them topped up
  • Order catalogues for next year’s spring-flowering bulbs
  • Give the lawn a quick-acting summer feed, especially if a spring feed was not done
  • Give woodwork a lick of paint or preserver, while the weather is dry
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August
  • Prune Wisteria
  • Don’t delay summer pruning restricted fruits
  • Deadhead flowering plants regularly
  • Watering! Particularly containers, and new plants - preferably with grey recycled water or stored rainwater
  • Collect seed from favourite plants
  • Harvest sweetcorn and other vegetables as they become ready
  • Continue cutting out old fruited canes on raspberries
  • Lift and pot up rooted strawberry runners
  • Keep ponds and water features topped up
  • Feed the soil with green manures
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September
  • Divide herbaceous perennials
  • Pick autumn raspberries
  • Collect and sow seed from perennials and hard y annuals
  • Dig up remaining potatoes before slug damage spoils them
  • Net ponds before leaf fall gets underway
  • Keep up with watering of new plants, using rain or grey water if possible
  • Start to reduce the frequency of houseplant watering
  • Clean out cold frames and greenhouses so that they are ready for use in the Autumn
  • Cover leafy vegetable crops with bird-proof netting
  • Give evergreen hedges a final trim
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October
  • Clear up fallen autumn leaves regularly
  • Cut back perennials that have died down
  • Divide herbaceous perennials and rhubarb crowns
  • Move tender plants, including aquatic ones, into the greenhouse
  • Plant out spring cabbages
  • Harvest apples, pears, grapes and nuts
  • Prune climbing roses
  • Order seeds for next year
  • Last chance to mow lawns and trim hedges in mild areas
  • Renovate old lawns or create new grass areas by laying turf
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November
  • Clear up fallen leaves - especially from lawns, ponds and beds
  • Raise containers onto pot feet to prevent waterlogging
  • Plant tulip bulbs for a spring display next year
  • Prune roses to prevent wind-rock
  • Plant out winter bedding
  • Cover brassicas with netting if pigeons are a problem
  • Insulate the greenhouse from frost - bubblewrap works well
  • Stop winter moth damage to fruit trees using grease bands around the trunks
  • Put out bird food to encourage winter birds into the garden
  • Use a seasonal bonfire - where this is allowed - to dispose of excess debris unfit for composting
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December
  • Check your winter protection structures are still securely in place
  • Check that greenhouse heaters are working OK
  • Prevent ponds and stand pipes from freezing
  • Prune open-grown apples and pears (but not those trained against walls)
  • Prune acers, birches and vines before Christmas to avoid bleeding
  • Harvest leeks, parsnips, winter cabbage, sprouts and remaining root crops
  • Deciduous trees and shrubs can still be planted and transplanted
  • Take hardwood cuttings
  • Keep mice away from stored produce
  • Reduce watering of houseplants
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Hempstead Rainfall Figures
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