Monty’s Top Ten Garden Jobs In April

April is here, spring is here and most importantly of all, better weather is here (hopefully). Beautiful spring flowers are beginning to bloom and the country is seemingly alive again. So it’s time to get out in the garden and make the most of those longer, lighter evenings and sunnier days. Continue to ready your garden for all of the beautiful summer months, because hard work is always rewarded and it’ll cut down on maintenance later in the year. Garden centres are always full of so many gorgeous plants at this time of year, so we’d recommend a trip to your nearest one ASAP. Below are our Top April Garden Jobs: 1) Beware of frost – As much as this isn’t a job, it is definitely still worth a mention. Don’t be fooled by the seemingly warmer weather. Frost is still a very real risk and it is advisable to hold back on planting any tender bedding until next month. 2) Dead heading – Remove all faded flowers from your daffodils, pansies & violas. Let your daffodils die back naturally so they put energy back into the bulbs 3) Weeding – Continue with the spring cleaning. Get on top of your hoeing and prevent weeds from spreading through your beds, otherwise you’ll leave yourself a nightmare job. The same goes for any stubborn weeds in your pathways, DON’T LET THEM WIN!!! 4) Mulch – Before the herbaceous growth really takes hold in your garden, get the mulch down, otherwise you’ll struggle to see what you’re doing. 5) Treat fences & sheds – When it is warm enough, treat sheds, fences and trellis with wood preservative; brushes and rollers are fine for most things, however a sprayer is well worth buying for tricky projects such as woven panels! 6) Repel slugs and snails – This is their favourite time of the year, with lots of fresh juicy shoots popping up. So be prepared to wage war on them, or they have to power to ruin a lot of hard work. Lay pet friendly slug pellets around your bedding to keep them at bay. 7) Birds care – Birds are beginning to build their nests now and so are looking for appropriate places to nest. Therefore, if you provide them with food and potentially a bird house, you’ll increase the likelihood of having a garden bustling with life. 8) Summer hanging baskets – If you are lucky enough to have a green house at your disposal, then you can begin to create your hanging baskets. 9) Lawns – Feed, mow and begin to give your lawns a little more attention. Now is the perfect time to sow new lawns and repair bare...

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Monty’s Top Ten Garden Jobs In March

March is a beautiful month because with it comes SPRING! Around the 20th, British springtime officially begins and the sunny days become a more frequent occurrence (hopefully). Basically, everything that we love about gardening and being outside starts to all happen at once. Gooooood. What this does mean for us all, is that there are plenty of garden jobs to be done and the sunny days must be capitalised upon. March can still be an incredibly unpredictable month, much like most of Spring, so if you do get the chance to spend a sunny afternoon in the garden, don’t waste it! Below are our Top March Garden Jobs: 1) Protection – Frost and winds are a risk often overlooked in March. If we’ve learnt anything over the years, it is that overconfidence in the british weather will always come back to bite you in the apple. So keep an eye on that weather forecast and protect your plants accordingly. 2) Weeds – If they haven’t already been dealt with, weeds will now begin to find their roots and grow ferociously. Get on top of them now and don’t let them ruin your garden this season. 3) Clean, repair & prepare – Tools, specifically your lawnmower, need to be cleaned and readied for the busy season ahead. On top of this, if you get a nice warm spell, treat fences, sheds and trellis with a wood preservative.  4) Feed those birds – We’ll always keep on about this because we LOVE garden birds. They’re beautiful to have in the garden and are very appreciative of the food you provide. 5) Feed your plants – Know which fertiliser best suits the type of plants you’re growing and give them a good feed. General purpose fertiliser is usually suitable for most plants like roses, climbers and shrubs. 6) Rose Pruning – You should have already begun pruning your roses, but now it is time to make a real habit of it, all the way through to autumn. Regular spraying of fungicide will help to ward off black spot and mildew. 7) Lawn Care – If it’s still wet, then just stay off it. Any damage done to wet lawns is annoyingly difficult to rectify. However, should the weather improve and the lawn dry out, then it’s time for the first cut, exciting. 8) Summer Bulbs – Plant summer flowering bulbs. Be sure to add some compost to your existing soil and bury them a little deeper than if you were planting them in a pot. 9) Slug repellent – Spring shoots are top on a slug’s menu and so you need to do everything in...

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Monty’s Top Ten Garden Jobs In February

February is here and with it comes signs of the approaching spring. The bravest of the bulbs and wildlife start to make an appearance as the temperature and light levels begin to increase. This is an exciting month for gardeners, the dark, cold winter is almost at an end and the days of spending hours in the garden are almost back. Which is why it’s more important than ever to get everything prepped now, so as not to miss out on all the wonders that Spring has to offer. Here you can find my top ten jobs that I will certainly be getting on with in the garden this month, putting some hard work in now will certainly pay off come the spring. 1) PRUNE PRUNE PRUNE – All through February you should be proactive with your pruning. Prune winter-flowering shrubs that have finished flowering, hardy evergreen hedges, conservatory climbers & Wisteria. Remove dead growth from perennials and genrally giving the borders and containers in your garden a good tidy. 2) Clean out ponds – To prevent any harm coming to your fish, ensure that all leaves and debris are cleared from any ponds or water features you may have. Providing they’re not iced over. When removing anything from the pond leave on the side for a day or two so anything trapped inside has time to escape back in to the pond. 3) Grasses – Ensure any deciduous grasses that have been left to grow over the winter are now cut back and tamed. A good hair cut is required at this time of year to encourage fresh new growth. 4) Beds – All flower beds should be turned over. Also a perfect opportunity to mix in some manure and compost ready for Spring planting. 5) Greenhouse gardening – Begin to sow bedding plant and some vegetable seeds under the cover of your greenhouse. Keep these covered and protected from frost. 6) Scarify/spike lawn – Unless your lawn is very new, then now is the time to scarify and spike. Ensure all leaves are gone otherwise you could end up with a yellow lawn. If you have a lot of moss in your lawn, once removed and spike brush over with some sand to help with drainage. 7) Sort your seeds – If you have not yet ordered your seeds, then now is the time. Aim to create a sowing calendar to make planting through spring easier. 8) Snow – As is the way with British weather, it is hard to tell if and when we’ll get snow. However, be ready to brush it off trees and shrubs to prevent it damaging trees. 9)...

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Monty’s Top Ten Garden Jobs In January

January is a strange month for gardeners. There doesn’t seem to be much going on out there and the often grim weather makes it all the more difficult to find motivation. However, just because  the grass doesn’t need cutting and the plants are barely growing, it doesn’t mean there aren’t jobs to be done. This is the month to take control of your garden and get it in tip top shape for the spring months. Top January Garden Jobs: 1) DISPOSE OF YOUR CHRISTMAS TREE – Once the festivities have ended the  Christmas tree is often casually discarded into the back garden without a second thought. Well this year, you could shred it and use it as mulch, or in a lot of cases, garden centres will offer a free recycling service. Don’t just leave it looking sad and unsightly by the bins. 2) Finishing clearing up leaves – Unless you’ve been extra vigilant over the festive season, you will have likely developed a build up of unwanted leaves. Now is the time to get on top of them and clear them from your lawns & patios. 3) Repair & smarten up lawn edges – Smartening up the edges of your lawn makes for a much neater garden in general. Effort put in now will make future smartening a whole lot easier. 4) Cultivate flower beds – It is often useful to work through this job at the same time as the lawn edges. Remove all old, dead plants and weeds, ready for the fresh winter bedding. 5) Tidy compost bins – Providing you already have a composting area (if not, then make one), you should get them in order. Don’t let rogue plant pots and rubbish build up around them, as these make perfect homes for snails. 6) Plant winter bedding – You can now start to plant winter bedding plants such as winter pansies, winter cherries and cyclamen. Ensure that bedding is appropriately fertilised and watered. 7) Prune Roses – Don’t be afraid to prune your roses right back. Leave just a stubby skeleton of healthy branches and it will bounce back as strong as ever. 8) Continue to put water & food for Birds  – Food is very scarce for our garden birds over winter and so they are extremely thankful for any food or water provided. 9) Care for your lawn – In the most part, stay off it. If it’s wet or covered in snow, then you’re only likely to damage it. However, if the weather allows and it is getting a little long, then a trim might be acceptable. 10) Landscaping – If you’re looking to make any changes to...

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Monty’s Top Ten Gardening Jobs In December

Well it’s here, December, where did that year go? It seems only five minutes ago that I was looking forward to a productive year in the garden and my hasn’t it flown by. December is always a busy month and can often be the month that the garden can be forgotten as you either don’t have the time or you just don’t think there is anything to do, but here is my top ten gardening tips for jobs you can get on with in the garden when your not busy stuffing the Turkey. Check Winter Protection – It’s good to always check on tender plants that you may have wrapped up or have moved indoors or a greenhouse. If they are wrapped make sure this is still secure as we often have plenty of wind in the winter months. If you have moved plants indoors make sure you do give them some water and make sure they are not in a very hot room as central heating quickly drys out plants. If plants are in the greenhouse then make sure you remove any dead or dying leaves and if the plant is trying to flower remove these also. Check Ponds – If you have a pond with fish in make sure this doesn’t freeze over. Simply add something to float in the water, as when this moves in the wind it will help to stop the water from freezing over. We have some Floating Ornaments in our store……(cheeky plug I know). Or if not pop outside if you see ice and make a hole, make sure you don’t go overboard smashing it as this noise will be very loud for the fish in the pond. Sprout Time – Well it’s Christmas so now is the time to enjoy the Sprouts you have been growing on the veggie plot. I know I will be enjoying mine, with some bacon lardons and a touch of butter. Indoor Bulbs – If you have been growing bulbs in pots such as Amaryllis, Hyacinths or even Crocus, bring these indoors and the warmth will spur the bulbs on to flower, often in time for the big day itself. Outdoor Bulbs – December is my favourite time to buy outdoor bulbs such as Tulips, Daffodils etc as they are really cheap in the garden centres but can easily still be planted in the garden with no damage to their growth. Make sure the bulbs are still firm and look healthy before you buy them, but you can really pick up a bargain at this time of year, a Gnome has to save some pennies where...

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Monty’s Top 10 November Garden Jobs

Despite not officially being winter, the signs that it is on its way are out there for all to see. The temperature dropping, winds picking up and leaves falling are all clear indications that the month of winter are close. Therefore it’s time now to get out and do your garden jobs. Fair weather gardeners tend to shy away at this time of year, however, for those of you who wrap up warm and brave the elements, you will be rewarded come next year. My Top November Garden Jobs: 1) CLEAR UP LEAVES – this is a biggy and can be a real pain, however, it is worth it. It’s especially important to remove these leaves off your lawns, ponds and beds. Then, compost them and keep the cycle going! 2) Drain hoses – often forgotten, draining and putting away your hoses will save them from freezing and bursting. 3) Insulate outdoor containers – If you can’t move your pots and planters inside then keeping them insulated will help again freezing and frosting over. Bubble wrap works ideally if you can, if nothing else make sure containers, certainly terracotta containers, are off the ground, with bricks or pot feet. 4) Don’t cut everything down – It can be tempting in the garden, when everything is looking a bit dead and glum to go around hacking it all down to the ground. Well my advice is don’t, certainly with tender plants or perennials and grasses. This ‘dead’ looking top growth will help to protect and insulate the plant against the cold. If we have a really harsh Winter you will thank me for this tip! 5) Feed the birds – A lot of the birds natural foods sources have begun to dry up by now and so feeding them is extra important. Especially if there is some snowfall which makes finding food even harder. If you have a bird bath then make sure if these freezes to replace the water or break the ice, people often forget that birds have to drink. 6) Winter bedding plants – If you’ve bought anything for your winter beds. then now is the tie to get them planted. It is a great idea to plant up some pots for the Winter months to display near the house, Winter Pansies are perfect for this and will flower for months on end, just make sure to pop out and dead head them from time to time. 7) Wind proofing – Any tall plants like climbers or roses need to be secured to canes or other supports to help combat the effects of strong winds. If needed...

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