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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Monty’s Top 10 October Gardening Jobs

Autumn has set in and December is getting ever closer, but there’s lots you can still do in your garden to keep it looking tidy and also to prepare for the spring, such as planting bulbs. Take a look at my top tips for gardening this month to keep you busy, putting some work in now will make it easier and your garden better ready for the Spring and Summer next year. Fruit – For those of you that still have fruit on your trees you should think about harvesting them and also remove any rotting/diseased fruit to prevent infections in next years yield. An excess of fruit can be used for jams and preserves, or stored careful in a cool, dark well ventilated place. Make sure you check on them on a regular basis to stop any disease starting or spreading. Spring flowers – For a glorious spring colour you can many Spring flowering bulbs now so you can sit back and wait for them to pop up in the new year. When choosing your bulbs make sure they are healthy, they should be hard and free from any signs of mold on the bulbs or any green shoots on them as this is a sure sign of stress or bad storage. As a rule of thumb plant most bulbs a twice the size of the bulb in depth. My top tip for planting bulbs is not to plant Tulip bulbs yet, wait until next month as they don’t like to sit in wet ground for too long. Leaves – Clear away any leaf fall on a regular basis to prevent diseases but if you have a designated area for any winter wildlife you can create a wild patch in your garden with any debris. Also of course, leaves make for great compost material. I would also advise if you do make a pile of leaves or logs at this time of year and then want to move them check for wildlife first, Hedgehogs love to find places like this so let’s all make sure we look after them. Tie down – As stronger weather undoubtedly approaches, you may want to tie any weaker plants to stakes to protect them from strong winds. Certainly a good idea for any new shrubs or trees you have planted this month. Squash – If you’ve been busy growing your own crop this year then you’ve probably harvested already but if you haven’t, don’t delay; any squash such as pumpkins need to be ripened away from damp conditions, so consider moving them indoors but in any direct sunshine available. You want to be prepared for halloween don’t...

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Monty’s Top 10 August Gardening Jobs

Well what a lovely summer it’s been so far and hopefully it will continue, but what does that mean for our gardens? With each season comes new obstacles to overcome so I have compiled a list of the top ten things to be getting on with this August in your garden. I always think this is a good month for us gardener’s as all the hard work is paying off, bedding plants are looking good, the borders are full of colour and the vegetable patch is over flowing with food for the table. My ultimate top tip for August has to be, spend some well earned time sitting and enjoying your garden, you have worked hard all year so now is the month to take a little time for yourself, but not too much.  1) Dead heading – for a continuing display, make sure you are regularly dead heading your flowering plants and cutting back brown foliage to promote new growth and revitalize. Regular dead heading will encourage bedding & summer flowering perennials to produce more flowers and prolong the summer colour well in to Autumn. Watch out for seeds to collect too, such as Foxgloves, Aquilega and even bedding plants such as Marigold, collect, dry & store these for next year.  2) New plants – If you are planning on planting any new trees, shrubs, or perennials, do it this month to give them a chance to take root and don’t forget to keep them well watered now before the cooler temperatures arise.  3) Moving plants – If, over the summer, you’ve given your indoor plants a little taste of the great outdoors then consider moving them back inside this month to acclimatise them back to indoor life. No doubt they may have grown a little so also consider re-potting them.  4) Add colour – You may want to change your colour pallet around for the autumn; try bringing in chrysanthemums as they have a broad range of colours to choose from and also start to replace some of your annual plants with some cool season annuals so as to create a smoother transition.  5) Weeds – The gardeners bane. August is the ideal time to take action against these pests as it is around this time that they start to produce thousands of seeds ready to germinate in the spring. The best time to complete this task is after some rainfall, then once you have carefully dug them out, you can cover the area with fresh compost. My top tip with this is if you don’t have time to dig weeds up or it’s too dry then make...

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Monty’s Top 10 July Gardening Jobs

July is often one of the warmest and most enjoyable months out in the garden. You can sit and watch as all your hard work from spring begins to properly pay off, with flowers blooming and your veg/fruit ready for harvesting. Whilst it is the perfect month to relax and enjoy your garden, be sure to keep on top of all the little jobs like weeding and watering. Below are my Top July Garden Jobs: 1) Conservatory Plants – Now that the weather has warmed up, it’s time to get those plants that have been hiding away in the shelter of your conservatory, outside to enjoy the fresh air. Most houseplants, that don’t mind water on their leaves, will also benefit from a week or so in the garden. 2) Water – Give your plants (especially new ones) plenty of water to prevent them from drying out. Make sure that garden Containers, planters & baskets never dry out fully. Keep them watered, sometimes twice a day, to stop any stress to the plants. Once to twice a month make sure you feed hungry summer bedding plants, my top tip is to feed them Tomato food, it’s ideal to encourage more flowers. 3) Treat Woodwork – Whilst the weather is dry, give your woodwork a lick of paint or preserver to keep it treated and looking smart. The ideal job to top up your tan and perhaps enjoy a beer whilst you paint the shed. 4) Ponds – Keep your ponds topped up and cleared of algae, blanket weeds and any other debris. On very hot days and providing you don’t have a ban, spray the surface of ponds with fish in with the hose. This will help to add oxygen to the water and keep your fish healthy. 5) Lawn Care – As long as there is no drought, it’s worth feeding the lawn regularly. Leaving the grass a little longer will help the lawn to hold onto more moisture and stay greener. July is the perfect month to sit on the grass and enjoy the hard work you have put in to the green area of your garden. 6) Next Spring – Begin to think about which seeds you would like for next spring. Order now to ensure you’re ready for autumn planting, plus now is the ideal time to start to think about growing biannuals such as Foxgloves as they need to establish in the first year and flower the next, the work never ends! 7) Greenhouse – Damp down your greenhouse to increase humidity on warmer days and deter the likes of red spider mites. July is also a good month to move any greenhouse...

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Monty’s Top 10 June Gardening Jobs

The beautiful month of June brings the glorious British summer and loads of exciting growth and colour to all our gardens. The mad rush to get all things planted has passed and it’s time to titivate and enjoy all your garden has to offer. Keeping on top of your garden is the order for June and with regular pruning, trimming, weeding and cutting you’ll be sure to have a garden worth enjoying all summer long. Below are my Top June Garden Jobs: 1) Water – Keep your containers and baskets well watered, especially in hot weather. Make sure you’re wise with your water however, especially in drought affected areas. My top tip with watering containers is to not let them dry out completely, this will take more and waste more water in trying to rehydrate them. 2) Bird Care – Keep your bird baths filled up with fresh water to give your birds somewhere to drink and cool off. If you have been feeding wild birds in your garden, you need to continue this every month. You may think there is plenty for them to eat, but these birds will become reliant on your food so you need to continue this, you will also encourage them in to the garden even more and help you rid your outdoor space of pesky pests such as slugs and snails. 3) Lawn Care –  Mow your lawn at least once a week so as not to let it grow too long. Trimming regularly is better than big cuts less often. With the weather hopefully getting hotter try not to cut the lawn in the middle of the day when the sun can easily scorch the freshly cut grass. My top tip is to cut  the lawn in the early part of the evening giving it time to recover before the next day. 4) Roses – June is typically the month in which Roses are at their peak, so ensure you stay on top of deadheading to keep your displays looking as stunning as possible. Watch out for black spot on leaves, simply remove these when you see them. Aphids will also attack fresh flower buds and growth on Roses, if you brave and green then rub these off with your fingers. Keeping Roses well feed in June will keep them plants strong & healthy and able to resist these attacks. 5) Greenhouses – Shade your greenhouses to keep them cool and prevent overheating which can lead to scorching. Keep windows and doors open during the day and if it’s really hot, that would be nice, then splash some water on the floor to help keep it cool. 6) Weeding – Hoe your...

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Monty’s Top 10 September Gardening Jobs

The bad weather is coming and the days are notably shorter, so it’s time to start planning ahead for next year and harvest all your crops. You also want to keep all that colour in your garden going as long as possible with late summer flowering perennials; my top tip this month is to keep dead heading to prolong these flowers. I have comprised a list of top 10 jobs to do this month to keep you busy so scroll down and take a look and as ever make sure you make time to enjoy your garden, there are still warm days in September to sit with a glass of wine. 1. Plant your spring flowering bulbs now –  You want to prepare your garden for spring so plant bulbs such as Daffodils, Hyacinths, Alliums and Crocus ready for lots of colour next year. I would always recommend waiting until the end of October to plant bulbs such as Tulips as they don’t like to sit in wet ground for too long. Also if you are thinking of planting up autumn / winter pots or baskets then don’t forget to add some spring flowering bulbs to them to add an extra splash of colour. 2. Plant new shrubs, tree’s and perennials – September is a great month to plant new plants in the garden, often people think the spring is the best month but actual now is the perfect time. The soil is still warm, which is perfect to encourage the roots of new plants to establish ready for the next year. It’s also a great month to add new plants as often Garden Centre’s are reducing their plants to clear before winter, so you can pick up a bargain and plant it ready for an extra big plant next year. It’s win win. 3. Tidy your vegetable garden – This area of the garden has been working hard for you over the past few months and is probably looking a little tired right now. Remove any weeds, cut back some over growing crops such as Beans and Tomatoes so they put all their growing effort in to ripening. Dig over any spare ground to help turn the soil ready for next year and if you want to you can add a layer of manure to the top to feed the soil ready for next years new crops. 4. Harvest your fruit trees and bushes – It’s time for your hard work to pay off so pick all your Blackberries, Pears, Plums and Apples, but don’t let them go to waste; make crumbles and pies, homemade jams and chutneys and don’t...

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