Cheat Sheet

Gardening For Dummies (UK Edition)

Wanting to get out into your garden but worried about not being green-fingered enough? Take a look at this Cheat Sheet and familiarise yourself with your garden, what’s in it and how to manage it throughout the year. You’ll soon feel confident about gardening and will be ready to enjoy the benefits.

Gardening Calendar

Print out this useful gardening calendar to help you plan, maintain and get the most out of your garden, as well as keep it blooming all year round!

  • January

    • Clear out the shed, clean and sharpen or repair tools, and send the mower for servicing if necessary.

    • Clean paving and paths that can be dangerously slippery.

    • Order seed and plant catalogues and indulge in some armchair gardening as you decide what to grow this year.

  • February

    • So long as the ground isn’t frozen or soggy (if the soil sticks to your boots, it’s too wet!), plant hardy deciduous plants such as trees, shrubs, hedging, roses, perennials and fruit.

    • Start sowing seeds under cover somewhere warm and well-lit to grow young plants.

  • March

    • Sow hardy annuals and vegetables outside

    • Prepare ground for new lawns; feed and start mowing existing lawns.

    • Under cover, sow tender seeds, buy and pot up ‘starter’ annuals and tender perennials. Plant lily bulbs. Divide late-flowering perennials.

    • Prune roses and shrubs such as buddleja that flower in late summer.

  • April

    • Plant tender summer-flowering bulbs and tubers such as dahlias and gladioli (leave until next month in colder areas).

    • Plant evergreen shrubs and climbers.

    • Prune wall-trained shrubs like pyracantha and tie in climbers to keep growth neat.

    • Sow or turf new lawns.

  • May

    • Look out for pests and diseases: they move into action as the weather warms up.

    • Prune spring-flowering shrubs like forsythia immediately after flowering.

    • In mild areas, plant tender annuals and perennials outside once they’ve been hardened off.

    • Trim evergreen hedges.

    • Deadhead larger bulbs like daffodils and leave the foliage to die back naturally.

  • June

    • Plant up containers. Water regularly –d new plants mustn’t dry out.

    • Sow seed of biennials for flowers next year. Make regular sowings of salad vegetables for a steady supply.

    • Take cuttings of shrubs and other hardy plants.

    • Plant autumn-flowering bulbs.

  • July

    • Now the spring rush is over, sit back and enjoy the results of your work, but keep watering your plants.

    • Keep borders tidy by deadheading, weeding, and cutting back perennials such as geraniums that have flowered.

  • August

    • Feed and water annuals to keep them blooming lovely into the autumn.

    • Trim lavenders after flowering.

    • Sow vegetables for autumn and winter harvest.

  • September

    • Start planting many types of bulb for next spring . Plant biennials like wallflowers.

    • Now’s a good time to make a new lawn from turf, or feed an existing lawn.

    • Once summer bedding has finished, dig up and compost the plants.

  • October

    • Plant all hardy plants and divide hardy perennials but put tender plants under cover.

    • Complete any outside maintenance jobs like treating wood with preservative and mending fences.

  • November

    • Finish planting bulbs by the start of this month.

    • Cut back fleshy-leaved perennials such as hostas and sedums.

    • Plant bare root trees, fruit, and hedging.

    • Rake up fallen leaves from the lawn and on plants, but leave to rot down on bare soil.

  • December

    • The garden is mostly out of bounds now, but put some cheery winter-colour plants or tubs in the spots you can see from your windows.

    • Build a compost heap or two.

    • Do your Christmas shopping at garden centres – far less hassle than on the high street!

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