Looking for New Years Resolutions for 2017? Why not make it garden-related? We've put together a comprehensive seasonal planting guide for 2017 for all you budding and organised gardeners out there. Enjoy and happy gardening in 2017!
A range of flowers can be sown if you have access to a heated greenhouse; begonia, salvia and lobelia are popular options for planting at this end of the year. If you’re having a particularly mild January, you can attempt to plant lily bulbs and sweet peas in pots, placing them on sunny, wind-protected windowsills.
Finally, spring is on its way! Plant petunias, lilies, dahlias, carrots, beetroot, cabbage, spinach, radish and onions in February, and consider improving the drainage of your soil if it is heavy. You can work in organic matter and gravel to allow for better drainage.
Insects are starting to come out of their winter hiding places in March, so be sure to protect young plants from slugs and other insects known to eat foliage. If it’s quite a mild month, you might start to have a problem with weeds, so it’s a good idea to deal with them before they get out of hand. Rosemary and junipers should also be planted in March so they have the whole of early summer to flourish.
Early blooming plants such as daffodils will start to thrive in April, so be sure to keep an eye on them if the typical April showers hit. Plant marigold, sunflowers, fruit trees, roses, tomatoes and strawberries.
May denotes the start of Beltane; what the Celts believe to be the start of summer. It is a busy month for gardeners and one of the most important for completing all those unavoidable gardening tasks; May is the time for tidying and preparing your garden for the hotter months to come. You should look specifically at treating wood, fertilising roses and shrubs and hoeing seeds. Remember, too, to protect plants from any late frost. May is also a great month for setting hanging baskets and getting the most from our primrose growth.
Your June garden should be brimming with life and colour and you will be reaping the rewards of efficient and timely planting earlier in the year. This means... another month of keeping on top of general garden maintenance to keep your garden in tip top shape.
Don’t forget to plant late season crops (winter lettuce, radish, spinach and spring onions) and harvest early potatoes in June.
Summer is absolutely in full swing in July, so you should be able to sit back and enjoy what you’ve achieved. Focus on harvesting your fruit and vegetables, while also getting in the habit of watering plants regularly, especially if there has been a midsummer dry spell. Perennial alyssum, daisies, pansies and wallflowers can be sowed in July.
August is often a thirsty month for the garden, so make sure your plants don’t run out of water. Forget-me-nots and perennial primrose can be planted in August, along with vegetables such as Chinese cabbage, winter lettuce and autumn onions.
September marks the beginning of autumn for your garden, which means that harvesting fruit and vegetables is the main task for this month. If you’d like to keep your herbs alive during the colder months, you should consider potting them in September then resting them in a cool, light place.
As the weather begins to calm and cool in October, the most important garden tasks are keeping the garden looking tidy and preparing it for the first frost; make sure that the lawn is well mowed as this will make it easier to clean up fallen leaves. Winter wildflowers (including winter pansies) can be planted in October and it’s a good month to move spring plants either into pots or into protected ground.
While you’re clearing the garden of leaves in November, don’t forget to use them to start a compost heap. If you have a garden pond, you might want to protect it from falling leaves by covering it with netting; floating fallen leaves can easily damage the pond’s condition. It’s also a good idea to move any potted plants from out in the open to a sheltered area, or greenhouse if possible, to protect them from the coming wind and rain.
December is all about preservation – protecting your garden from the harshest elements of the winter. You can also harvest any winter vegetables you planted at the end of summer; winter cabbage, parsnips, leeks and other root crops.