Seasonal tips from Green and Tidy Gardeners in Bromley

We have created a go to guide for people of Bromley to help with carrying out their own garden maintenance. Please have a read through the guide below if your looking for jobs to do in the garden throughout the year. If there is anything you would like help with then you can call our expert gardeners on 0208 289 5440 or use our online form and get an immediate response.  
  • Wait for a dry day a give the lawn it’s final cut
  • Prune open grown apples and pear tree’s, it’s always good practice to try and maintain a goblet shape so that air can circulate through the innard of the tree.
  • Dig over ground reserved for annuals next year and keep beds generally free from weeds. Weeds will only consume nutrients and moisture which could be going towards keeping your plants in better health.
  • Prune Acers, Birches and Vines before Christmas – Otherwise they may not have time to heal and will get damaged by frost if they are cut any later in the year.
  • Deciduous trees and shrubs can still be planted and transplanted – if you have a design or changes to the garden in mind then make the most of this time of year. There is relatively little to do, so it’s it’s definitely a good time to start making some alterations if you feel the need.
  • Switch of the supply to outside taps, and then open the taps and let any residual water drain out. Place a type of lagging / insulation (an old rag will do) around exposed pipes and taps. This will prevent water inside the taps from freezing over during the winter and creating cracks or leaks. We wouldn’t worry about having to use any outside taps for watering plants etc as there will be plenty of rain over the next 3-4 months to keep everything well fed.
  • If we get any heavy snow falls (You never know!), make sure to shake big lumps of snow that has landed on shrubs off. This will prevent the shrubs from becoming weighted down by the snow and either causing branched to break or to loose their shape – be gentle when doing this to avoid causing any damage during the process.
  • We’ve been having alot of requests to prune Wisteria – This should be held off until Jan / Feb and we will post some information with tips about this task next month.
  • Firm the ground around plants lifted by frost
  • Complete planting of roses in finer weather if ground is dry
  • Clean up any dead tops of plants in your borders
  • Dig over heavy soils to be over weathered
  • Plan which seeds you want to plant for spring and dig over beds reserved for annuals
  • For indoor colour, bring in your flowering bulbs
  • Continue planting shrubs and trees
  • Apply a nitrogenous fertiliser to fruit trees and bushes grown in grass
  • Cover your vegetables to promote early growth
  • Sharpen your cutting tools in readiness for the year ahead
  • Wash and clean all seed trays and pots
Lawn Care for January
New and Established Lawns
  • Ensure good drainage. Prepare top dressings for spring use. Continue aeration.
    • Firm the ground around plants lifted by frost
    • Clear remaining dead tops of plants
    • Dress beds for annuals with bone-meal and sow indoors half-hardy annuals
    • Protect your pool from ice and remove weeds from bog gardens
    • Cut back overgrown hedges towards the end of the month
    • Sow peas and beans, and start sprouting potatoes
    • Plant out your containers with trees or shrubs
Lawn Care for February
New Lawns
      • Continue to dig the spring seed beds
Established Lawns
    • Aerate and scarify when dry.
    • Prune your repeat-flowering roses and remove dead or frost damaged wood
    • If weather is mild, plant out hardy seedlings, new plants and any plants needing a move
    • If you have a pond, drain and replace about three-quarters of the water before any frog/toad spawn hatches
    • Dead-head any bulbs as they fade
    • Hard prune any old hedges
    • Give the garden a complete weeding and general digging-over where needed
    • Prune any fruit trees or bushes
    • To grow a herb garden, prepare a seed bed and sow as soon as posible
Lawn Care for March
New Lawns
      • Rake and treat seed bed, and apply a pre-seeding fertiliser. Sow the lawn, and mow when it reaches about 6cm (3 inches).
Established Lawns
    • Re-seed patchy areas & repair edges. Aerate (spike) the lawn & apply fertiliser. Cut when it reaches 4-6cm (2-3 inches)
    • It’s time to divide perennials such as hosta’s and liriope’s. 2-3 days before, water perennials well. Dig up the clump and pull apart with two spades. Cut through the roots cleanly with a knife making sure each division has at least one crown. Replant at the same depth.
    • Now is a good time to plant trees, shrubs, roses, strawberries and perennials.
    • Containerised plants need plenty of fertiliser and frequent watering, especially during warm weather.
    • Deadhead larger bulbs such as Tulips, narcissus, and Hyacinths. Be sure not to cut the foliage!
    • As leaves emerge on trees and shrubs, check for aphids, spider mites, etc. and spray with Ortho Isotox or Orthene if needed.
    • Fertilise bulbs again as they bloom. They are heavy feeders and another application will ensure nice blooms for next year.
    • After the last chance of frost, (around mid April) you can start planting hardier annual. Fertilise with a bloom starter as you plant.
Lawn Care for April
New Lawns
      • Mow at least once a week if necessary. Roll to firm turf or seedlings if required.
Established Lawns
    • Mow at least once a week, lowering the height at each successive cut, but do not cut shorter than 4-6 cm (2-3 inches).
    • Aerate the lawn and scarify.
    • Level any humps or troughs.
    • Apply fertiliser if not fertilised with a slow release earlier.
    • This is the prime planting month for just about anything! Lilies and other summer bulbs can be set out. Incorporate perennials into bulb beds for an interesting contrast such as Foxglove with Narcissus bulbs.
    • Early flowering shrubs such Azaleas and Rhododendron should be pruned after blooming and can be fertilised at the same time.
    • Fertilise and spray roses for insects and diseases starting this month. A continuous rose maintenance program throughout the summer will ensure a beautiful display all season long.
    • In late May, after the soil temperature has warmed, plant summer blooming bulbs such as Caladiums, Gladiolus, Daylilies and Dahlias.
    • Mulch flower beds, shrubs, and trees with a fresh cover.
    • Instead of a daily sprinkle, water plants deep and slowly several times a week.
    • Prepare beds for annuals by tilling and adding rich soil and compost.
    • If you noticed holes eaten in your hosta leaves, the culprits are probably slugs. Use slug bait or pour beer in a jar lid to trap them and eliminate the problem.
Lawn Care for May
New Lawns
      • Prepare any sites which for autumn sowing and leave rough for the summer.
Established Lawns
    • Apply sulphate of ammonia. Continue regular mowing during the summer.
    • Always let the foliage on spring bulbs wither naturally. This is vital for next year’s display.
    • Save yourself hours of future weeding by pulling the abundant weeds now before they go to seed.
    • Prune evergreens such as Boxwoods, Camellia, Leucothe and Junipers.
    • Deadhead all blooming plants to encourage new blooms.
    • Japanese beetles will begin to emerge this month. Traps, repellent and Sevin dust should be close at hand.
    • Make sure you keep fertiliser on all flowers in order to keep them healthy and looking their best throughout the summer months. If you chose to use a granular feed you may need to supplement with a liquid fertiliser on occasion.
    • After the climbing roses bloom, be sure to prune them. Next year’s blooms will be produced on this summer’s new growth.
    • If insects, such as ants, ticks, fleas, etc., are a problem in your lawn, use Diazinon or Dursban.
    • Watch your watering in confined areas such as hanging baskets and container gardens. They tend to dry out fast on hot days
Lawn Care for June
Established Lawns
    • Continue to mow, allowing a little extra length in very dry/hot weather.
    • Spike the lawn with a fork to improve drainage.
    • Spray your lawn for weeds using a chemical or organic lawn-weed killer.
    • Extend the blooming season of Crepe Myrtle, Rose of Sharon and Buddleia by cutting off spent blooms to invigorate them to form even more flowers.
    • Be sure to water plants early in the morning so the foliage can dry off before the summer sun sets in.
    • Pinch mums for the last time around the 4th of this month to ensure bushy plants this fall. Keep their height at about 12 inches.
    • Continue rose spraying program and dead head any faded blooms.
    • Scatter superphosphates around the base of Azaleas, Laurels, Rhododendrons and Pieris to pro- mote heavy flower bud formation this summer.
    • Fertilise bedding plants one last time for a good boost of bloom on into autumn.
Lawn Care for July
New and Established Lawns
      • Continue to mow, and water frequently in very dry/hot weather.
      • Spike the lawn with a fork to improve drainage.
Established Lawns
    • In excessive heat leave a very thin layer of short cuttings on the lawn as a sun shield.
    • Dead head flowers as they fade
    • Give the garden a complete weeding and general digging-over where needed
    • Plant out well-grown perennial seedlings in nursery beds
    • Complete lifting bulbs
    • Take root cuttings of shrubs
    • Water containers daily
    • Pick any ripe fruit
    • Keep ponds aerated with adding fresh water from a hose
    • Take cuttings for rooting over winter
Lawn Care for August
New Lawns
      • Apply fertiliser to areas for new lawns. Leave for one week then sow.
Established Lawns
    • Continue to mow, allowing a little extra length in very dry/hot weather.
    • Spike the lawn with a fork to improve drainage.
    • In excessive heat leave a very thin layer of short cuttings on the lawn as a sun shield.
    • Continue dead-heading faded flowers
    • Scatter wood ash or sulphate of potash on your rose beds and mix in
    • Prune hardy herbaceous plants
    • Remove fading annuals and plant hardy bi-annual varieties
    • If you have fish, start feeding program for Autumn
    • Plant-out spring flowering bulbs
    • Plant evergreen shrubs in the latter part of the month
    • Continue to water the garden during dry spells
Lawn Care for September
New and Established Lawns
    • Aerate, apply washed sharp sand or compost, and scarify to remove debris.
    • Re-seed any patches.
    • Apply fertiliser.
    • Conduct a thorough weeding at the start of the month to reduce work during the wet months to come
    • Plant herbaceous perennials
    • Remove any remaining annuals and plant out biennuals and hardy perennials raised from seed
    • Thin out any dense patches of water plants in your pond and clean up any litter and leaves from the surface and bottom. Thin out oxygenating plants. Don’t forget to place a net over the pool to protect from falling leaves.
    • Spray cherries, peaches and nectarines
    • Plant out winter and hardy spring vegetables
    • Remove dead leaves, and remove any remaining annuals and summer bedding plants
    • Dress borders with bone-meal
    • Continue to weed and turn beds
Lawn Care for October
New Lawns
      • Mow when 6cm (3 inches) high. Roll to firm seedlings.
      • Prepare any areas for turfing and fertilise. Lay turf and water regularly to prevent shrinkage.
Established Lawns
    • Ensure adequate drainage.
    • Aerate, scarify and treat with fertiliser.
    • Lightly rake to remove fallen leaves.
    • Finish weeding & turning beds and leave for weathering over winter
    • Plant out hardy perennial seedlings and dig over beds for next years annuals adding a mix of rotted manure
    • Remove old leaves from your pond and thin out oxygenating plants
    • Plant out any roses and mix in some bone-meal or peat to the surrounding soil
    • Plant fruit trees and bushes, and prune established trees
    • Firm down any newly planted plants which may have been lifted by frost
    • Dress any heavy soil with lime
    • Regularly rake and remove leaves and fallen debris from beds
Lawn Care for November
New Lawns
      • Prepare sites for spring sowing.
Established Lawns
    • Continue to aerate.. Apply fertiliser.
    • Make final cut and service your equipment.
    • Lightly rake to remove fallen leaves.