Seeds to sow now:
Indoor or in a heated greenhouse
Bell pepper, Pepper, Sweet pepper
Floss flower, Ageratum
Ornamental winter kale
Spinach, Summer spinach
Outside under cover
Shows and events:
I have checked the events listed below and have added comments where necessary. Please check the show website before travelling, as some events are very popular and the venues may have put restrictions in place, others might have to be cancelled at the last minute.
Welford Park: Snowdrops @ Welford Park
Snowdrops @ Welford Park @ Welford Park
Spread around the gardens are over 150 snowdrop cultivars, aconites, hellebores and winter flowering shrubs.
- Welford, Newbury, Berkshire RG20 8HU
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew: Kew Orchids: Inspired by the beauty of Madagascar
Kew Orchids: Inspired by the beauty of Madagascar @ Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
The annual orchid festival at Kew Gardens. This year's focus is on Madagascar.
- Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 3AB
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew: International Garden Photographer of the Year Exhibition - Kew Gardens
International Garden Photographer of the Year Exhibition - Kew Gardens @ Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Showcasing winners and runners-up of this annual competition.
- Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 3AB
Burghley House: South Garden Opening
South Garden Opening @ Burghley House
Burghley's South Gardens are opening for a short period to allow visitors to see beautiful displays of spring bulbs in flower and raise funds for a local charity, the Evergreen Trust.
- Burghley House, Stamford, Lincolnshire PE9 3JY
Melbourne International Flower & GardenShow
20th March - 24th March 2024
Royal Exhibition Building & Carlton Gardens
32 hectares filled with seven million tulips (800 varieties), daffodils and hyacinths
Stationsweg 166A 2161 AM Lisse, Netherlands
The Orchid Society of Great Britain Spring Orchid Show
The Orchid Society's annual spring show.
Squire's Garden Centre, Halliford Road, Upper Halliford, Shepperton, Middlesex, TW17 8SG
RHS Urban Show
A new show from the RHS and a departure from the usual summer flower festival. The Urban Show will take place indoors at Depot Mayfield, Manchester a large industrial space and former railway depot. The show will focus on gardening in city spaces which typically have small or limited available area to garden.
Depot Mayfield, Manchester
The Newark Garden Show
The Newark Garden Show is a three day event, celebrating the best of gardening and the great outdoors.
Newark Showground, Lincoln Road, Coddington, Nottinghamshire, NG24 2NY
National Motor Museum: BBC Gardeners' World Fair - Spring
BBC Gardeners' World Fair - Spring @ National Motor Museum
Plant sales, tips and inspiration. Food market and live bandstand entertainment. Set in the grounds and gardens of Beaulieu. Including BBC goodfood Market
- Beaulieu, New Forest, Hampshire SO42 7ZN
Three Counties Showground: RHS Malvern Spring Festival
RHS Malvern Spring Festival @ Three Counties Showground
Show gardens, floral marquee and plant pavilion. Opportunities to buy plants, garden tools and equipment from the trade stands.
- Three Counties Showground, Malvern, Worcestershire WR13 6NW
The National Flower Show
A three day event in Hylands House and surrounding gardens, celebrating the best in gardening.
Hylands House, Chelmsford, Essex, CM2 8WQ
RHS Chelsea Flower Show
Perhaps the most famous and prestigious flower show in the world. It has been held for over 100 years, starting in 1862 and was originally known as the Great Spring Show. It was held at the RHS garden in Kensington, moving to the Royal Hospital Chelsea grounds in 1913, when it was a three day show. The whole event including the 12,000 sq m Great Pavilion and all of the show gardens are put together in just three weeks (19 days) and dismantled in the 5 days after the show.
Royal Hospital Chelsea, Royal Hospital Road, London, SW3 4SR
The Royal Bath and West Agricultural Show
A festival of agriculture entertainment and food & drink. The Royal Bath and West show is one of the oldest agricultural shows in England. Taking place over 4 days.
The Bath and West Showground, Shepton Mallet, Somerset
The NEC: BBC Gardeners' World Live
BBC Gardeners' World Live @ The NEC
Show gardens and floral marquee, gardening advice, demonstrations and the chance to buy plants! Run in conjunction with BBC Good Food Show Summer.
- North Avenue, Marston Green, Birmingham, West Midlands B40 1NT
Hampton Court Palace: RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival
RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival @ Hampton Court Palace
Hampton Court Palace Flower Show is the largest annual flower show in the World. Lots of large and smaller show gardens and marquees displaying flowers, plants and fruit. A whole marquee is dedicated for the 'Festival of roses'. Hampton Court has 34 acres of parkland so the flower show is able to spread out more than Chelsea. Unlike Chelsea where you can only purchase plants on the last day sell-off, at Hampton Court you can purchase plants and garden sundries on all days. In the last couple of hours in the afternoon of the last show day, a lot of the plants that have been in the display gardens are sold off at a reduced prices, so you may get a bargin. However, this also means that in late afternoon it's a bit frenetic and difficult to see the displays at their finest. 30 minutes by train from London Waterloo.
- East Molesey, East Molesey, Surrey KT8 9AU
Tatton Park: RHS Flower Show Tatton Park
RHS Flower Show Tatton Park @ Tatton Park
Show gardens, plants and flowers. Talks, advice and demonstrations. Plenty of food, drink and shopping stalls. Note: The first day of the event is usually reserved for RHS members.
- Knutsford, Cheshire WA16 6QN
The NEC: Saltex
Saltex @ The NEC
A trade only turf management show for grounds keepers, landscapers, architects and designers.
- North Avenue, Marston Green, Birmingham, West Midlands B40 1NT
All event details have been entered as accurately as possible, but please check with the event organisers before travelling to avoid disappointment.
The UKGardening web site has been running since 1998. The idea behind the site has always been to provide what we think will be interesting and useful information for the novice gardener.
Jobs to do in the garden this week.
- Switch outside water taps off at the mains and leave the outside tap open, draining any water, so the pipes don't freeze.
- Try not to be too tidy in the garden. Leaving seed heads and long ornamental grasses provide food for birds and insects. They can also add height and interest over the winter.
- If your pond has frozen over, melt a small area of ice with hot water to release any build-up of gases that could harm your fish. Don't be tempted to break the ice, the shockwave created can kill pond life.
- If you have had a fall of snow, gently shake shrub branches, a build up of snow and ice can cause branches to snap.
- Prune gooseberries and cover with netting to prevent birds from eating the buds.
- Plant summer fruiting raspberry canes.
- Apply fertilizer containing nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus around trees, fruit bushes and shrubs.
- Plant or move roses. They like plenty of sun and a clay soil. Leave 60cm (24in) between plants to allow air circulation, which will reduce the chance of infection.
- Clear away old crops from the greenhouse, including grow bags, they can harbour hibernating insects and their eggs. Spread the grow bag compost on the soil as a soil conditioner.
- Check produce and plants that are in storage for damage or drying out (dahlias, chrysanths etc.).
- If you are ordering seeds or plugs from mail order companies, you'll need to get your order in soon.
- Start off seed potatoes, standing them in seed trays with eyes uppermost.
- For an early crop of strawberries bring the pots into the greenhouse now.
- Pot up any cuttings that have rooted.
- Plant apple and pear trees. Check and adjust any stakes on young trees and remove stakes on any trees that have been planted more than 3 years.
- Feed fruit trees with a potash fertiliser.
- Hard prune dogwood/cornus stems every other year. This will ensure straight, upright, brightly coloured stems. Use the prunings as hardwood cuttings. Cut into 8inch lengths, trim the bottom at a 45 degree angle and the top straight across, so you know which way up it should be planted. Push the stems into an empty space in the border. My dogwood cutting YouTube video here.
- On a dry still day rake up fallen leaves, don't put them on the compost heap, as leaves break down in a cold process, whereas a traditional compost heap breaks organic matter down in a warm/hot process. Put them into a leaf composter, or make leaf mould. How to make leaf mould.
- Put out feeders for birds. Nuts, seeds, suet balls and mealworms are available in most supermarkets now, but birds also love chopped bacon rind, apple and pear cores, dried fruit and pieces of crumbled hard cheese. Don't forget to put out fresh water, floating a tennis ball in the water should prevent the water from freezing over. Encouraging birds into the garden will help reduce the number of insects and slugs.
- Prune summer-flowering clematis before they start producing new growth.
- Wash any used pots and seed trays, ready to be used for seed sowing.
- Plant summer and or autumn fruiting raspberry canes.
- Empty any decorative and non-frostproof pots and store them undercover, in a shed, greenhouse or garage. If they are kept empty and dry over winter they are less likely to be damaged by frost. Frostproof terracotta pots planted with a winter display should be lifted onto clay pot feet, to allow any excess water to drain out and reduce slug and snails climbing the side of the pot to eat your plants.
- During autumn and winter, indoor plants will require less feeding and watering. However as the temperature drops outside, the central heating goes on and the temperature in the house tends to go up, so whilst it's a good idea to keep your pot plants on the dry side and not water them too often, you should check a couple of times a week to ensure they haven't totally dried out. Oh and if you have a water spray bottle, hold the plant over the sink or bath and give the foliage a quick little squirt (don't do this to hairy leaved plants like African violets).
- Don't go and buy an indoor (small) watering can, I find that the kettle does just as good a job, but obviously not after it has just boiled!! (the water should be room temperature or cooler).
- Early November is usually the time to prune roses, but the weather is still mild and I still have flowers and buds on some of mine, so I'll wait until they have finished flowering when they can then be pruned, cutting them back to half their height.
- Now's a good time to service your lawn mower. If you've got an electric mower it's just a matter of checking the blades aren't too badly damaged (if they are the plastic type, they are easily replaced) and that the underside of the deck is clear of debris. For petrol mowers it's a bit more complex. Remove the air filter cover and give the filter a good vacuum. Lift the mower onto a bench and examine the underside of the mower deck and the state of the blade (note that most manufacturers suggest not tipping the mower unless it has been drained of oil as well as any petrol), remove the spark plug and check that the spark gap is bright, if not give it a clean with some fine emery paper and reset the spark gap. Old petrol from last year will be 'stale', making it difficult to start your mower. Mix it with some new petrol in your fuel can. For the first start of the mower I find a short spray from a can of Easy Start into the intake will get the mower going pretty quickly.
- After a frost try to stay off the grass. Treading on the lawn in frosty conditions can damage the grass.
- Order bare root roses. Bare root roses are cheaper to buy and have posted than container-grown roses. There is also a much broader range of roses available by mail-order than can be purchased in most garden centres.
Ordering early and planting within the first few weeks of October will allow them to start to get established before the hard winter frosts, but planted later in the winter/new year, they'll still settle in quickly, begin to sprout in the spring and flower in the summer. When planting a bare root rose in winter you'll initially need to water it in well, but unless we have a particularly dry spell it shouldn't need additional watering, if planting in early spring, you'll need to keep an eye on the weather and water regularly to stop the roots from drying out.
- Put holly branches on the ground to stop mice and squirrels digging up newly planted peas, broad beans and bulbs.
- Plant lily and gladioli bulbs in 4in (10cm) deep holes. Cover with soil or compost and gently firm down the soil to ensure that there are no air pockets as this may cause the bulbs to rot.
- When you see the new shoots forming on sedum, cut down the old, dead flower heads.
- Refirm the roots of any shrubs that may have been lifted by frost.
- Keep an eye on the weather forecast. Cover shrubs that are likely to be damaged by frost with garden fleece, sacking or an old light blanket.
- Plant onion sets (bulbs). Run a string line across the bed and plant the bulbs, 5-10cm (2-4in) apart, up to their necks so just the tips are showing. Space the rows 25-30cm (10-15in). Firm the soil around them and water well, cover with a cloche for added protection. Keep an eye on them until they get established as some birds like to pull the sets out.
- Remove algae and moss from patios and paths with a pressure washer or proprietary patio and path cleaner (traditionally a tar oil winter wash could have been used, but these are no longer available, particualrly to the amateur gardener, as they were found to be carcinogenic).
- Transplant any self-set aquilegia, lupins and hollyhocks to new locations.
- As it's starting to warm up, it's a good time to lay a new lawn, although the best time is in Autumn or late winter, as it's damper and cooler, allowing the turf to bed in without you having to worry too much about regular watering. See here: laying a new lawn for further information.
- Spread compost from the compost bin over the borders and vegetable patch. This adds valuable nutrients to the soil and acts as a mulch, to retain moisture and reduce weed growth. The ground should be weed free and the soil moist before adding a layer of compost or mulch.
- Creating a compost heap
- Chitting and growing potatoes
- Visit some lovely snowdrop displays, to brighten up a gloomy winter's day.
- Cleaning patios, paths and decking
- YouTube: Propagating snowdrops (Galanthus) by bulb division
- Sowing seeds
- How to lay a new lawn
- UKGardening YouTube Channel
- Tweets by UKGardening.
- Removing large branches
- Updated photo gallery
Tweets by UKGardening