Seeds to plant now:

Indoor or in a heated greenhouse

Beet, Beetroot, Chard

Lettuce

Outside

Alpine poppy

Antwerp hollyhock, Fig-leaved hollyhock, Hollyhock

Bristly hollyhock

Common hollyhock

Hollyhock

Outside under cover

Broad bean

Chinese cabbage

Pea

Shallot

Sweet pea


Shows and events:

Updated 29/07/2021
Following the UK Government lifting of restrictions in England on 19th July with some restrictions still continuing in Wales and Scotland, some show organisers have been able to confirm that their events are going to go ahead. Others have found that the uncertainty of rising (and falling) infection rates and the length of time it takes to organise an event makes it too unpreditable to proceed so have cancelled their event for this year.

I have checked the 2021 events listed below and have added comments where necessary.

I'll try to keep this list up to date as the situation changes. Regards Nick.

02/10/2021 - 31/10/2021

Royal Botanic Gardens Kew: Japan autumn festival  Japan autumn festival @ Royal Botanic Gardens Kew
Celebrating the plants, art and culture of Japan.
- Kew, Richmond, London TW9 3AE

Japan autumn festival Japan autumn festival

23/10/2021 - 23/10/2021

Wightwick Manor and Gardens: Apple Harvest at Wightwick Manor  Apple Harvest at Wightwick Manor @ Wightwick Manor and Gardens
See and sample some of the 52 apple varieties grown in the gardens.
- Wightwick Bank, Wolverhampton, West Midlands WV6 8EE

Apple Harvest at Wightwick Manor Apple Harvest at Wightwick Manor

23/10/2021 - 31/10/2021

Helmingham Hall Gardens: The Helmingham Pumpkin Patch  The Helmingham Pumpkin Patch @ Helmingham Hall Gardens
Pick your own pumpkin or squash from the thousands grown on the pumpkin patch.
- Helmingham, Stowmarket, Suffolk IP41 6EF

The Helmingham Pumpkin Patch The Helmingham Pumpkin Patch

18/11/2021 - 21/11/2021

The NEC: The Festive Gift Fair Confirmed going ahead The Festive Gift Fair @ The NEC
Festive, fun and fabulous Christmas Shopping
- North Avenue, Marston Green, Birmingham, West Midlands B40 1NT

The Festive Gift Fair The Festive Gift Fair

27/11/2021 - 02/01/2022

Hestercombe House & Gardens: Christmas Garden Trails  Christmas Garden Trails @ Hestercombe House & Gardens
There will be two trails around the Landscape and Formal Gardens.
- Cheddon Fitzpaine, Taunton, Somerset TA2 8LG

Christmas Garden Trails Christmas Garden Trails

27/11/2021 - 02/12/2021

Hestercombe House & Gardens: Christmas Wreath Making Workshop  Christmas Wreath Making Workshop @ Hestercombe House & Gardens
Includes expert tuition, all materials and light refreshments.
- Cheddon Fitzpaine, Taunton, Somerset TA2 8LG

Christmas Wreath Making Workshop Christmas Wreath Making Workshop

01/03/2022 - 01/03/2022

Hestercombe House & Gardens: National Garden Scheme Open Day  National Garden Scheme Open Day @ Hestercombe House & Gardens
- Cheddon Fitzpaine, Taunton, Somerset TA2 8LG

National Garden Scheme Open Day National Garden Scheme Open Day

22/04/2022 - 24/04/2022

Loseley Park: Loseley Spring Garden Show Rescheduled date Loseley Spring Garden Show @ Loseley Park
A number of nurseries exhibiting and selling their products in the walled garden.
- Guildford GU3 1HS

Loseley Spring Garden Show Loseley Spring Garden Show

30/04/2022 - 08/05/2022

Grand Designs Live - Excel Rescheduled date Home and garden show based on the Channel 4 TV series of the same name, hosted by Kevin McCloud.
Excel

Grand Designs Live - Excel Grand Designs Live - Excel

30/04/2022 - 08/05/2022

Grand Designs Live - The NEC Confirmed going ahead Home and garden show based on the Channel 4 TV series of the same name, hosted by Kevin McCloud.
ExCel, London

Grand Designs Live - The NEC Grand Designs Live - The NEC

01/05/2022 - 02/05/2022

Robin Hood Country Show  Postponed due to Brentwood Centre being used as a vaccination centre.
Brentwood Centre, Doddinghurst Road, Brentwood, Essex, CM15 9NN

Robin Hood Country Show Robin Hood Country Show

05/05/2022 - 08/05/2022

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 and garden tools and equipment from the trade stands.
- Three Counties Showground, Malvern, Worcestershire WR13 6NW

RHS Malvern Spring Festival RHS Malvern Spring Festival

15/05/2022 - 15/05/2022

Alresford Watercress Festival Rescheduled date The May 2020 festival was initially moved to September, unfortunately this has now been cancelled. The 2021 festival has now been moved to a virtual watercress festival. A celebration to mark the start of the watercress season.
Alresford, Hampshire, Hampshire

Alresford Watercress Festival Alresford Watercress Festival

25/06/2022 - 26/06/2022

Woburn Abbey: Woburn Abbey Garden Show  Woburn Abbey Garden Show @ Woburn Abbey
Woburn has been closed for a major refurbishment project therefore the 2021 June garden show has been postponed until 2022.

Woburn Abbey Garden Show Woburn Abbey Garden Show

All event details have been entered as accurately as possible, but please check with the event organisers before travelling to avoid disappointment.

Welcome to the UKGardening Internet site.

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.

  • Take blackcurrant cuttings. Cutting should be 10' long - the size of a pencil. Plant upright in a 'V' shaped trench with sharp sand in the bottom, then back fill with soil.
  • 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.
  • Harvest all carrots to prevent carrot fly grubs developing.
  • Clear tomato plants from the greenhouse. If the plants don't look disease affected put them on the compost heap, else burn or bin them. Pick off any remaining green tomatoes that are on the plants, take them indoors and put them in bowl with a banana and place in cupboard or draw to ripen.
  • Cut lawns and trim edges for the last time of the growing season. Brush the lawnmower down after the final mowing, removing any grass.
  • Double dig borders and vegetable plots, to encourage deep root growth next season. Don't worry about breaking up any large lumps of soil, the winter frost and rain should break them down.
  • Move any planted up pots and containers closer to the house so you can enjoy the colours and textures of the plants through your windows.
  • Lift and store the rhizomes of ginger and canna lillies, laying them in trays of used compost, keeping them damp and away from frost. How to store other tender plants over winter.
  • Clear shed and greenhouse gutters and put chicken wire over the top of them to stop them getting clogged with leaves.
  • 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.
  • If you have any autumn fruiting raspberries, after harvesting the fruit, prune out, down to the ground any canes that have carried any fruit this year also any canes that are diseased, damaged or broken and tie in any new shoots.
  • Lift, divide and replant rhubarb crowns that haven't been split in the last 4-5 years
  • Sweet peas sown in the autumn will flower earlier next year, they will also produce stockier plants
  • Grow some herbs on the kitchen windowsill. Sow coriander, basil and parsley into 10cm (4in) pots filled with a mix of general purpose compost. Once the plants have matured, use by removing a few stems as required.
  • If you have any decorative plant pots that aren't frostproof. Empty them of all soil and store them in the shed, greenhouse or garage.
  • Empty hanging baskets that are past their best and replant with winter flowering pansies, primulas, cyclamen and variagated ivy, to create a winter show of flowers. Try and keep hanging basket chains as short as possible in the winter to prevent the basket being blown about too much.
  • 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.
  • Replace summer bedding in borders with winter flowering pansies, polyanthus, wallflowers, myosotis, tulips and daffodils bulbs.
  • Order bare rooted roses. Ordering now and planting in the next few weeks will allow them to start to get established before the winter frosts, but will mean that you don't have to keep watering them through the summer.
  • 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.
  • In the veg patch: transplant out spring cabbage, thin swede seedlings to 30cm (12in) apart and cover winter lettuce with cloches, obviously this means that they will need to be watered from time to time.
  • Protect half-hardy perennials from frost with straw, newspaper or netting.
  • 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).
  • Frosts are likely, bring house plants indoors, move tender plants under cover.
  • 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).
  • Once tomato, pepper and chilli plants have finished in the greenhouse, but before moving tender plants in for winter protection, give the glass and benches a clean with washing up water and or a garden disinfectant, getting into all the nooks and crannies to reduce the number of pests and diseases. Cleaning the glass will allow more light into the greenhouse, which is particularly important in the winter with the reduced hours of daylight.
  • Harvest pumpkin and squash before the first frost. Leave them to dry in the shed or greenhouse for a couple of days, until the skins toughen up and they sound hollow. Then store somewhere cool and dry.
  • Apply grease bands to the trunks of apple, pear, cherry and plum trees to stop wingless moths climbing into the trees to lay their eggs. Female codling moths fly, so grease bands are ineffective against them, hang pheromone traps in the trees in the spring to trap the male moths.
  • Put cloches over late autumn lettuce seedlings.
  • Once herbaceous perennials have finished flowering and die back, remove and clean plant supports.
  • Apply manure and dig over heavy soil in the autumn. Don't worry about breaking down large lumps of soil as the winter frost should break these down.
  • Replant bulbs that were lifted in the spring. Dispose of soft or shrivelled bulbs.
  • Reduce the frequency of grass cutting and increase the height of the cut.
  • Hydrangea, poppy and nigela have beautiful seed heads, these should be cut and hung upside down in a shed or garage to dry, for use in dried flower arrangements.
  • Cover ponds with netting to prevent leaves dropping or blowing into the water. Remove dead leaves from waterlilies and cut back dying marginals.
  • Prune blackcurrants, cutting stems that have fruited down to strong new shoots. Reduce number of stems in the centre of the bush.
  • Take hardwood cuttings of shrubs.
  • Now is a good time to move herbaceous plants (like hosta) as they aren't growing at the moment. Add organic material to the planting hole.
  • Keep picking dahlia flowers, don't dig up the tuber until we get the first frost and the leaves turn black. Then you can lift the tubers and store them over winter.
  • Now is an ideal time to sow grass seed. Dig over the soil, removing all large stones and weeds, rake it level, sow seed lightly and evenly. Keep off the seedlings until they have reached 10cm when it can be mown.
  • Airate, scarify and top dress lawns, to remove moss, dead grass and encourage healthy grass next season. Now is an ideal time to sow or lay a new lawn, while the soil is still warm. Repair worn patches in the lawn with an equal mix of grass seed and compost. Cover with light netting or twigs to keep of animals and remind you where you've sown. When weeding the grass out of my path, I've often transplanted the little clumps to bare patches in the lawn. Top dressing is the application of an autumn feed, which will encourage a strong root growth, whereas a spring lawn feed is high in nitrogen and promoted leaf growth.
  • Now is an ideal time if you want to move or plant shrubs or trees. The soil is still warm, the air temperature cooler and there's more chance of rain, so plants are less likely dry out and require less watering.
  • Prune shrubs cutting out dead, diseased, dying or crossing branches.
  • Clip hedges, including box, yew, laurel and beech. Note. If your trees or shrubs carry berries, like verbena, holly or firethorn, leave the pruning of these until the spring, so garden birds have a food source over the winter.
  • Cut down any wild flower patches or rough grass areas using a rotary mower set on its highest setting for the first cut, lowering the blades for subsequent cuts. Remove the clippings and put them on the compost heap, wild flowers typically like poor soil, leaving the clippings will enrich the soil and thus make it harder for the wild flowers to compete with grasses.
  • Plant up hyacinths for an indoor winter flower display. If you want flowers for Christmas buy and plant up prepared bulbs.
  • Check the readiness of fruit and vegetables. Apples and pears should be gently lifted with the hand, if the stalk remains on the fruit but parts easily from the tree, it is ready to be picked.
  • Tidy and cut back perennials.
  • Take cuttings of tender perennials and shrubs. Including salvias, penstemon, lavender and rosemary.
  • Autumn or late winter are the best times to lay a new lawn, 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.
  • Spring flowering bulbs should be available in your local garden centre. Plan where you are going to plant them before you go and buy accordingly, it's great fun filling up those brown bags with bulbs, but can be expensive.

    Bulbs are lifted by commercial growers in late summer/early autumn. The bulbs are full of moisture and sugars, but the longer they are out of the ground the more they will start to dehydrate and use stored sugars, smaller bulbs are especially vulnerable so get them into pots or in the ground as soon as possible after purchasing.

    If you have a small garden, or are planting bulbs in pots, think about using smaller varieties of bulbs. Miniature daffodils ('Tete-a-tete' or 'Topolino'), dwarf tulips and crocuses.

    Plant bulbs of one variety together for effect. If the soil in your garden is wet and sticky in winter/spring, plant the bulbs in pots and containers, otherwise they'll tend to sit and rot. Plant bulbs 2 to 3 times deeper than their size. If you are growing in large containers, plant the bulbs in layers sometimes called the lasagne method. Put larger bulbs like tulip and daffodil in first, medium sized bulbs next, finishing off with the smallest bulbs or corms.

    Tulip bulbs are planted in the first two weeks of November, which is slightly later than other spring-flowering bulbs.

  • Wild flowers only need to be cut down once a year. Wait until they have finished flowering and the seed heads have ripened, adjust the lawnmower wheels to their highest setting, remove the grass collection box and run the mower over them, or if you fancy a lot of exercise, try a scythe. Leave the cuttings on the ground for a few days to allow any seed heads to dry and for the seeds to fall. Collect up the remaining stems and put them in the compost heap.
  • Lift marrows, pumpkins and squashes off the ground with straw or upturned plastic flower pots, in order to help them ripen in the last of the sun, keep them from sitting on damp soil and reduce slug damage.
  • If your tomato plants have been affected by blight, clear the plants and burn them, adding them to the compost heap will not kill the spores.
  • Continue to collect and store seeds from plants, for sowing next year. Store any collected seed in paper envelopes or bags, then put them in an air-tight container.
  • Collect and dispose of wind-fall fruit. Leaving them on the ground encourages pests and can damage your lawn.