Seeds to sow now:

Indoor or in a heated greenhouse

Ageratum

Alyssum

Aubergine

Bell pepper, Pepper, Sweet pepper

Cardoon

Celeriac

Celery

Columbine

Coriander

Cress

Cucumber

Floss flower, Ageratum

Forget-me-not

Ornamental pepper

Pepper

Tomato

Outside

Alyssum

Amaranthus

Antwerp hollyhock, Fig-leaved hollyhock, Hollyhock

Asparagus

Aubretia, Rock cress, Aubrieta, Aubrietia

Beetroot

Beetroot, Garden beet

Borecole, Kale

Bristly hollyhock

Broccoli

Brussels sprout

Cabbage

Carrot

Cauliflower

Common hollyhock

Hollyhock

Kohl rabi

Lettuce

Normandy sorrel

Onion

Ornamental winter kale

Radish

Spinach

Spinach, Summer spinach

Spring onion

Sweet corn

Sweet pea

Turnip

Outside under cover

Courgette

French marigold

Leek

Lettuce

Marrow

Onion

Snapdragon

Sweet corn

Tomato


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.

16/03/2024 - 14/04/2024

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

South Garden Opening South Garden Opening

21/03/2024 - 12/05/2024

Keukenhof  32 hectares filled with seven million tulips (800 varieties), daffodils and hyacinths
Stationsweg 166A 2161 AM Lisse, Netherlands

Keukenhof Keukenhof

31/03/2024 - 21/04/2024

Hedingham Castle: Spring Bulb Walks  Spring Bulb Walks @ Hedingham Castle
Spring Bulb walk around the Castle grounds, gardens and woodland. Selected dates only, please check their website for availability.
- Bayley Street, Castle Hedingham, Halstead, Essex CO9 3DJ

Spring Bulb Walks Spring Bulb Walks

01/04/2024 - 30/04/2024

Waterperry Gardens: Fritillary Season  Fritillary Season @ Waterperry Gardens
See the Oxfordshire county flower in bloom in the wildflower meadow.
- Waterperry, Nr. Wheatley, Oxfordshire OX33 1JZ

Fritillary Season Fritillary Season

05/04/2024 - 15/05/2024

Forde Abbey and Gardens: Forde Abbey Tulip Extravaganza  Forde Abbey Tulip Extravaganza @ Forde Abbey and Gardens
Thousands of early, mid and late flowering tulips have been planted to create a wonderful spring display.
- Forde Abbey Estate, Chard, Somerset TA20 4LU

Forde Abbey Tulip Extravaganza Forde Abbey Tulip Extravaganza

13/04/2024 - 13/04/2024

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

The Orchid Society of Great Britain Spring Orchid Show The Orchid Society of Great Britain Spring Orchid Show

18/04/2024 - 21/04/2024

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

RHS Urban Show RHS Urban Show

19/04/2024 - 21/04/2024

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

The Newark Garden Show The Newark Garden Show

03/05/2024 - 05/05/2024

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

BBC Gardeners' World Fair - Spring BBC Gardeners' World Fair - Spring

09/05/2024 - 12/05/2024

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

RHS Malvern Spring Festival RHS Malvern Spring Festival

17/05/2024 - 19/05/2024

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

The National Flower Show The National Flower Show

21/05/2024 - 25/05/2024

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

RHS Chelsea Flower Show RHS Chelsea Flower Show

25/05/2024 - 25/05/2024

Waterperry Gardens: Waterperry Saxifraga Day  Waterperry Saxifraga Day @ Waterperry Gardens
The UK largest collection of Saxifraga will be on display.
- Waterperry, Nr. Wheatley, Oxfordshire OX33 1JZ

Waterperry Saxifraga Day Waterperry Saxifraga Day

30/05/2024 - 01/06/2024

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 Royal Bath and West Agricultural Show The Royal Bath and West Agricultural Show

09/06/2024 - 09/06/2024

Waterperry Gardens: Rare Plant Fair - Waterperry Gardens  Rare Plant Fair - Waterperry Gardens @ Waterperry Gardens
Specialist Plant Fairs in Unique Gardens with a number of Nurseries attending.
- Waterperry, Nr. Wheatley, Oxfordshire OX33 1JZ

Rare Plant Fair - Waterperry Gardens Rare Plant Fair - Waterperry Gardens

13/06/2024 - 16/06/2024

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

BBC Gardeners' World Live BBC Gardeners' World Live

02/07/2024 - 07/07/2024

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

RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival

17/07/2024 - 21/07/2024

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

RHS Flower Show Tatton Park RHS Flower Show Tatton Park

30/10/2024 - 31/10/2024

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

Saltex Saltex

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.

  • 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.
  • Pelargonium/geranium cuttings can be taken now. Cut off a 8cm (3in) shoot just below a leaf joint (node), remove all but the top pair of leaves and insert the cuttings 4cm (1.5in) into a small pot of potting compost. Gently water in the cuttings and place in a warm, well-lit place. When they have begun to produce more leaves they can be moved to larger pots, containing general-purpose compost.
  • 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.
  • Cut vigorous climbers such as honeysuckle and ivy back hard.
  • 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.
  • Tidy up any remaining leaves and general garden rubbish. It's home to slugs, snails, vine weevil and woodlice and can introduce disease and infection into your garden.
  • April is the peak flowering time for orchids.
  • April is the best time to plant an evergreen, such as laurel or box.
  • Lift and divide primulas and polyanthus after they have finished flowering. See our YouTube video showing how to do this.
  • 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.
  • Don't be tempted to buy your summer bedding yet, unless you have a greenhouse, conservatory or cold frame that you can store them in. A late April / early May frost is not uncommon in the UK.
  • Prune lavatera hard, down to healthy young growth.
  • Now is the best time to plant lavender. Widely grown for its scent and foliage, lavender is ideal for borders or a low hedge. Available in shades of purple, blue, white and pink it is a magnet for bees and butterflies
  • Postion plant supports where they will be needed in late summer. Doing this now reduces the risk of damaging the roots later in the season.
  • Plant maincrop potatoes in prepared ground or potato growbags.
  • As summer-flowering herbaceous perennials start to come back to life, lift and divide overgrown plants.
  • 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.
  • Begin regular cutting of your lawn. If the grass is long increase the height adjustment of the mower to the highest setting. Once this first cut has been done, lower the blades/deck and go back over the lawn.
  • 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).
  • If your lawn is more moss than grass, then treat with a lawn moss killer. Bare in mind that the moss will turn black within a couple of days, so don't be too alarmed. A couple of weeks after application, if you are left with bare patches in your lawn, mix equal quantities of grass seed and seived compost and scatter over the patches, cover areas with fine netting or twigs gently pushed into the soil, to protect from birds and animals. Combination lawn feed and moss killer is available, but feeding your lawn when it's not necessary will encourage it to grow quicker and therefore need to be cut more regularly.
  • Scatter growmore granules under fruit trees and bushes, especially apple, pear and plum trees. If it doesn't rain for a couple of days, water the granules in with a hose or watering can. Growmore is a slow release, general fertiliser, it includes the three main plant nutrients (nitrogen, phosphates and potassium).
  • 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.
  • Remove the dead heads of spring flowering bulbs, such as tulips and daffodils, before they have a chance to produce seed. This will encourage the plant to store energy in the bulb rather than wasting it on seed production.
  • Your pond may have started to turn green and cloudy. This is due to a rapid increase in algae, which flourish in the warmer spring temperatures. Once the pond plants start to grow again, especially the oxygenating plants, these will use up the nutrients and create shade, reducing the amount of algae. To speed up the clearing of the water, drop a small string bag/pair of old tights stuffed with barley straw, into the pond. Weigh the straw down, so that it floats just below the surface of the water.

    As the straw breaks down, it produces hydrogen peroxide, which reduces and inhibits the growth of algae and blanket weed. If the algae is particularly bad, barley straw extract can be bought in liquid form and added to the pond water (follow the instructions on the bottle, but as a guide before purchasing,125ml treats approximately 4,500 litres/1,000 gallons, but multiple, fortnightly treatments through the year may be necessary). If you have a fountain or waterfall, try to position the barley straw underneath this. Remove and replace the barley with new straw after about six months, before it completely rots down, polluting the water.

    The small, pre-filled barley straw bags to add to your pond, cost about £2 each, but you can buy a 17 litre pack, which will last a few years for about £10 from your local pet shop or Amazon here: Supreme Petfoods Tiny Friends Farm Russell & Gerty Barley Straw, 17 Litres

  • Sow vegetable seeds (courgette, marrow, runner and French beans) in the vegetable patch and salad seeds (lettuce, spring onion and radish) little and often to provide a staggered harvest through the summer.
  • 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.
  • Feed established roses, fortnightly, with a rose fertilizer, dead-head regularly and check for aphids and black spot.
  • Lift, divide and replant chives.

 

 

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