2022 Garden Guide: What To Do From January To June To Make Your Summer Bloom |  Advice on gardening

2022 Garden Guide: What To Do From January To June To Make Your Summer Bloom | Advice on gardening

January

You will notice the slight extension of the days already now, and the plants and birds certainly sense it: It is not unusual to see buffalo-tailed bumble bees out and about on a mild January day. Snowdrops bloom, green shoots penetrate the ground, catkins unfold, and the garden grinds back to life.

Key job
Planning. This is the time to sit down with your seed catalogs and dream about the crops and flowers you want to grow in the coming year. Want armfuls of cornflowers, cosmos and zinnias? Juicy beef tomatoes and crunchy mangetout? Time to put past failures aside and dream big.

rakler
Razors are a sign that the garden is grinding back to life. Photo: Vincent Abbey / Alamy

In kitchen and flower gardens
Buy and chop potatoes in a frost-free window sill. Place seaweed over rhubarb plants. Plant fruit trees – apples, pears, quinces and medlar – and prune existing ones. So sweet peas, if you have not already done so. Plant roses when the soil is frost-free.
Do not forget…
Chop, fry and eat your winter pumpkins, perhaps sprinkled with crumbled feta, chopped mint and a pinch of lime – there is not much to harvest in the garden now, so it’s time to get through your stored ingredients.

February

The 1-2. February, the ancient Celtic celebration of Imbolc is a festival of fire, associated with seeds and new life. The ancients felt an urge to sow, but resisted – so far. Sowing prematurely leads to rotten seeds and disappointment; only aubergines and chilies will appreciate such an early start. Do not let the strangely mild day and springy feeling tempt you.

Young eggplant plants
Young eggplant plants appreciate being sown early. Photo: Viktoriya Telminova / Getty Images / iStockphoto

Key job
Preparation. Use this month to get ready for sowing time. Wash old seed trays or buy new ones and buy compost. Make nice piles and get ready to jump start. Close vegetable beds and cover with black or clear polyethylene to help the sun warm the earth.

In kitchen and flower gardens
Sow chili and eggplant seeds indoors, ideally in a heated propagator. Sow broad beans and hardy peas in pots in a warm place outside or in a greenhouse. Lift, split and transplant large clumps of wild onions such as snowdrops, bluebells and winter acorns to propagate them. Order dahlia tubers. Plant lilies in pots.

Do not forget…
Buy British-grown flowers for Valentine’s Day to support local businesses and reduce the number of flowers flown in from around the world. Try Cornish Blooms and Real Flower Company.

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March

According to lore, if March comes in like a lion, it goes out like a lamb, implying somewhat more predictable weather than we often get in March. In general, winter is starting to give way now. Daffodils appear and there is a soft haze of lime green over trees and hedges.

Strawberry
Perennials, including strawberries, do well planted in March. Photo: Food / Alamy

Key job
Finally, this month we can start sowing in earnest. Set yourself a pace so that a few crops every few days, and do not overlook. The soil is still cold, so sow in containers or a greenhouse for planting later.

In kitchen and flower gardens
Then Brussels sprouts, cabbage, celery, pine fennel, lettuce, sprouting broccoli, peas, spinach, chard, carrots, turnips, beets and radishes. So tender crops – tomatoes, cucumbers, winter pumpkins, aubergines – indoors, ideally in a heated propagating machine, midway through the month. This is the perfect time to start an asparagus bed using crowns. Other perennials will do well planted now, including rhubarb, strawberries and artichokes.

Do not forget…
Wild garlic is up, and perfectly young and tender, and you will find it – by the nose – in old forests. Pick bags of it and whip up with roasted hazelnuts, hard goat cheese and olive oil to make a forest pesto.

April

Salad
Lettuce can be sown directly in April. Photo: Vladimir Kazakov / Getty Images / iStockphoto

Frost is still very likely and the nights are still cold. Good Friday (April 15) is the traditional day for planting potatoes; April 23, St George’s Day, heralds the start of the asparagus season.

Key job
You can start sowing directly this month, but protect new plants and seedlings with claws. Harden the plants gradually as you move them from indoors to outdoors: a few hours outside, then in again and so on.

In kitchen and flower gardens
Plant potatoes in trenches or in pots. Under cover, then: French beans, wild beans, cabbage, cauliflower, courgettes, cucumbers, Florence fennel, kale, winter squash and sweet corn. Sown directly: lettuce, peas, arugula, summer purslane, corn salad, spinach, chard, carrots, beets, parsnips, turnips, leeks and spring onions. Harvest asparagus.

Pot dahlia tubers up and protect against frost and snails. So semi-hardy: snapdragon, zinnia, nicotiana, cleome, cosmos, tithonia, sunflowers. Plant sweet peas out with bushy “pea sticks” or nets so they can climb up.

Do not forget…
Get out among the bluebell forests during their short and glorious reign at the end of April. Check the National Trust for places to visit (usually for a fee).

Able to

All the plants I have tilting in the window sills can finally go into the ground. But beware that the “ice saints” (Saints Mamertus, Pancras, and Servatius), whose feast days fall on May 11, 12, and 13, respectively, may herald a cold snap that may bring the last frost of spring. In late May, there will be a frenzy of planting out.

Artichokes
Jerusalem artichokes should be picked while they are still small. Photo: Roni-G / Getty Images / iStockphoto

Key jobs
Planting, watering and feeding.

In kitchen and flower gardens
Put chili in their last pots. Sow coriander, chervil, dill and parsley directly into the ground under cloches. Sow basil in pots indoors. Ground potatoes. Plant hanging baskets and window boxes with colorful bedding. Plant lilies and gladiolus in pots. Pick bundles of fragrant lily of the valley to give to your loved ones on May 1st, which is Fête du Muguet (Lily of the Valley) in France. Water and feed.

Do not forget…
Pick Jerusalem artichokes while they are still small and before their “suffocation” is formed. Peel the harder dark green “petals” and remove any remnants of cool pieces, then cook for 10 minutes, or until a pinch easily pierces them. Drain, quarter and eat with vinaigrette.

June

Summer is coming and the work shifts from manic sowing and planting to casual maintenance, perhaps walking around the garden on a warm evening with a watering can in one hand and a glass of wine in the other.

Key jobs
Tends to vegetables and enjoys its abundance. Enjoy the garden – you have decorated it well the rest of the year.

In kitchen and flower gardens
Squeeze out the side shoots of tomatoes, tie them together, and start feeding each week. Pick salad: Lettuce, peas, broad beans, artichokes, asparagus and acid are all at their best. Strawberries are plentiful and it’s time to make the first jam of the year. Pick roses early and soak them up to the neck in water for a few hours before arranging in large clusters with alchemy leaves and copper herring heads.

Do not forget…
Traditionally, at midsummer, doors with birch, fennel, lilies and wild flowers were hung, food was laid out for neighbors, and bonfires and lamps were lit at dusk to keep burning the shortest night.

Lia Leendertz is the author of The Almanac: a Seasonal Guide to 2022 (Octopus, £ 12.99). Visit guardianbookshop.com to purchase a copy for £ 11.99, including UK p & p

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