Punchy asked about planting times...

01:00 Mon 19th Feb 2001 |

By Tom Gard

PUNCHY asked about planting times and�it would make the gardener's life loads easier, if a lot duller, if the great British weather allowed us to predict down to the month, or even week, exactly what to plant out and when.

There are traditional planting times that we can usually roughly adhere to, but anyone who tried planting fruit trees during the November floods or whose early broad beans still haven't made it into the saturated vegetable patch will know nothing is set in stone. You should never plant out when the ground is waterlogged or frozen, whatever the book says.

Generally speaking, the planting season goes from early to late spring, takes a break for summer, and then recommences in autumn until the winter sets in. However, there are always exceptions to the rule, so here's a rough, weather permitting, month-by-month guide to planting out:

  • January: Winters may be getting milder and milder, but January is at best a month to prepare ground, rather than plant in it.
  • February: Tuberous plants for summer flowering such as Begonias, Dahlias and Cannas should be planted. In the vegetable garden, globe artichokes, shallots, garlic, and some early potatoes can go in.
  • March: Bare root roses can be planted from now, as can some early flowering bedding plants. Most vegetables can be sown or planted if the weather is favourable and the ground in good order, including broad beans, carrots and peas.
  • April: Finish sewing hardy annual seeds. Bedding plants can be planted, but beware of late frosts. Most climbers and small shrubs should go in. In the vegetable garden, beetroot, dwarf French beans, broccoli, early lettuce, etc. can be sown out.
  • May: This is the main month for bedding plants. In the vegetable garden plant out sweetcorn, tomato, cucumber, courgette, etc, keep sowing French and runner beans, lettuce, radish etc.
  • June: Biannual and perennial seeds for next year can be sown. Keep sowing lettuce, radish, etc.
  • July: In the vegetable garden winter greens, cauliflowers, celery and leeks can be planted or sown.
  • August: Enjoy the fruits of your labour.
  • September: Sew winter lettuce, spring cabbages and late cucumbers.
  • October: Plant primroses, forget-me-nots, wallflowers and some bulbs, such as alliums.
  • November: This is traditional month for planting out trees and fruit trees, hedging and larger shrubs and spring flowering bulbs such as daffodils and crocuses. Early broad beans can also be sown.
  • December: Finish planting trees, shrubs and hedges before the cold weather kicks in.

Any questions on what to plant, when and where Click here.

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