Composting the orchard

The seasons

Gardening tips and tricks for each season

Spring (September - November)
Spring is an exciting time in the garden as it comes alive. Fresh new leaves grow from deciduous trees, blossoms appear, insects multiply, and the days get longer and warmer. Early spring is the main time for seed sowing into trays, and late spring is when most seedlings are planted and seeds sown directly into the soil. Early spring before new foliage has emerged is an ideal time for trimming many hedges. Plants damaged by frost can be cut back once future frosts are unlikely. Mulch gardens while soils are still moist. Most plants will benefit from an application of general fertiliser.

Read the in-depth Spring tasks for September, October and November. 

Summer (December - February)
Summer is the season where the warm sun ripens fruit and plants grow vigorously.  To ensure a sustained supply of food, make successive plantings and sowings of edible summer crops. Remove spent blooms from roses, perennials and annuals to prolong flowering. Prune shrubs once flowering has ceased. Stone fruit trees should be pruned once harvest is complete. If watering is required in dry periods, apply occasional deep applications rather than light sprinklings. February is the main month for planting spring bulbs. 

Read the in-depth Summer tasks for December, January and February. 

Autumn (March-May)
Continue to harvest the last of the summer crops. When spent crops are removed, add them to the compost heap. Autumn is a good time to collect seed from annuals and edibles, and for planting, dividing and replanting, pruning and cutting back shrubs and trees. Lime can be added to garden beds. April is the main month for planting winter annuals and edibles.

Read the in-depth Autumn tasks for March, April and May. 

Winter (June - August)
Early winter is the main time for dividing and replanting perennials. Most field-grown deciduous trees, shrubs, roses and fruit trees become available to purchase in winter. Prune roses in July. Shift frost-sensitive pot plants to a sheltered place. Winter is the best time for transplanting.

Read the in-depth Winter tasks for June, July and August.