If you’re working on your garden over the next year, what is the best time of the year to start planting? Depending on what kind of effects you’re trying to create, and on the size and location of your garden, different times of the year can have different benefits. For most gardens, planting and trimming during early spring, and after a frost, will set up your garden for the summer.
You can also plant evergreens and perennials during the summer, while bedding spring flowering plants like daffodils in the autumn. Different times of the year can similarly be used for planting vegetables. Paying attention to the condition of plant pots and containers, as well as to unseasoned weather, can ensure that you’re not damaging the growth chances of your plants.
It’s possible to plant most of your garden in the springtime, which can also be the time for checking and trimming annuals and herbaceous perennials; the latter can be thinned out prior to flowering. A mild spring is also good for planting evergreens if you want to see their full effect in terms of colour during the spring and autumn; a similar approach can also be taken for planting flowering shrubs during March and April.
During the summer, you might want to focus on planting and potting new annuals, as well as wallflowers and flowers like petunias; hanging baskets and plant pots can also be used for this approach, while you can keep on top of flowering shrubs and perennials by trimming them regularly throughout the warmest months of the year. Lilies planted in the summer can flower in the autumn if the weather remains cool.
Towards the end of the year, be more careful about frost and planting, and if looking to grow plants, focus on early autumn – when planted in time, perennials can flower in the spring, while bulbs can be used with containers as long as they’re properly bedded and protected from frost. Summer flowering plants in the autumn can also be an option for annuals that can stand up to the cold, and can include ammi majus and consolida, or larkspur. Daffodils can similarly be planted for spring flowering.
With vegetables, focus on spring planting for crops like cauliflower and cabbage, as well as asparagus, tomatoes, and most green vegetables. Runner beans can be planted in the summer, as can pumpkins, while lettuce can be put down in the summer for a winter harvest. For most vegetables, you can sow them through the spring and summer, and even in winter in hardy varieties that will withstand frost.
It’s also important to use the right containers and fertilizer throughout the year; larger plant pots and containers can provide depth for plants, while organic fertilizer and mulch can offer nutrients and moisture throughout dryer months. If you’re experiencing a particularly cold spring, consider investing in a greenhouse to protect your crops and garden, while also looking for tough perennials that can be planted in deep areas to flower when the weather does become warmer.
Sophie Wiggins is a gardening blogger from the UK, and a strong believer in producing organic fruit and vegetables. She also recommends finding high quality plant pots to keep your garden crops in their best condition throughout the year.