As we approach a New Year it is perhaps a time when we make New Year Resolutions for the coming year ahead, perhaps give some thought to carrying out a little more in the garden and it may even help with slightly overdoing any extra Christmas Pudding. We are still unable to carry out much work in the garden during the dark days of winter but not before too long we will see the light increasing and early sign of spring. It is a good time to plan the year ahead, to plan your garden, tackle that area that you’ve left unattended or indeed even start a new border or a vegetable plot. Your new year plan must take in the seasons of when you will undertake everything in the garden. January is a month to dig over any remaining borders and add manure if you haven’t already done so. January is still a time when any trees or shrubs can be planted, best to have this done before end March. February should involve pruning any crowded shrubs or damaged stems but avoid pruning any shrubs that spring flower so as not to remove or stunt this year’s growth. March usually gives us some encouragement that we are coming out of winter months and we should be hopefully experiencing spring like conditions by mid-march allowing for planting vegetables such as our onion sets and early potatoes. If the weather is dry enough it might be ok to mow the lawn this month but remember not to remove too much early growth or cut too short and avoid any scalping if using a hover mower as this will allow moss to grow in bare areas. April will no doubt bring the showers that we associate with this month. Grass seed and hardy annuals can be sown end of the month and in to May when we should be experiencing warmer conditions but with enough moisture to help seeds germinate. Weeds will also start to grow so make a note in the calendar to put time aside to remove weeds when they are small before they become a problem. May is a month to feed shrubs and roses and once the threat of early morning frosts has passed we can introduce bedding plants to the garden, this is probably better left until the end of May. In June, we can lift our spring flowering bulbs if container grown and divide clumps for next year. Earth up potatoes in May and in to June be vigilant of pests and disease on fruit and vegetables. Throughout the year, we require to be vigilant to the wildlife who will take to our gardens and find food and shelter in areas, keep an eye on this so that whatever changes you make keeps the garden a welcome place for wildlife This gives a brief calendar for the first half of 2017 and remember the garden can be a peace filled place for you in 2017.

Paul Brannan

Paul is Works Controller with Land and Environmental Services with responsibility for managing maintenance teams in Pollok Country Park, Glasgow Green and Glasgow’s’ Golf Courses, Football Pitches and Bowling Greens. Paul is currently studying for a degree in soil science.