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The 2016 garden planting calendar

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Although you can now purchase the majority of flowers from a florist around the clock, and indoor plants can be well maintained 24/7, outdoor plants and flowers are still susceptible to the elements, particularly in the UK where seasonal change can be extreme.

As such, we have put together a planting calendar that will show you when to sow plants and what to consider for the first six months of the year, to ensure your garden has a colourful 2016.


As January is usually the coldest month of the year, little outdoor planting can be done, so think about general garden care and preparations for the warmer weather.

Make sure that all your tools are in good order, and fork between perennials to see if anything newly planted needs to be re-set

If you have a greenhouse, clean it down thoroughly, after which the likes of leeks, onions, lettuce and cabbage can be sown in boxes.



Daffodils may begin to appear, along with primroses as the weather becomes milder, while hedges can be cut back along with overgrown shrubs.

Hardy annuals and roses along with deciduous shrubs can be planted now providing there is no frost or snow on the ground.

You can lift and divide perennials as the temperature rises, while summer flowering bulbs can also be bought or ordered, in preparation for planting later on.


Daffodils should be blooming by now, and as the days begin to lengthen slightly, many plants will rear their heads.

This will include weeds, so make sure you remove them before they take hold, and begin to plant deciduous trees and shrubs near the end of the month.

Remember to prune any shrubs damaged by frost and to trim all roses before new growth appears, while the likes of French and runner beans and dahlia tubers can also be started off in pots.


You can now plant gladioli and acidantheras, and as the weather continues to get a little milder you can also sow new lawn areas.

Plant evergreen coniferous trees and shrubs, and trim all winter-flowering heathers, while removing dead flowers from rhododendrons.

If you have a vegetable patch, you can also begin the successional sowing of peas, beans, radish and lettuce, as well as carrots and cauliflower, then potatoes in late April.


Possibly the busiest month, May involves plenty of work in the garden, beginning by planting dahlias raised from cuttings, stalking tall growing herbaceous plants and moving bedding plants to frames.

You can also sow biennials, canterbury bells, foxgloves, wallflowers and sweet williams, while the lawn needs to be regularly mown in different directions and newly turfed and seeded areas need to be turned.

Wall-trained fruit trees should be given plenty of water, while the vegetable patch needs attention in the form of sowings more peas, beans, carrots and lettuce, as well as Brussels sprouts towards the end of the month.


The garden will by this point be springing to life, so the focus now needs to turn to the likes of pots, containers and growbags.

Any gaps in flower borders can be filled up with quick-growing annuals such as sweet peas and morning glory, while pansies, petunias and black-eyed Susans can add colour to hanging baskets.

Finally, flowering shrubs such as lilac and forsythia need to be pruned as soon as they finish flowering, and all hedges and topiary must be clipped and well fed to encourage growth into the second half of the year.