Monthly jobs

This is a brief list of tasks to help organise your allotment calendar.

We also recommend you visit the Thompson & Morgan website and check out their excellent ‘what to do in the garden’ archive.


Jobs during January should include:

  • Buy and chit seed potatoes (available from our trading shed)
  • Buy onion sets ready for planting in February
  • Sow broad beans in pots and under cover
  • Harvest winter varieties of cabbages, cauliflowers, leeks, celeriac, parsnips and swedes
  • Spread well rotted manure or compost over empty vegetable beds
  • Draw up a sowing and planting plan for the year ahead


Jobs during February should include:

  • Sow seeds indoors to raise seedlings for spring planting
  • Sow tomatoes, chilli peppers and aubergines in a warm place at 18-21℃
  • Plant garlic and shallots, soil conditions permitting
  • Chit seed potatoes
  • Force rhubarb and some chicory varieties
  • Harvest cabbages, cauliflower, sprouts, kale, leeks, celeriac, parsnips and swede
  • Prep soil. Dig over bare soil. Improve sandy or clay soils by incorporating compost or manure. Add grit to heavy clay. Later in the month rake in general purpose fertiliser


Jobs during March should include:

  • Harvest first rhubarb plus remaining sprouts, celeriac and swedes
  • Prepare vegetable seed beds
  • Continue chitting seed potatoes
  • Towards end of month begin planting early potatoes
  • Plant asparagus beds from crowns
  • Plant onion, shallot and garlic sets if soil not waterlogged or frozen
  • Plant fruit trees and raspberry canes
  • Cover strawberries with cloches to encourage earlier fruiting
  • In the greenhouse sow winter brassicas and bedding plant seeds


Jobs during April should include:

  • Harvest the first asparagus along with spring cabbages, cauliflowers, sprouting broccoli, remaining leeks and kale
  • Sow carrots, beetroot and other root vegetables
  • Sow indoors for successful germination, celery, chicory, endive, chillies, peppers, cucumbers, courgettes, pumpkins and other squashes
  • Plant second early and maincrop potatoes
  • Prune cherries and plums once leaf buds have opened


Jobs during May should include:

  • Harvest asparagus, baby globe artichokes, fresh ‘green’ garlic and new season oriental leaves
  • If weather is mild, sow outdoors beetroot, French and runner beans, lettuces, radishes, rocket, spinach and sprouting broccoli
  • Harden off seedlings
  • Plant last of seed potatoes
  • Weed regularly and thoroughly
  • Keep young plants well watered
  • Net fruit bushes to protect against birds


Jobs during June should include:

  • Continue to earth up potatoes
  • Pinch outside shoots on tomato plants
  • Harvest early new potatoes
  • Onion and garlic leaves turning yellow – time to harvest
  • Plant out tender veg such as courgettes, squash, tomatoes, sweetcorn


Jobs during July should include:

  • Feed crops with a general fertiliser
  • Apply high potash fertiliser to peppers, cucumber, tomatoes
  • Pick, dry and freeze herbs
  • Pick runner beans
  • Harvest beetroot, peas, carrots, chard. potatoes, salad leaves
  • Water fruit and vegetable crops during warm weather


Jobs during August should include

  • Pinch out tips of runner beans once reached top of supports to encourage side shoots and more beans
  • Harvest second early potatoes
  • Store potatoes in hessian sacks to exclude light and allow ventilation
  • Lift and dry onions, shallots and garlic
  • Harvest French and runner beans


Jobs during September should include:

  • Collect and save seeds
  • Harvest final summer vegetables – beans, tomatoes, peppers and chilies, beetroot
  • Harvest first autumn crops – leeks, potatoes, squashes, carrots
  • Pick fruit – apples, pears, raspberries
  • Sow salad leaves
  • Plant spring cabbage, overwinter onion sets, strawberries
  • Prune blackberries
  • Turn your compost heap
  • Add disease free remains to your compost


Jobs during October should include:

  • Harvest remaining summer vegetables before first frosts
  • Lift potatoes and beetroot
  • Cut pumpkins and winter squashes and cure the fruits
  • If danger of frost, cover autumn salads and oriental leaves
  • Sow broad bean seeds for next year
  • Plant over-winter garlic and onion sets
  • Plant bare root fruit bushes such as currants and gooseberries
  • Take down supports used for climbing beans and tomatoes
  • Clear away and compost dead plant material
  • Begin winter digging
  • Dig your plot and add plenty of well rotted organic material


Jobs during November should include:

  • Harvest root vegetables, autumn brassicas, oriental leaves and late salad crops
  • Pick autumn raspberries and cranberries
  • Sow broad bean seeds outdoors
  • Plant over-winter garlic and rhubarb
  • Prune apple and pear trees and soft fruit bushes
  • Remove nets from fruit cages but keep them over brassicas
  • Continue digging, removing weeds and adding well rotted organic material


Jobs during December should include:

  • Harvest leeks, root vegetables, autumn and winter brassicas and hardy salad crops
  • If ground not frozen or waterlogged:
  • Plant garlic, rhubarb, new bare root fruit trees and bushes
  • If it’s not too cold:
  • Prune apple and pear trees, soft fruit bushes and outdoor grape vines
  • Dig your plot, add well rotted organic material and cover beds to protect soil
  • Check nets over sprouts, cabbages and other brassicas
  • Check stored fruit for signs of rot and discard
  • Renew grease bands on fruit trees
  • Do not prune cherries or plums until spring

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