Jan 12, 2022

A Guide to Seasonal Gardening

by Verena Hallam

There’s an ideal time for every gardening activity, from planting flowers to preparing soil.

Once you know the perfect times to plant each crop, you can follow the same schedule each year to keep your garden in the best condition.

Whatever the season, use our monthly guide to know the best times to plant and complete essential gardening jobs.

Best things to plant in January

  • Onions

Temperature: 20°C for seeds

Germination time: 3-4 days for seeds

Plant: seeds into trays indoors about 1cm apart

Onions are one of the most versatile and easy-to-use crops that you can grow. A staple in dishes from salads to stews, you can be sure that you’ll need them to hand all year round.

Although you can grow onions straight from seed, it’s much easier and quicker to grow them from sets, which are small onions.

If growing onions from seeds, be sure to start early - January is the perfect time to sow seeds indoors to move outside in the later months.

If growing from sets, plant directly in your garden soil ½ inch deep with around 8 inches of space in between. Make sure the tips of the sets stick out just above the soil surface

  • Chillies

Temperature: 18-25°C

Germination time: 7-10 days

Plant: into seed trays and cover with polyethene, keep on a sunny windowsill

Growing chillies at home couldn’t be easier, and with so many types available, the options are endless.

Chilli plants can be grown from seeds bought from garden stores, or from the seeds in chillies that you buy at the supermarket.

You can sow chilli seeds in the UK as late as April, however, for best results germinate seeds in January. This will give your plants enough time to grow before the summer when they can take advantage of the UK’s sunniest days while fruiting.

  • Geraniums (perennials)

Temperature: 24°C

Germination time: 3-12 days

Plant: into small seed trays, cover with a very light layer of soil

Planting geraniums is an easy way to decorate your garden and bring the bright, vibrant colours of summer to your home. They can go directly into the soil, or be kept in pots.

Plant geranium seeds indoors directly into moist soil and cover with polyethene. The seeds need constant moisture to germinate, so make sure not to let your compost dry out.

Planting crops in your garden soil during winter is essential to keep the bacteria, fungi and organisms in the soil fed so that nutrients are readily available for your crops. Bare soil means it could be starved of nutrients, so planting in winter is just as important as in the warmer months.

Garden jobs to do in January

  • Order seeds: Although it’s generally too early to plant those vegetables you're dreaming of, it’s definitely not too early to get organised. Throw out old seeds and order any new ones for the year ahead.
  • Recycle your Christmas tree: Break off your old Christmas tree branches and bundle them together to make materials for nesting birds. You can even chop up the tree into logs for your fireplace.

Best things to plant in February


Temperature: 18°C

Germination time: 7-14 days

Plant: 3-4 seeds in a small pot indoors, keep on a sunny windowsill

From cherry tomatoes to giant beefsteaks and even yellow pears, there are endless possibilities for the types of tomatoes you can grow at home. 

These are some of the most rewarding crops that beginner gardeners can grow since the flavour of homegrown tomatoes is much sweeter and more fragrant than those you’re used to eating from the supermarket.

Plus, the variety in shape, size and colour of homegrown tomatoes is astonishing, making them both fun and simple to grow.

Tomatoes are grown from seeds, which can be found at your local garden centre and have two main grown habits: cordon and bush.

Cordon tomatoes are best grown outdoors, they can reach 6 feet tall and require bamboo stick supports. Bush varieties are ideal for small gardens and pots since they usually require no support and occupy less space.

  • Broad Beans

Temperature: 8-15°C

Germination time: 10-21 days

Plant: in deep pots under 2in of soil

Broad beans are one of the first crops you can harvest in spring and are easy to grow from seed. They can be shelled and used in salads, eaten whole, or their leafy tops can be used in a stir-fry.

If sowing indoors, February is the best time to plant broad bean seeds. Plant into deep containers, since the roots will need lots of space to grow downwards. Give your crops a good support once they start growing tall.

If planting outside it’s best to wait until late March to early May. Broad beans are easy to sow directly into the ground and when planted close together and in double rows they can provide support to each other.

  • Lilies (perennials)

Temperature: Asiatic - keep above -37°C | Oriental - keep above -32°C

Bloom time: Asiatic - 30-45 days | Oriental - 40-90 days

Plant: bulbs under 5in of soil | Asiatic - in containers of acid soil | Oriental - in alkaline soil in the garden

Lilies are popular for their vibrant colours and giant flowers, and when grown from bulbs they’re the perfect addition to any garden.

There are two primary types of lily: Asiatic and Oriental. Asiatic lilies can grow in a variety of colours including red and yellow, while Oriental lilies are generally pink and white.

The instructions on your bulbs will indicate whether you should plant into acidic or alkaline soil, which will tell you whether your lilies are Asiatic or Oriental. 

Plant Asiatic lilies in acidic soil around 12in apart, and plant Oriental lilies around 8in apart in alkaline soil.

Garden jobs to do in February

  • Clean nest boxes: Clean birdhouses and nest boxes to make room for nesting birds. In the colder months, birds will be looking for a warm place to shelter their young.
  • Leave food for hedgehogs: Hedgehogs come out of hibernation as early as February. When they wake up you can be sure they’ll be hungry. Leave out water or meat-based cat or dog food at night for the hoglets.

Best things to plant in March

  • Peas

Temperature: 18-21°C

Germination time: 7-14 days

Plant: 3 inches apart in a tray, small pot or length of guttering filled with compost

Peas are nutritious, versatile and easy to grow, provided you follow a few simple rules. 

First, choose the type of pea you want to grow - generally, round peas like mangetout and sugar snap peas are the easiest, and there’s no need to remove the pod before eating!

Sow seeds indoors to get a head start and choose a well-draining slightly alkaline compost. If you plant peas in a long piece of gutter, it’s easy to slide them into pre-dug trenches outside when the weather’s sunnier.

Make sure that your chosen growing spot gets full sun and keep the soil moist through the growing season.

  • Chives

Temperature: 15-20°C

Germination time: 14-20 days

Plant: a pinch of seeds 1cm deep into trays or pots with seed compost

Chives are mostly used for their leaves which are a great addition to your herb garden. They’re perfect for beginner gardeners and experienced planters alike since they grow surprisingly well in pots placed on a sunny windowsill.

Their mild-onion flavoured leaves can be used in omelettes and stocks, however, when growing at home you’ll also see your chives sprouting beautiful pink round flowers which are just as edible!

Gardeners with outdoor space might choose to transplant chives to the garden soil once they reach 4in tall. Ensure your soil is well-draining and choose a spot with full or partial sun. If planted outdoors, chives’ flowers will attract bees all year round.

  • Lettuce

Temperature: 16-24°C

Germination time: 2-12 days

Plant: in trenches in soil, 4-8in apart

March is the earliest time in the year that you can sow lettuce seeds, and there are countless benefits to growing your own. Besides being much cheaper to grow than to buy in supermarkets, growing lettuce in your garden means you get to choose the variety you eat.

Although you can grow some lettuces in containers, most hearting lettuces are best suited for growing directly into the soil outside. Place seeds around 4-8in apart, in rows spaced 8in away from each other.

Choose a soil that holds moisture well to prevent roots from drying out, since you’ll want to plant your lettuces in full sun to get the best growth.

Sowing in March will give you a harvest around summer/autumn, while sowing in early August will provide a winter harvest.

Garden jobs to do in March

  • Add pond plants: If you’ve got a pond then adding plants is the perfect way to turn your garden into a wildlife haven. Add native plants like water forget-me-nots for newts and mayflies to lay eggs on.
  • Pest control: In warmer weather, pests like slugs can turn into an issue for your plants. Organic slug pellets prevent these natural predators from eating your crops.

Best things to plant in April

  • Celery

Temperature: 24°C

Germination time: 10-12 days

Plant: start indoors in a small tray at least 8-10 weeks before the last frost date

Getting the hang of growing celery can be difficult at first but is a rewarding challenge that pays off.

Celery has a long growing season and can be sensitive to cold temperatures, so you’ll need to be patient.

Fill a tray with ½ compost ½ sand and plant seeds in rows. Cover with compost and leave in a warm, bright spot away from direct sunlight. Transplant into individual pots once the seedlings reach about 2in tall and transfer outside to the garden once temperatures are consistently above 20°C.

The most important thing with growing celery is to keep the soil well-watered at all times. Add a natural fertiliser like coffee grounds when your crops are growing to provide essential nutrients.

  • Peppers

Temperature: 20-35°C

Germination time: 20-35 days

Plant: in seed trays with moist compost, move outside to full sun or into a greenhouse

The latest month you can grow peppers in the UK is April, although starting earlier can be beneficial if keeping plants in a greenhouse.

Bell peppers are the most popular type to grow and can be used to add a pop of colour to salads and stir-fries.

Place seeds in trays with seed compost and keep inside until seedlings sprout. Transfer outside to a sunny spot when established.

All sweet peppers need warm conditions and full sun to grow large and vibrant, so if you’re in a colder climate it’s a good idea to keep these in pots in your greenhouse.

  • Strawberries

Temperature: 18-21°C

Germination time: 7-21 days

Plant: in trays or containers, cover and keep warm

Strawberries can be grown from cuttings and runners, however, are traditionally started from seed. Plant seeds directly into soil and cover with a plastic bag or polyethene through germination if growing in containers.

Transplant seeds outside in May, or at least three weeks after the last frost date. Space the plants as far as 24in apart since runners will fill the space in between as they grow.

Water strawberries frequently through dry spells and feed with a high potassium fertilizer.

Garden jobs to do in April

  • Add flowers: Bees need flowers and flowers need bees, so why not decorate your garden while helping the wildlife at the same time? Plant bright flowers like cornflowers and angelica gigas to attract pollinators.
  • Protect fruit from late frost: Although most fruits you can grow in the UK are hardy, early fruiting in April can be affected by the last remaining days of frost. Cover new growth from fruit plants to protect them from cold damage when temperatures fall below freezing.

Best things to plant in May

  • Turnip

Temperature: 10-29°C

Germination time: 10-14 days

Plant: outside ½ in deep in rows, space rows 12in apart

Turnips are a favourite garden crop among most gardeners - easy to care for and harvestable in just ten weeks, they’re straightforward and rewarding to grow.

Turnips come in two main varieties, early and maincrop, and May is an ideal month to sow early turnips for harvest through the summer.

Plant in moisture-retaining soil in a sunny spot outside directly into the ground, or in a large container. Thin plants to 4in apart once they sprout, to give them enough room to form strong root systems.

  • Beetroot

Temperature: 18-29°C

Germination time: 7-10 days

Plant: outside about 1in deep, 4in apart from each other

Beetroot is the ideal beginner crop and has the added benefit of being packed with antioxidants and essential nutrients.

You can sow beetroot seeds directly into your garden soil, however, if you can, it’s helpful to scatter the ground with compost around a week before planting to improve nutrients. Plant in rows around one foot apart, and keep sowing seeds every two weeks.

If you want to eat beetroot throughout the year, sow seeds continuously from March to July, and harvest from June-October. 

  • Spinach

Temperature: 7-24°C

Germination time: 5-10 days

Plant: in most well-draining soil, outside in a sunny spot

Spinach is a nutritious, leafy crop that can be used in salads, curries and smoothies for added health benefits. Since it grows in a wide range of conditions, you can sow spinach every few weeks and receive a continuous harvest.

Easy to grow, plant seeds into fertile, enriched soil around ½ in deep. Thin the seedlings to around 3in apart once they sprout, to ensure each crop has enough room to grow.

Ensure soil is kept well-watered - in extremely hot weather it might help to build temporary shading for your plants to prevent wilting and sun scorching.

Garden jobs to do in May

  • Weed control: May is the month where we tend to see the first signs of weeds sprouting in our gardens. Leave garden weeds like dandelions for insects to lay eggs on, or apply a lawn weed killer to tackle unwanted growth.
  • Leave food for birds: If you have a birdhouse or bird feeder in your garden, leave dried mealworms for nesting birds to eat.

Best things to plant in June

  • Cucumber

Temperature: 17-23°C

Germination time: 7-10 days

Plant: seeds on their side ¾ in deep in small pots, keep on a sunny windowsill

While not the most common vegetable to grow at home, cucumbers are easy to grow for beginner gardeners and are the perfect addition to summer salads and drinks.

Cucumber seeds can be sown as late as June and come in two main types: outdoor and indoor. Their names tell the growing conditions that they thrive best in, so keep indoor cucumbers in warm greenhouses. Outdoor cucumbers are more resilient and should be planted outside.

All cucumber seeds should be started indoors since even outdoor cucumbers can be damaged by frost. 

Once established, ensure you pick off male flowers before they pollinate, as otherwise, your cucumbers will turn out bitter and full of seeds!

  • Carrots

Temperature: 20-25°C

Germination time: 7-21 days

Plant: directly into the ground ½ in deep 2in apart, sow seeds as often as every 2 weeks

They might not be as straight and evenly shaped as their store-bought counterparts, yet homegrown carrots always seem to taste better.

Carrots can be sown as early as February, and continuously sown right through until June, for an almost year-round harvest.

Plant seeds directly into the soil outside from February-June, or in raised beds. If you have a greenhouse, seeds can be started earlier and kept inside until the last frost.

  • Pumpkins and Squash

Temperature: 21-35°C

Germination time: 5-10 days

Plant: 4-5 seeds 1 ½in deep into hills of soil, space hills 4-8in apart

Traditionally seen at Halloween, pumpkins and squash are the perfect winter vegetables for roasting and eating in soups or stews. Most types of pumpkin and squash keep well after picking, making this one of the most versatile crops you can grow.

When growing as late as June, it’s best to plant directly outside. Create hills of soil and plant around 4-5 seeds per hill. Bury the seeds 1in deep and cover with plastic sheeting to aid germination.

Once the seedlings develop, you’ll be able to spot the strongest from each hill - thin the others to prevent them from growing further.

Garden jobs to do in June

  • Check the temperature: If using a greenhouse, check the temperature inside isn’t getting too hot for your plants. If it is, install shades to cool down the air inside. Check the leaves of plants growing outdoors and add shades around any that appear scorched.
  • Water your lawn: Spending so much time on your crops and vegetables can leave you forgetting about the grass in your garden. Water your lawn during dry spells to keep it green and healthy.

Best things to plant in July

  • Chard

Temperature: 10-27°C

Germination time: 5-10 days

Plant: indoors if starting early or directly outside in summer, place seeds ¾in deep 4in apart

Chard is a green, leafy crop that is sometimes compared to spinach yet much easier to grow and much more impressive-looking in your garden.

This crop grows best in sunny areas with free-draining soil since it’s a Mediterranean plant. Sow once around April and again in July for a summer harvest.

Seeds even can be started indoors in seed trays as early as March, but don’t be tempted to transplant outside until it’s warmer.

  • Basil

Temperature: 25-30°C

Germination time: 4-10 days

Plant: in compost either in pots or outside on raised beds

A staple in most herb gardens, basil is one of the fastest and easiest plants to grow, and one of the most rewarding. Adding fresh basil to pizzas and sauces can elevate your dishes to the next level.

It’s easiest to start seeds indoors, even if you plan to grow your basil outside. Place seeds in 3in pots and cover with a light layer of seed soil. Cover pots with a plastic bag of polyethene to help germination.

Once seedlings sprout and grow leaves they can be transplanted into their own pots, or outside.

  • Salad Onions

Temperature: 15-18°C

Germination time: 7-14 days

Plant: into soil in large containers or in rows outside

Salad onions, or spring onions, are an easy crop to grow that takes up little space. For those without a large garden, they are ideal, since spring onions grow vertically.

Sow spring onions as early as March, all the way through until September. If you want a regular harvest, sow seeds in small batches every few weeks.

Water regularly throughout the growing season and harvest when the shoots are around 6in tall. The best part about growing salad onions is that you can remove them from the soil to check the development, and put them back to carry on growing if they’re still immature.

Garden jobs to do in July

  • Resist trimming hedges: Birds including blackbirds, house sparrows and finches nest well into August, so avoid trimming your hedges back until it gets colder.
  • Add supports to your plants: Before the windy, wet weather sets in, add bamboo supports and moss poles to your plants outside to protect them from upcoming harsh weather conditions.

Best things to plant in August

  • Radishes

Temperature: 12-23°C

Germination time: 4-10 days

Plant: directly into the ground, space ½in deep into soil, 1in apart from each other

Radishes are easy to grow and can provide a continuous harvest from May through to February. If you want radishes in your salads virtually all year round, keep sowing seeds every 2 weeks.

The ideal plant for impatient gardeners, radishes can be ready to harvest in as little as four weeks from planting! Sow from March to mid-June to harvest in summer, or sow in July and August to harvest in winter.

Make sure to choose a compost mix that holds water well, as dryness can cause slow growth and splitting roots.

  • Snapdragons (annuals)

Temperature: 16-18°C

Germination time: 4-10 days

Plant: outside or in containers, sow on the surface of compost

Snapdragons are vibrant annuals, popular for decorating flower boxes because of their impressive height.

They’re also one of the best plants you can grow for bees since the tubular flowers provide food for species like the garden bumblebee.

Ideally sown in late August to autumn, choose a well-draining soil and place plants in a spot that gets full sunlight, such as next to a south-facing wall.

For optimal flowering, feed your snapdragons weekly with a fertiliser rich in potassium and deadhead old blooms to promote plant health.

  • Pak Choi

Temperature: 10-26°C

Germination time: 4-7 days

Plant: outdoors ¾in deep into fertile soil, space 12in apart in rows 

Pak choi is a vital ingredient to most stir-fries and Asian salads, and growing your own saves you from buying these crops in-store.

Sow pak choi seeds directly into soil outdoors anytime between April and early August. If starting seeds in the summer months, consider building a temporary shade to prevent heat damage.

Easy to grow and forgiving, pak choi can be ready to harvest in a little as 30 days, when they are still sprouting baby leaves. For full maturity, allow up to 75 days of growth.

Garden jobs to do in August

  • Leave food for hedgehogs: Just as helpful as leaving food for when the hedgehogs wake up from hibernation, is leaving them food to fatten up before they sleep. Baby hedgehogs in particular need every chance to gain fat which they’ll store and use for energy during hibernation. Leave meat-based cat or dog food for the hoglets.
  • Collect seeds: As your plants ripen, seeds can be collected to start new plants. Save seeds from peppers and strawberries to start new plants which you can gift to your friends and family later in the year.

Best things to plant in September

  • Cabbage

Temperature: 18-21°C

Germination time: 4-14 days

Plant: in trays placed outdoors or directly into a raised bed outside, 2in apart

A favourite to grow for many gardeners, cabbages require little maintenance and thrive in most conditions. Used in salads, coleslaw and soups, these leafy green plants are some of the most versatile to have to hand.

Make sure you prepare the bed well before planting seeds - check the soil is alkaline and ensure not to choose the same spot as last year since there will be insufficient nutrients.

Start seeds about 2in apart, and thin to one foot apart once seedlings grow.

  • English Marigold Plants (annuals)

Temperature: 18-21°C

Germination time: 10-14 days

Plant: seeds directly into garden soil, ¼in deep and 2in apart

English marigold flowers are gorgeous, bright annuals that are a summer essential. Recognisable for their yellow and orange hues, these flowers are excellent at attracting bees. 

Although English Marigolds prefer cool climates, they won’t tolerate frost so make sure to plant in an area that gets full sun.

Sow seeds in Autumn for flowering early the following year, or in Spring for summer flowering.

  • Daffodils (perennials)

Temperature: tolerant to most temperatures, plant bulbs after the first frost

Bloom time: 12-15 weeks

Plant: bulbs into well-draining soil, in full sun or partial shade

Daffodils are one of the most widely planted bulb flowers and a vital part of springtime. Since they’re so easy to plant, and flower year after year, you can easily find daffodils in supermarkets, garden centres and online stockists.

Best planted in September after the first frost, for flowering the following spring, plant bulbs in groups of 2-3. 

Choose well-draining soil whether you’re planting in the ground or in containers. Place bulbs under about 4-6in of soil.

Garden jobs to do in September

  • Watch your tomatoes: This time of year is known for tomato blossom end rot, sunscald, leaf roll and early blight. Keep a close watch on your tomatoes to make sure you catch any growing issues early.
  • Bring houseplants indoors: Moving your houseplants outside during the summer to make the most of the light is a good idea, but when temperatures start to drop it’s best to move them back inside to prevent frost damage.

Best things to plant in October

  • Garlic

Temperature: 1-10°C

Germination time: 30-60 days

Plant: cloves into well-draining soil, or on a raised bed

Normally considered a Mediterranean plant, it’s surprisingly easy to grow garlic in the UK and Ireland. 

Although you are able to plant store-bought garlic cloves into your garden soil, it might not be the best idea as they could be more suited to hotter climates.

Choose certified disease-free garlic from online retailers or garden centres to ensure the best results.

Plant the largest cloves into well-draining soil anytime from September until early December. Planting in Autumn gives the garlic more time under the soil to grow before harvesting the following summer, meaning bigger yields.

  • Sweet Peas (annuals)

Temperature: 5-10°C

Germination time: 10-14 days

Plant: 6-8 seeds per pot in a 5in pot, or in a seed tray to move outdoors

Sweet peas are beautifully-scented and easy to grow, making a lovely addition to any garden.

The ideal time to sow sweet peas is October-November, and it’s important to choose a sunny spot where the plant has some space to climb.

Place seeds in pots and once seedlings sprout, ensure you harden them off before transplanting outdoors.

Plants raised indoors during the winter months must be acclimated before moving outside, so place them in a cooler spot, or move outside for a few hours a day.

  • Lilac

Temperature: can tolerate temperatures above -15°C

Blooming season: late spring-early summer

Plant: in garden soil or in a pot, choose moist soil and mulch after planting

Lilac is a classic garden shrub, adding a stunning purple tone to any home. Lilac plants can be bushes or trees, but both are cared for in the same way.

Dig a hole in your garden soil and plant your lilac to the soil level. Choose an alkaline-neutral soil in a south/west-facing position. Allow enough room to accommodate the lilac growing 12-24in each year.

Garden jobs to do in October

  • Empty hanging baskets: Old hanging baskets from summer that are no longer flowering can have their contents emptied and composted before the new year. 
  • Transplant shrubs: Any garden shrubs that have grown too large for their location over summer should be transplanted to give the plants more space to grow next year.

Best things to plant in November

  • Bare root hedging

Plant: October-February, directly into garden soil

Harvest: No need to harvest hedging

Although November might not be the most ideal month to plant vegetables outside, it’s the perfect time to get ready for winter and next year.

Make your garden into a winter wonderland of wildlife heaven by planting shrubs, small trees and hedging outside. Birds and animals who struggle to stay warm during winter will be attracted to the shelter offered in your garden.

As your plants develop in the spring and summer, you’ll notice lavender attracts bees and butterflies, while climbing ivy will be used by birds as a nesting place.

  • Bare root apple trees

Plant: November-March, directly into garden soil

Harvest: February-May

Bare root fruit trees are generally much cheaper to buy than potted fruit trees, although they require a bit more work to plant.

The most important thing to remember about bare root trees is that you must plant them as soon as you can upon receiving the plant. The longer the roots spend exposed to air, will mean an increased risk of growing issues. 

We recommend digging your hole before the tree arrives so you can plant it right away. If you can’t plant the tree into your desired spot straight away, place some soil over the roots and pack it down until you can.

Place the tree in the hole next to a wooden stake, fill the hole and pack the soil down. Tie the tree to the stake for support.

  • Bare root cherries

Plant: November-February

Harvest: June-August

Bare root cherry trees can be planted in the same way as bare root apple trees. It’s best to dig a hole larger than you need before you purchase the tree, so when it arrives it can be planted immediately.

Cherry trees can be planted in containers or into the ground. Winter is the ideal time for bare roots tree planting, since the plants are dormant, therefore less prone to shock.

All cherry trees need pruning regularly to control their size and promote healthy growth. Use a potassium-rich fertiliser from February to March for best results. 

Garden jobs to do in November

  • Fill bird feeders: Keep bird feeders in your garden filled up at all times, with peanuts, oily seeds and even fruit for birds to eat over winter.
  • Raise outdoor plant pots: Plant pot feet should be placed under any outdoor plant pots to raise them off the ground before winter sets in. This will prevent compost freezing and waterlogging.

Best things to plant in December

  1. Mint

Temperature: 20-24°C

Germination time: 3-15 days

Plant: seeds ¼in deep into seed soil and keep moist

Mint is the easiest herb to grow for beginners since it’s resilient and fast-growing. Thriving in conditions indoors and outside, you can plant mint in raised beds or even keep in a pot on a sunny windowsill.

The most exciting thing about growing mint is probably choosing which variety you want to grow. From Spearmint and peppermint to lemon balm, each variety has different properties and benefits.

Despite the over 3,500 varieties of Mentha, most can be cared for in the same way. Plant seeds indoors and keep them uncovered. Allow anywhere up to 15 days to sprout seedlings and transplant into when the first 2 leaves appear.

Mint can be started any time of the year if kept indoors. Make sure to water regularly to prevent soil from drying out.

  • Rhubarb

Temperature: Plant in colder weather so dormancy breaks when temperatures increase

Plant: October-January, dormant crowns go into moist, well-draining soil

Harvest: May-July

Although it’s entirely possible to grow rhubarb from seeds, it’s much easier to grow from dormant crowns.

It’s essential to select a well-draining soil as rhubarb doesn’t like wet conditions. If your garden soil is damp and moisture-retaining then we recommend planting rhubarb in raised beds filled with well-draining compost.

Although it’s tempting to harvest your rhubarb at the end of the first growing season, it’s best to take your first harvest in the second year. This will prevent the plant from weakening following damage from harvest, and give it an additional year to develop a strong root system.

In the second year, we recommend picking just 2-3 stems per plant to prevent damage. Rhubarb plants can last well longer than ten years, so it’s worth taking care so the investment pays off.

  • Dill

Temperature: 15-20°C

Germination time: 7-10 days

Plant: seeds ¼in deep into seed soil, indoors or outdoors in large pots

Dill is a versatile plant used for flavouring fish, vinaigrettes and pickling brine. Dill can be grown in your flower garden or indoors in pots for easy use while cooking.

Plant seeds ¼in deep into a fine seed soil. If kept indoors you can sow dill as late as December, but if planting outdoors the ideal time is March-April.

Dill can grow taller than you might expect, so make sure to give your plants support when they reach around 30in in height. 

Garden jobs to do in December

  • Leave water for birds: As water freezes over it’s important to leave fresh water for birds each day. They can bathe in it to regulate the oils in their feathers and help control their temperature.
  • Avoid turning your compost heap: Although it’s tempting to do some garden maintenance, hold off turning your compost heap until later months as it may be housing hibernating animals!


Using resources from Gardeners World, RHS, Your Indoor Herbs, Grow Veg and The Garden Helper, a monthly guide for the best crops to plant and garden jobs to complete was compiled.