The Gardener's Journal is a free monthly gardening guide delivered direct to your inbox.

Each month, receive tips on the top jobs needed in your garden as well as a wealth of information on a range of gardening topics. From sowing seeds to picking fruit, each month get access to information on the care and maintenance of your flowerbeds, vegetable plot and lawn. As with your own gardening diary, the journal is split into separate sections, each covering a different area of garden care.

Monday 28 February 2022

This Month in Your Garden - March

‘Never yet was a springtime, when the buds forgot to bloom.’ Margaret Elizabeth Sangster 

About ten days ago, Iris Reticulata (dwarf Iris) splashed colour between small evergreen shrubs. Little early heralds of spring in a new border we created last September. They have been joined by Narcissus 'Tête-à-tête' and their taller cousins as the snowdrops fade and the pink buds of Prunus incisa Kojo-no-mai open to reveal their delicate white flowers and pink centres. After the storms and rain we are really beginning to feel the garden calling. 

The Lawncare Guide - March

How to cut the grass 

This is the month when the grass starts growing strongly and needs regular mowing. Now you might ask why you should be told how to cut grass. Well, it’s not just as simple as lowering the height with each successive cut, although of course that’s a part of it. Grass needs mowing a little at a time and, depending on the type of grass and its different uses, at different frequencies. 

Lawn Care: Questions & Answers

Q. I’ve been told that as grass grows it makes the soil more acidic which slows growth and can lead to disease. Is this true and what can I do about it?

The Vegetable Plot - March

 Let the show go on 

Whilst you can start sowing seeds for growing many vegetables this month it’s worth checking the soil temperature in colder regions. For outdoor spring-sown crops you need a temperature of 7C (45F).  If the soil is colder, wait until later in the month for it to warm up. 

The Big Glut - March

Leek Gratin with Gruyere 

Serves 6 and uses those leeks from the garden, or bought if you like. Great after a good walk.


  • 3 to 4 leeks
  • 20g (¾oz) butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 200ml (3½fl oz) chicken or vegetable stock
  • 200ml (3½fl oz) double cream
  • 125g (4½oz) grated Gruyére
  • Optional herbs thyme or finely chopped rosemary

Tuesday 1 February 2022

This Month in Your Garden - February

“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant.” Anne Bradstreet

The north-south weather divide looks set to continue, though the weather watchers’ forecasts vary in their extremes. Well, it is February and as gardeners we can expect winter’s last gasps to have us scurrying back indoors or into the haven of the heated greenhouse. There, or using a cold frame, you can be sowing a colourful variety of flowers and crops for later in the year, for borders, baskets and containers. 

The Lawncare Guide - February

Breaking new ground

If the weather permits and it’s not too wet, now is a good time to create a new lawn by laying turf on prepared ground. This will be an area that has been dug over, made weed free and levelled, ready to accept the turves. Ideally, you need a month between preparing the ground and laying the turf. The cleared area should drained if necessary. 

Lawn Care: Questions & Answers

Q. Can I seed a lawn in February and if so, what happens if it freezes?

The Vegetable Plot - February

Roots, brassicas and others in Sprout-kale

Our Anglo-Saxon ancestors named February ‘Sprout-kale’ since cabbages and kale were about the only edible vegetables showing signs of life. Nowadays of course we can get what we want all year round, but at a cost to the planet. 

Alternatively, even in a small plot, we can grow our own and nothing beats fresh veg straight from the garden. It’s important though, to keep the soil’s nutrients balanced by not cropping the same vegetable in the same place every time. You also want to avoid increasing soil-living pests and diseases. So, we do what the farmers do and rotate our vegetable crop and the easy way to do this is to create a chart.

The Big Glut - February

Cauliflower steaks with caper butter and parsley breadcrumbs

This vegetarian dish by Three Girls Cook for Delicious Magazine will serve 8 as a main course when accompanied by a grain salad. 


  • 2 medium cauliflowers, large outer leaves removed, small inner leaves left on
  • 200ml olive oil
  • 300g butter, cubed
  • 200g dried breadcrumbs
  • Large bunch fresh flatleaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 8 tbsp capers, drained and roughly chopped