NOVEMBER/DECEMBER HEAD GARDENER PLANNER & CHECKLIST

Greenwich Park - image: Flickr/Dan Derrett (CC BY 2.0)
Greenwich Park - image: Flickr/Dan Derrett (CC BY 2.0)

Ditches & drains The recent wet weather may already have caused you to pay attention to ditches and drainage systems, but if you have had no problems to solve, make sure that you inspect all gullies and outfall pipes for blockages now.

Remove leaves and debris from grilles and guttering and clean out ditches where vegetation may restrict flow or where silt has built up.

Continue tidying Remove leaves from lawns and flower beds to use for composting. Finish tidying herbaceous borders, cutting dead or dying stems. Consider thinning overcrowded shrubberies by lifting and transplanting dormant shrubs to other parts of the gardens. Cultivate any free ground in borders and vegetable gardens.

Lawns & grass paths Mow as conditions allow and take advantage of any favourable breaks in the weather to aerate, especially where decompaction is necessary. Consider applying an autumn fertiliser, depending on function and expectations of the grassed area.

Water features Remove old leaves and thin out oxygenating plants. Overhaul pumping equipment for fountains and waterfalls, and drain pipes for winter months.

Rodents Consider laying bait boxes for rodent control.

Hedges, trees & shrubs With most leaves fallen, now is an excellent time to inspect deciduous hedges, trees and shrubs – being able to see into hedges or through branches, it is easier to assess what needs to be pruned. Take photos as reminders. Clean out the bases of hedges. Inspect trees and shrubs for fruiting bodies, which can indicate infection.

In the workshop Prepare for any in-house machinery servicing by checking filter and oil stocks or arrange for the local dealer to carry out maintenance during December or early January. Check, clean, sharpen and grease hand tools, and sand down any rough wooden handles and shafts. Note those tools that will soon have to be replaced and source new ones.

Coping with ice Order in or top up stocks of grit or de-icers and make sure equipment such as snow blades, blowers and throwers are working. More managers are turning to liquid de-icers, such as ThawEx Liquid Ice Melt, as a cleaner alternative to grit and salt. Keep snow shovels handy.

Christmas party Ask staff whether and where they would like a Christmas party this year. Research venues/caterers and make bookings.


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Sargent's solutions - how to attract the best staff for your business

Sargent's solutions - how to attract the best staff for your business

There are ways to find quality candidates for horticultural jobs if you widen your search parameters, Alan Sargent suggests.

Get set for Saltex 2017

Get set for Saltex 2017

This year's Saltex show at the NEC in Birmingham offers something for everyone, says Sally Drury.

Sargent's Solutions: What is the difference between a head gardener and gardens manager? Part 2

Sargent's Solutions: What is the difference between a head gardener and gardens manager? Part 2

In the second of a two-part article, Alan Sargent looks at the functions of today's gardens manager.


Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs
Horticulture Week Custodian Awards 2017 - the winners!

Find out more about the outstanding parks, gardens and arboricultural projects and teams that became our Custodian Award 2017 winners.

Products & Kit Resources