WE all dream of that sunny summer's day when we can sit outside in the back garden with a cup of tea, surrounded by beautiful blooms and a freshly cut lawn.
However despite our best intentions, the reality of our overgrown, bedraggled yard can often be disappointing as it can be hard to know where to begin when it comes to gardening.
Thankfully, it doesn't have to be a huge, overwhelming job, and there is a way to keep your grounds looking fabulous all year round – by just doing one job a month.
Here, the experts reveal exactly what you need to do to get that year-round glow for your garden…
Rated People gardening expert Hayden at Crossways Gardening and Supplies says: "With it being the middle of winter, January is one of the coldest and windiest months of the year.
"Most things are pretty dormant in the garden so gardeners should use this time to trim back shrubs and hedges.
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"You couldn’t pick a better time of year for this kind of work as the nesting season is over so you won’t disturb any wildlife."
Kelly Watt from Darren Watt Landscaping says: "It may be a good time to mulch flower beds and shrubberies [this means placing a thick layer of material over soil and around plants, to suppress weeds and lock moisture into the soil].
"It’s good to get this job out of the way before the growing season starts."
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Hayden says: "Spring has finally sprung! March marks the start of the busy gardening season.
"Plant your vegetables and flowers this month to get your garden ready for summer.
Kelly adds: "This is the time to get the lawn mower out of hibernation and give your lawn the first cut of the season.
"Don’t be too severe with your first clip, set the mower high and just remove the top."
Kelly says: "Once spring comes along you will need to mow the lawn at least once a week.
"This is when you can gradually reduce the height of the cut.
"If you want a thicker greener lawn, you can feed it with a nitrogen-based fertiliser, or if you just want to get rid of weeds, you can use a weed and feed."
Hayden says: "It’s weed-tacking time.
"Lots of weeds pop up at this time of year with the slugs and bugs making an appearance in vegetable beds.
"Keep an eye out for them and tackle them with a multi-use product that spreads over your flower beds and vegetable beds.
"You want to find a product that acts as a future deterrent to slugs and bugs, while also enriching the soil at the same time."
Hayden says: "Summer is here, so it’s time to enjoy the hard graft you’ve put in over the past few months.
"Your summer flowering bulbs should have all started to bloom and will be bringing your garden into colour.
"It’s vital to keep your plants well-watered this month so water them when the sun starts to set, allowing the roots to really absorb the water."
Kelly says: "Mowing may increase to twice a week depending on weather conditions.
"You can apply another nitrogen rich lawn feed to keep the lawn luscious and green.
"If the weather turns hot and dry keep the cutting height up and use a sprinkler early morning or in the evening to keep the lawn healthy."
Hayden says: "August is one of the quieter times of the year in the garden.
"General deadheading and grass cutting is all that’s needed.
"Spend that extra time on pulling out the garden furniture and inviting a few friends around for a summer BBQ to show off the work you’ve put into your garden over the past seven months!"
Hayden says: "The start of autumn is a great time to plant new plants or trees, ready for them to come through next spring.
"You should also start to slow down on the mowing of lawns at this time of year, as the colder months are around the corner.
Kelly says: "Feed the lawn with autumn fertiliser.
"You should also spike the lawn to relieve compaction and introduce oxygen."
October – December
This is a decidedly quieter time, but if you put the legwork in now you'll be set up for the busy periods next year.
Kelly advises: "Remove any leaves as they fall.
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"Mow the grass until temperatures drop and you can no longer do so.”
Hayden adds: "With winter just around the corner, now is the ideal time to plant any spring-flowering plants like tulips and daffodils."
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