Eats | Shoots | Leaves
Although it is still late winter, it’s encouraging see bulbs pushing their leaves above ground and hellebores, snowdrop and crocus in flower. We can look forward to the approaching growing year, and start planning our plots.
If you hadn’t used the dark and cold months of December and January to browse catalogues and order your seeds, now shops shelves are cleared of Christmas goods and sales items, you can browse and buy from the wonderful displays of flower and vegetable seeds.
It’s also time to buy seed potatoes, while there is plenty of choice, and place them in trays to get them ‘chitting’ and ready for a quick start when planted out in warmer soil. I also get my onion sets started in multi-cell seed trays. Lightly fill the cells with potting compost and push an onion set gently into each cell. Keep moist and in a light, cool but frost free place. They soon start showing their green growing tips and will fill the cell with roots ready for planting out towards the end of march.
Jobs for February
- Cut back dead foliage from herbaceous plants to tidy the garden and reduce any risk of disease.
- Cut back all canes of autumn fruiting raspberries to ground level, as they will fruit on this year’s growth. Unlike summer fruiting raspberries, where you should remove canes that bore fruit last year and tie in the newer, greener stems to fruit this year.
- Plant bare root trees, fruit and shrubs as soon as you buy them, or dig a trench in a temporary position and ‘heel’ them in until you’re ready to plant as planned.
- Lay turf if the soil is not too wet or frosty, working from planks to avoid compacting the soil.
- Sow broad beans 5-7.5cm deep directly in the garden or in pots of multi purpose compost. Stagger sowings to extend the cropping period.
- Continue to give quality wild bird food mixes as wild berries become fewer at this time of year.
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