February in the garden

Thursday, 7 February 2019  |  Alison

February in the garden

February truly shows the first signs of spring with green shoots of long-awaited bulbs bursting through the cold, hard earth and gathering pace every day. Snowdrops, aconites and miniature iris are in flower bringing joy to patio pots which can be viewed from a cosy spot inside and hellebores are positively glowing underneath deciduous trees and shrubs in the garden borders.

I much prefer February to January. It’s a shorter month for a start, the days are noticeably longer and although we always seem to have a fluttering of snow and trains stop running for a day, the time whizzes past.  For/brookside-nursery-spring-2019-catalogue.html us gardeners, there is a sense of urgency of wanting to be in the garden and the frustration of what we can actually do in the garden during, usually, a very cold month.

Check out our Brookside Nursery Timely Tips for February –                  

Time to Order - your copy of our spring 2019 catalogue.  It’s packed with new and exciting plants, flowers and vegetables to fill your garden, containers and pots this summer. Order yours at www.brooksidenursery.co.uk    

Time to Sow - some Broad Beans into pots or deep trays. Keep them in the greenhouse or cold frame. They will be ready to plant out in spring to grow on for an earlier harvest.  Squirrels and pigeons love a broad bean plant or two, so a defensive barrier of twiggy sticks, to try and stop the plantlets being eaten, will be needed if they are regular visitors to your garden.

Time to Chit – Start ‘chitting’ early seed potatoes by placing them in empty egg boxes or seed trays with the shoots pointing upwards – ‘eye up to the sky’. You will find that most potatoes have a rounded, blunt side and this is the side that needs to be facing upwards. Place them in a light, dry, but frost-free spot to sprout. The potatoes are ready to be planted once the shoots are 2-2.5cm long, usually mid-March. When planting, space the potatoes approx. 30cm apart and approx. 10cm deep. You could be enjoying your first harvests in June.  

Time to Check - Terracotta Pots and Containers. Blasts of icy, cold air can damage terracotta pots so if an extra cold spell is forecast, wrap pots in some bubble wrap or hessian sacking or even an old woolly jumper to protect them.  Lift pots and containers onto pot feet, gravel or bricks to allow air to flow and to help with drainage.

Time to Prune - Autumn fruiting raspberry canes can be cut back to the ground now and other fruiting bushes such as blueberries and gooseberries can be pruned now too. Mulch the plants after pruning to give them a good start to the growing season. Mulching with organic matter can help to preserve moisture and suppress weeds.

Time to sprinkle Fertiliser onto the garden – Towards the end of February, apply an annual general fertiliser sprinkled onto empty vegetable patches which can be lightly dug in or left to permeate through the earth over time. This can also be done on flower beds and borders that have perennials, shrubs and deciduous trees.          

Time to get creative - If you have one or two empty pots, create some instant winter joy. You could plant up a pot with some colourful primulas, pansies, daffodils in flower. You could use evergreen edible herbs such as thyme, sage or rosemary. Keep the pot by the back door so you can use a sprig or two when cooking.         

More timely tips to come in March so until then,

Have fun and keep warm in your garden!

Alison

 
Brookside Nursery