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FEBRUARY UK

SPECIAL OFFERS

General

  • Plant out Bare-root roses, fruit trees and bushes.
     
  • Select plants from Crocus, Suttons, Thompson & Morgan and YouGarden
     
  • Check if winter-flowering shrubs such as viburnums need pruning now that they have finished flowering.
     
  • Prune trees and continue to plant new trees, check ties, supports and stakes.
     
  • Keep the garden tidy, free from fallen leaves and other debris, and weed free to give overwintering pests fewer places to shelter.
     
  • Use cold winter days when it is not possible to work outdoors to plan design improvements and new plantings for the spring.
     
  • Look at the range of seeds available in the catalogues and order from:-
      Dobies   Suttons   Thompson & Morgan
     
  • Reserve your choice of grafted tomato and pepper plants to plant out later in the year click here.
     
  • Brush heavy snow from shrubs, conifers and hedges so that there is no danger of branches breaking.
     
  • Firm in any autumn planted shrubs and border plants lifted by frost.
     
  • Clear weeds from around the base of established hedges and cut back overgrown deciduous hedges.
     
  • Cut back clinging climbers from windows and doors.
     
  • Deadhead and tidy plants in containers. Move pots containing vulnerable plants under cover if severe frosts are forecast.
     
  • Make any necessary repairs to structures supporting plants such as trellises, pergolas and arches while the plants are dormant.
     
  • Wash and disinfect seed trays and pots, ready for early spring sowing and planting.
     
  • Apply a top dressing of gravel or chippings around plants in the rock garden to suppress weed and ensure free drainage.
     
  • Dig out perennial weeds.
     
  • It is best to wait until the soil temperature has remained above 7 degrees C (45 degrees F) for a week before sowing anything outdoors. You can use a soil thermometer to test the soil temperature.
     
  • Clean and oil the blades of cutting tools. Check electrical equipment before the busy spring season.
     
  • If you keep fish, keep an area of the pond ice free.
     

Greenhouses

  • Sow seeds:-
    • tomatoes
    • bedding plants such as African marigolds, petunias, lobelia and antirrhinums.
    • begonias and pelargoniums.
    • quick-growing perennials.
       
    Prick out or pop up pelargonium seedlings that have grown form seeds sown last month.
  • Click hereto order grafted tomato and pepper plants to grow in the greenhouse in April and May.
     
  • Bring strawberries in containers into the greenhouse for early fruit.
     
  • If you are lucky enough to have a large, heated greenhouse, start melons and kidneys beans off there.
     
  • Ensure fuchsias overwintering in leaf in the greenhouse get as much light as possible and are not becoming pale and leggy.
     
  • Prune half-hardy fuchsias as soon as the pink 'eyes' (embryo shoots) appear.
     

Vegetables

  • Sow broad beans, onions, peas, lettuce, cabbage, spinach, parsley, carrots, parsnips, radishes and spring onions in mild, less exposed areas.
     
  • Transplant overwintered cos lettuce to final position.
     
  • Put cloches in position to warm the soil for early sowings of vegetables next month.
     
  • Sow onions and cover with straw.
     
  • Plant garlic and horseradish.
     
  • Pot up mint roots to bring in for the windowsill.
     
  • Cover rhubarb and sea kale for forcing.
     
  • Continue to blanch chicory.
     
  • Pot up mint roots to bring in for the windowsill.
     

Fruit

  • Prune peaches, apricots, nectarines and figs.
     
  • Plant fruit trees and bushes.
     
  • Check greasebands and renew grease if necessary.
     
  • Net fruit trees and bushes if you spot bullfinches pecking off developing flowers and fruit.
     
  • Prune out cankered branches of fruit trees and bushes and destroy.
     
  • Spray nectarine and peach trees to prevent or eradicate peach leaf curl disease.
     
  • Hoe lightly around fruit trees and fork around existing fruit canes to expose over-wintering pests to birds.
     
  • Propagate vines and similar hardwood plants

Flowers

  • Grow begonias from tubers
     
  • Grow and propagate dahlias from cuttings
     
  • Sow sweet peas outdoors in their flowering position except in very cold areas.
     
  • Germinate seeds such as begonias and pelargoniums on windowsills indoors or in the greenhouse.
     
  • When ready, bring indoors pots of forced bulbs for indoor flowering.
     
  • Protect winter-flowering bulbous irises in the garden from severe cold or damp.
     
  • Start forcing pots of lily bulbs for Easter and early summer flowering.
     
  • Pinch out rhododendron and azalea buds damaged by frost to prevent the spread of disease.
     
  • Sow under glass slow maturing bedding plants such as African marigolds, petunias, lobelia and antirrhinums.
     
  • Also under glass, sow quick-growing perennials to flower this year.
     
  • Protect winter-flowering bulbous irises in the garden from severe cold or damp.
     

Ponds

  • If barley straw bales or pads were used to reduce algae during the summer months, these can now be removed and added to the compost heap. Let them sit by the edge of the pond for 24 hours before composting, so that pond insects can find their way back into the water.
     
  • Rake out fallen leaves or shake off those that have gathered on protective netting.
     
  • Use Pond Nets to prevent hungry herons depleting your fish stocks.
     
  • If the pond becomes frozen do not be tempted to smash the ice on the pond with a spade or hammer as the shock waves could kill fish and other wildlife. Put some boiling water in a pot and hold it over the pond to melt away a hole.
     
  • Before the pond is likely to freeze float a tenis ball in the water before it freezes. Once the ice has formed, remove the ball to create a breathing hole.
     
  • Prevent the pond freezing invest in an Air Pumps or Pond Heaters or Air Stones. These kits will keep the water aerated and moving.

Spring Gardening

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(c) Compiled by B V & T M Wood.

 

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