Where did January go?! That thing is happening again, you know – the one where time just disappears without you even realising! Most annoying.
The weather has been, and continues to be nothing less than appalling. Not just in my garden, but most areas of the UK at the moment. Rain is one thing, we like rain us gardeners but not the perpetual, non-stop, flood enduring kind. While we’ve been fortunate over here on the East Coast, flooding wise, I feel for the people over in Cornwall, Devon and Dorset right now because it looks bad.
The wind which only abates for short periods comes back more often than not making the whole “lets spend some time out in the garden” rather impossible. Well, not totally. I’ve spent the odd 20 minutes here and there being blown about between one area and the other but I can’t say it’s very easy to garden at the moment.
Not to worry though because as every good cultivator knows, gardening doesn’t just happen outside!
Below you’ll find a selection of jobs I need to get done in the garden over February and a helpful list of jobs you can do in your garden at this time of the year too.
I’ll add my photo’s at the beginning of each post so if you haven’t got time to read you can quickly glance at the garden’s update.
As always, let me know what you think. Is it useful or just a pain to read?
As it’s now the beginning of a new cultivation year, I thought a new heading was called for relating to any sowings and cuttings taking place indoors.
I’m a little later than I’d have liked but the chilli seeds are now in the propagator (future post about that coming up).
And finally, I have sown some lettuce seeds! I managed to find a windowsill tray that didn’t cost the earth and have done my first (of three) sowings. I have decided on Rocket because I eat so much of this delicious, peppery, tasting salad leaf. The tray is on a south facing window so we’ll see how well, and how quickly germination take places.
I also got chitting my seed potatoes which are doing well in the shed outside. I’ve gone for a second early variety this yr. Slight mis-read on my part. I thought I’d picked up Maris Piper but have ended up with Maris Peer. Not to worry, it’s nice to have something different to grow. I’m hoping that by sowing second early rather than a main crop it will allow me time to get my Christmas crop in that bit earlier and have a second harvest.
The cabbages and swede continue to grow moderately as does the garlic.
Nothing new in this department unfortunately, it’s an issue I’m currently working on!
Both fruit espalier look quiet. I can’t see any disastrous effects from my pruning so I think all is okay for the time being. I don’t think the plum is going to form in the right shape due to me letting the main shoot grow from the wrong place. Basically the main stem is too far away from the fence. I took a front bud rather than a back one, so I think the whole plant just needs turning around which shouldn’t be too much of a problem while it’s still relatively small and sleepy.
I’ve decided I’m going to buy a couple more fruit bushes for this area. It seems rather obvious now but I’ve got a whole load of containers sat behind the shed looking messy when they could be out here on the patio with fruit in them so work is ongoing in this area.
The raspberries are still sleeping. The lawn, which hasn’t stopped growing due to all the rain needs a cut but I’m loath to it until next month when I can feed it and tidy it up.
Most of the bulbs I had planted back in Oct/Nov are really coming on and are a very welcome sight in and around the garden. All 10 white daffodil shoots are showing around the acer tree that was newly planted last Sept. As are the other daffodils and crocuses. I was worried the squirrel has eaten a load of the bulbs but it seems not.
The old shrubs have been done away with, thanks to some hefty man power, and I’m now left with a completely blank front garden edge to work with. Last month I said I was going to put in a new privet hedge in this area. Well, since then the Boss and I have been discussing it and have decided to go for something much more interesting – a native, mixed, non thorny, hedge. The 50 plants are on order and I’m hoping to get the hedge planted by the end of this month.
I’m quite excited about it really. It won’t be green all year round but because of the varieties it includes, should provide cover and food for wildlife most of the year, require less pruning than a privet (once it’s been shaped), and will hopefully look rustic to anyone that notices it – especially me.
I thought I would be able to plant the trees I’d like to get in, at the same time but as the hedge will need some time to establish so I’m going to hold back on the trees for a year or so.
The swede plants in the front raised bed are still growing, albeit slowly!
The cob bushes are showing signs of a new season coming upon them with lots of buds appearing. I realised I should have trimmed the plants back last yr and didn’t so they still require a light prune and shape cut.
My top three jobs to do in February:
- Get the front garden hedge planted.
- Buy and plant some more soft fruit bushes – in pots
- Find a use for the growing pile of hardcore that keeps being dug up from the front garden (any ideas please let me know, or just take if off me!). I am so fed up buying skips for it all. I’d ideally like to recycle it but have no use for any paths or any space for further raised beds.
Garden jobs to do around the garden in December:
- Mulch and manure shrubs and trees.
- Don’t forget to feed the birds – even oats are welcomed and extremely cheap to buy.
- If you’ve got a heated propagator now is the time to start sowing chilli seeds. Without a heated propagator you can sow broadbeans, sweetpeas, cabbages and salad crops.
- Buy seed potatoes and get them chitting in a light, cool, space.
- Check your lawnmower over. I don’t actually know anyone that does this but I guess it saves a lot of time that one morning you wanted to cut the grass quickly only to find the blades are blunt and the parts squeaky and rusting.
So, what will you be up to in the garden this month?