In February 2016 lets take a look back to see what advice was being given to gardeners back in February 1906. The tone was rather more dictatorial than likely to be used now. Far be it from us to tell our customers that their gardens may be “disreputable” or “disgraceful”!
Should any vacant ground have remained undug or untrenched till now, let it be at once heavily manured and cultivated. When good farmyard or stable dung is not in sufficient or convenient supply use the “One & All” Concentrated Artificial Manure.
Early potatoes such as Victor, Earliest of All, Beauty of Hebron, Ashleaf and Puritan may also be planted as the digging proceeds. Planting so early however, we must plant deep – eight inches at least – to place them out of the reach of the frost. Should the ground be well broken, there are few better methods than that known and described as digging the potatoes in, unless, indeed, the far more business-like way was adopted of manuring and ridging the ground in wide, high ridges, two feet apart in the autumn. When the surface is dry and warm plant the potatoes in the furrows and split the ridge with a spade over both furrows. The tubers thus have a mellow bed and grow faster and produce better in consequence.
Earth up cabbages, cauliflowers and early peas. The latter may be wintered much better by the combined shelter of mellow earth and stakes. These keep the stems and roots warm and tempt the tops to grow fast and strong. Lettuces, beans, winter onions, etc. are all much helped by frequently loosening the surface.
Attend to fruit trees and bushes, finish planting, staking, pruning and training. If gooseberries, currants and strawberries can have any spare manure they will repay you for it by-and-by.
Attend to the cleaning of roads and walks. Nothing gives a cottage or home such a dilapidated appearance as walks overrun with weeds and roads shoe-deep in mud. This state of things, disreputable at all times, is positively disgraceful with golden aconites and silvern snowdrops decorate the flower borders.