“February is the border between winter and spring”
– (Terri Guillemets)
February may still be winter, but a couple of toes are poking forward into spring. Primroses, Muscari and iris reticulata are in flower and daffodils are opening. Throughout February gardens across the country will be inviting people to walk amongst their many varieties of dazzling snowdrops so wrap up warm and find one local to you by visiting the NGS wbsite. A cup of tea and slice of cake in the tearoom after should be your reward, or perhaps a glug of sloe gin from that hip flask you were gifted at Christmas.
Feedback from our January catalogue has been excellent – thank you. Many customers are clearly enjoying the depth and breadth of our spring range. The Pick & Mix Offer on plug plants has proved incredibly popular. But then, when you can buy 6 packs and receive another 6 FREE why wouldn’t it! The good news is that the offer is still available but only while stocks last.
Our top ten recommended tasks this month include:
- Tackle weeds now and your summer weeding workload will be much reduced. Just take care where you step to avoid any bulbs brave enough to be poking their noses up.
- Prune hybrid tea and shrub roses this month. They will flower on this season’s stems so prune them hard, cutting just above a bud, removing all weak, damaged and crossing stems.
- Sow sweet peas – no summer garden is complete without them.
- Pot up your over-wintered dahlia tubers to start them into growth.
- Buddleia can be pruned hard this month, cutting right back to a pair of healthy buds.
- Cut back the stems of late-flowering clematis.
- Dig over your vegetable patch, removing any perennial weeds.
- Continue to plant soft fruit as the weather permits.
- Outdoors (under cloches or in a cold frame) you can sow early varieties of carrot, broad bean, and parsnip.
- Early varieties of potatoes should be chitted in a cool, light, frost-free place ready for planting towards the end of March.
The 13th February brings us Shrove Tuesday and pancakes will be tossed aplenty. We all have our favourite toppings, some sweet and some sour, but can the simple sugar and lemon really be beaten? Not if the lemon you squeeze onto that eggy delight has been homegrown. Lemon trees are simple to grow, smell delicious and mean you’ll always have a fresh lemon to plop into your gin or squeeze over your pancake.
Lemon trees will live happily in a decent sized pot and will enjoy spending the summer on the patio and the winter in a conservatory or heated greenhouse. Available to order now, our lemon trees will be delivered in April.
Every garden needs at least one rose and bare-root roses can be planted this month. Soak the roots in a bucket of water while you prepare the planting hole which needs to be to the depth of the roots and considerably wider. Loosen the soil at the bottom and sides of the hole and plant your rose with the graft about 5cm above the level of the soil. Water well and often.
St Valentine’s Day and roses are closely linked – a gift of a rose plant lasts so much longer (and is so much cheaper!) than a dozen blood-red stems.
When the weather is awful outside it won’t be long before the plaintiff “I’m bored” cry can be heard. Our children’s corner has several gardening related activities, or select some seeds from our children’s Fun To Grow range and get them sowing.