Last month the snow provided you with some wonderful Christmas card scenes in your garden but spring is approaching and as always there is much to do on your patch of land. Even though there is always a lot to do you can always look forward to a rewarding cuppa while you sit on your garden furniture.
Before you set out into the cold you can stay in the warm and start to plan the seeds you are going to plant this year. Then wrap yourself up and get out into your garden because as usual there is a lot to do.
It’s all about the ‘P’s in February.
Those hardy perennials like to move about you know. You may be used to them in a certain corner of your garden but if you dig them up, divide and re-plant them somewhere else you will find that they will bloom even better.
It is the perfect time of year to cut back last year’s growth. The crowns will not have started to grow yet so you can cut back nice and close and there should not be too many jagged edges.
It may surprise you to know that even though the air is chilly there is still warmth in the soil. This means that you can start planting certain plants if you wish. You can plant camellias, roses and azaleas at this time of year.
The warm soil means that the roots should grow good and strong. If you have a greenhouse you can plant pansies and snapdragons as well.
In the same way that you need to go to the barber or hairdresser every so often your plants also need a haircut every now and again. The difference is that while you are cutting them back you don’t need to ask them where they are going on holiday this year.
You should not be scared about pruning. Roses, for instance, can take a good pruning and you can cut the stems back by up to two thirds. You should prune wisteria, climbers, winter-flowing shrubs that have finished flowering, and evergreen hedges.
It may also be useful to get the petrol hedge trimmer out to cut back your hedges.
Preparing seed beds
If you have a vegetable patch you should prepare the vegetable seed beds and under cover you can sow some vegetables if you wish. You could start by sowing lettuces and other salad crops under cover in February.
When spring comes along you can then sow these vegetables outdoors and you may be able to enjoy them earlier than usual by starting them now. This will extend the season for your vegetable growing.
Preparing your potatoes
This is the time of year to chit your potatoes and you need to make sure that they are kept in a cool, light environment while they are being ‘chitted’. The more sunlight that your seed potato gets exposed to the stronger its roots will be.
Basically, when you chit a potato you are ageing it. You are speeding up the ageing process and that means that they will grow faster and you will get your crop of potatoes earlier.
If it is too cold to go out you can always paint your garden benches in the shed ready for those glorious summer days.