Whatever the weather or time of year there is always something to be done in the garden.
Each month we ask our managers to give us their advice on what we should be looking at at this time of year.
The Kitchen Garden
Plant first early seed potatoes for an early treat use cloches to prevent soil becoming too wet and help warm up the soil ready for planting.
Buy onion sets when they’re available. Try some of the red varieties which are great for adding colour to salads. Complete pruning of soft fruit and top dress with Vitax Q4 or similar.
The Water Garden
If you have a fish pond remember to try to keep a section ice free by installing a small pond heater which will keep a small surface area from freezing over. Fish may start to become active again when the water starts to warm up. Don’t forget to only feed small amounts of a wheatgerm food.
Buddleja, Summer flowering Spiraeas, Cornus, Salix and Potentilla can all be pruned back hard now and given a top dressing of general fertilizer combined with a mulch of bark or compost. Lightly trim summer flowering heathers and brush moss peat over the stems to encourage rooting. Summer-bulbs are in the garden centre now waiting to be planted Begonia, Dahlias and Lilies amongst others will give you a long summer show. The Lenten Rose (Helleborous) should be in flower now, in shades of cream through to purple and are ideal for a shady spot. Primroses and Polyanthus will be looking great now and provide a real splash of colour when planted with dwarf Narcissi. Prune large flowered Clematis and top dress with rose fertiliser to produce a mass of flowers later. Be sure to keep the leaves of indoor plants “dusted”. It helps to wipe them with a damp cloth to keep the pores open.
Check the mower is working in readiness for the spring! Ensure blades are sharp and get it serviced if necessary. Lawn care is dependant on the weather in February. If conditions allow, aerate and apply a lawn dressing. Turf can be laid now and re-seeding, can take place if the weather is mild.
Visit Hollybush for a range of young plants. Begin sowing fruit & vegetable seeds. Use a heated propagator to start then move them out to a heated greenhouse to grow on. To ensure success follow these basic rules.
1. Always use fresh good quality compost.
2. Sterilise all pots with Jeyes fluid or similar.
3. Sow seed thinly to avoid overcrowding.
4. Thin out once the first true leaves emerge – only hold seedlings by the leaves, not the stem.
5. Avoid overwatering and underwatering.