Gardening tips for February
As we turn our backs on January – yay – we can look forward to longer, sunnier days and some time spent in the garden. If you haven’t been brave enough to venture out there yet (I dread to think what the local cats have been doing in mine!), now is the time. With local gardening guru Ellen Mary’s (Quite Contrary’s) help, we will be BBQ ready before we know it.
Time to prune:
There is plenty to prune in February so make sure your secateurs are sharp and in good shape. If you have a Winter Jasmine, cut this back as soon as it finishes flowering. Don’t forget to prune your Wisteria, summer flowering Clematis and Ivy.
You say potato:
It’s that time of year to start chitting your early potatoes by placing them on a bright windowsill with the eye facing upwards – this gets them off to a great start before you plant them out. If you don’t have room to grow potatoes in beds, try using grow bags which are ideal for patios and balconies.
Let’s go undercover, sweet pea:
We just can’t get through the summer months without the smell of gorgeous Sweet Peas, and you can start to sow them now as long as they are undercover. If you got a head start by sowing them last Autumn you will be able to pot them on, still ensuring they are well protected from the frosts. One of my favourites is Sweet Pea ‘Midnight Blue’ which are scented in blues and purples with strong stems.
Feed the birds:
Whilst the days may be brighter, its still cold and food remains scarce for birds. They will thank you for the extra food available to keep them healthy ready for nesting – ensure your feeders are clean, water is available and a variety of food is accessible
Time to sow:
Many of our Winter vegetables require a very long growing season, but are totally worth the wait. So get sowing seeds such as leek, celeriac, broccoli and cabbage all under cover, protected from the cold weather. You’ll be rewarded with lots of goodness later in the year.
Ellen Mary is founder of No Fear Gardening, a monthly gardening club for amateurs. The next meeting is at 7pm on 8 February at the Norwich Wellbeing Centre where Simon White of Peter Beales Roses will give an A-Z insight into these beautiful English flowers.