Gardening Calendar February 2019
Prepared by Lorna Sinnamon
February in the Vegetable Garden - As the days slowly start to get longer and slightly warmer and signs of spring start to appear in the garden, we start thinking about our plans for the Vegetable garden.
It's a good idea on a to try and break up a heavy clay soil into large clods that the last of the frosts will help to break down.
It's important to think about warming up our soil in preparation for planting,so once the soil has dried out enough to be workable you can fork this over to a rough tilth, you can use polythene, cloches and mini polytunnels or even polythene directly over the soil.
If you have a more coarse and sandy soil this will warm up far quicker than clay and any extra cultivation may actually damage the soil, so leave it be.
Vegetables to sow outside later this month
Garlic, if you haven't already get your garlic started i would recommend a spring sowing variety now but the sooner the better to get this in the ground.
Shallots are also a good crop to start early february, and there are plenty of varieties suitable for early sowing. ‘Longor’ or ‘Red Sun” are recommended.
Spring Onions another member of the onion family can also be sown directly into the ground this month.
Broad beans it's a good idea to get these in as soon as the weather allows this will enable the plants enough time to grow to fight off the inevitable aphid infestation that will occur later on.
Vegetables to grow undercover this month
Start off your spinach carrots and parsnips under cloches at the end of the month as the soil begins to warm up.
If your really itching to get planting lots of herbs such as Basil, Parsley and coriander can all be started on a bright windowsill.
It might also be worth taking a look at any of your garden structures and see how they have survived the winter, now is a good time to replace any broken slats in your compost bin or raised beds. Maybe even spend the day building a new one.
To get some advice on your vegetable garden click here
GardenAdvice to relaunch its original audio weekly gardens calendar at the end of March as a Amazon Alexa skill. Clip the link to hear one of our original audio calendars from 2002 https://www.gardenadvice.co.uk/club/calendar/cal_04aug.wav
As spring get nearer its the last change you will have to winter wash your fruit trees and bushed
Its a great way to make sure they get of to a great start in the spring as winter washing is a great way to help remove all the over wintering pests and disease than hide out on your plants ove rthe winter under the bark or in cracks at stem joints etc
For further information on winter washing click here
Another job in the garden at this time of year often overlooked is to feed your flower borders gardeners spend hours applying mulch to the soil in the flower borders but very few feed the borders. A simple dressing of a basic fertilizer such as Growmore will help achieve better flowers. In also offsetts the effect of the soil bacteria using all the available nutrients in the soil trying to break down the mulch. So the message is feed and mulch. Feed for better flowers and mulch for weed control and water retention.
- Sweet Peas if you have not alreadu done so sowing a few sweet peas is a great way to add colour to your garden in August the hardest month to create colour in the garden. See our facebook page for tips on sowing sweet peashttps://www.facebook.com/GardenAdvice.co.uk
- Dividing plants Another seasonal job is dividing your plants such as Day lilies and other perennial plants such as hostas. If you are not sure what you can or cannot divide just drop us a line at the GardenAdvice free advice servicehttps://gardenadvice.co.uk/advisor/freeadvice/index.html
- Cold soil is going to be a real problem when it comes to spring vegetable sowing with all the rain we are having wet cold soil is going to be a real pain when it comes to sowing the first vegetable seeds. The constant rain will have cooled the soil down to such a degree that it will take more spring sunshine to get seeds germinating. Four methods to overcome this are as follow
* sow your seeds as far as possible indoors to product small plants not always possible with plants such as carrots but with lettuce and other such salad crop the cold conditions can be over come. Sow in trays and prick out into small pots.
* Use cloches and black plastic - Both cloches and laying black plastics on the growing a few weeks before sowing will have the effect of warming the soil for better germination and stronger plants.
* Spent mushroom compost - adding spent mushroom compost to your soil has the effect of helping to dry up the soil in the case of creating a seed bed making sowing easier and warms up the soil.
* light forking - with all the rain the soil structure will have taken a beating a light forking will help get air into the soil and help restore the soils structure.
Mild wet winter - If the weather continues to be wet and mild then the next problem that will be facing gardeners is fungal and disease damage to your plants especially the softer leaved plants. The best organic cure is to apply a sulfur powder to the infected part of your plants. If you have wrapped up your plants with fleece for the winter such as tree ferns or tender plants its worth paying them some special attention as often the fleece sheets or bags hold the moisture against the plant and in wet mild winter cause mildews to form which damages the plants. If possible on a few milder days remove the fleece just for the day this will allow the plant to dry out and treat any infected areas with sulfur powder
Glasshouse - One of the most important elements of growing and plants or crops in a glasshouse is you start clean and disease free. Which means giving your glasshouse a good clean both inside and outside with a disinfectant such as jeyes fluid and using some sulfur candles when you have finished to kill at the over wintering pests and disease which hide themselves in the glasshouse staging and framework
Colourful summer gardens are all about planning – and that’s especially the case with summer bulbs, corms, tubers, and rhizomes such as Lilies, Gladioli, Dahlias, Cannas and Zantedeschias (Calla Lilies). Now is the time to start thinking about planning your summer colour schemes and also pre-ordering your bulbs so you get the best stock available as soon as possible. Bulbs are delivered from March onwards so you’ll receive them at the right planting time. It is important to remember that most summer-flowering bulbs do not tolerate frost so if you have to store them, even for short period of time, do take appropriate measures to protect them from late frost. For summer colours inspiration, visit the GardenAdvice recommended expert supplier of Bulbs, corms and tubers at bulbsandbeyond.com
Your bulbs will be delivered to your doorstep direct from Holland so you’ll know they have been stored and treated professionally when you receive them at the right planting time. All you have to do is plant and enjoy them!
If you are a MyGardenTeam member ask your GardenAdvice expert gardener to come up with a few suggestions on summer bulbs, corms, tubers, and rhizomes to add some colour to you garden this summer.