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The Garden in February

01 February 2017 by Pennells Garden Centre
The Garden in February

This year the weather has been all over the place ranging from freezing to wet and mild. What you can do in the garden in February will be very much dictated by the temperature. Cold weather will delay the growth of plants whereas the warm wet weather as we have had will continue to bring plants forward.

As the soil starts to warm outside weed seeds will start to germinate, this is nature’s signal to gardeners that spring is starting, the soil is warm enough to start growing seeds outside and it’s time to go gardening.

Even so, the odd cold snap can still have us reaching for the fleece to protect early sowings. Always make sure you have a contingency plan, never sow the whole packet of seed in one sowing just in case the weather takes a downturn and you have a crop failure. With more seeds in the packet you’ve always got a second or third chance for success.

Garden centres are now full of seedlings and young plug plants in a wide range that can be grown on easily. Seedlings will come in pots containing recently germinated plants that need pricking out immediately into trays of compost so they have extra room in which to develop a good root system and stronger stems and leaves. Plug plants are individual seedlings or rooted cuttings that have been grown for a short time in tiny cells of top quality compost and just need more room and vital nutrients for roots and stems to grow into large plants ready to flower in pots and hanging baskets. These too will need potting on into larger pots to grow on.

Other things to do in the garden this month:-

• Don’t forget to feed the birds to sustain them through the winter
• Buy seed potatoes and chit them ready for planting.
• Prune back summer flowering Clematis such as C. Jackmanii
• Prune autumn-fruiting raspberries and feed with Sulphate of Potash plant food.
• Give established blackcurrants their annual prune, aim to prune out a quarter of the old stems
• Finish planting any bare root fruit canes, bushes and trees
• Plant out onion sets
• Sow outdoors veg. seeds such as broccoli, early carrots, cut and come again lettuce, parsnips
• Sow peppers, aubergines, chillies and tomatoes indoors to give you the earliest plants for growing in the greenhouse
• Sow broad beans individually in 3in pots and leave to germinate on the windowsill
• Top dress containers by replacing top inch with new compost
• Mulch beds and borders with a Chipped Bark

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