Signs of Spring are starting to show. The snowdrops and early crocus are starting to peep through. It's time to get into the garden (when the snow and ice permits) and here are some gardening jobs to do in February.
Buy your seeds
Last year, as more of us than ever were at home, sales of plants and seeds were more popular than ever. That's why, this year, to avoid disappointment, we would recommend that you buy your seeds early. As we don't have a garden centre that close to us we decided to order online. We have ordered via Gardening For All and have been really impressed by their choice and service. The seeds are priced just the same as you'd pay in a garden centre but they were incredibly efficient, with the seeds arriving the very next day (with free delivery too if you spend over £20).
Following on from last year's homegrown summer, our choice of home-grown is being expanded. Beans and peas are a staple as are radish, but we have decided to venture into growing gherkins along with cucamelons. And, we're hopeful that we obtain more than two melons this year! The carrots were a great success last year so once again we've bought seeds on a tape. These are brilliant, perfectly spaced so there's no need to thin out the delicate seedlings. We're giving Little Gem Lettuce seed tapes a whirl this year too.
Buy your plug plants
Again, they could run out so we've already ordered the flowers, fruit and vegetables that we'd like to grow. They should be delivered end of March once the weather has hopefully warmed. In terms of plant quality, value for money and superior service, we recommend Brookside Nursery and have used them for many years now. They also do a large selection of summer bedding plants, hanging basket plants etc. - and not forgetting those all-essential vegetable plug plants. We can't wait for the chilli selection to arrive this year!
Wash down your Greenhouse
February is the perfect time for a greenhouse spring-clean. To let as much light into the greenhouse, wash your windows both inside and out. We thoroughly strip out the greenhouse, washing the windows and shelving in soapy water. To ensure pests and diseases are limited, we then use a diluted solution of Jeyes Fluid - but we like the smell of this too!
If you didn't get around to planting sweet pea seeds in the Autumn, now is the perfect time to crack on to get flowers this year. There are also other seeds that can be planted in February - but make sure they are kept frost-free.
Chit Early Potatoes
Now is the time to get the seed potatoes started and into growth. We've bought a bag of seed potatoes - which are small potato tubers rather than actual seeds. Top Tip: Don't be tempted to use old potatoes that you may have in your vegetable rack as they aren't as reliable.
Before you can plant the seed potatoes, you will need to 'chit' them as it offers a much bigger potato crop. To start this process we use recycled egg boxes as they are the perfect size to hold the seed potato in place. Keep the side with most 'eyes' facing outwards. Leave them in a cool but light spot (which must be frost-free) until shoots of around 1cm-2cm have formed. This isn't a speedy process and is likely to take up to six weeks.
Remember our feathered friends
February is typically a cold month so don't forget to look after our beautiful garden birds. Make sure there is plenty of feed and on especially cold days, defrost the bird bath so that they have water to drink and bathe in. Your effort will be rewarded, we're sure.