February Gardener 2015

TATWORTH WINTER STORMS (7)

Somerset floods in February storms

February gardener

Maintenance

Agreed, the weather is very mixed – mild, windy and yes still a bit wintry sometimes, but are we prepared for the “off” in mid February, quickly followed by the start of the garden season in earnest in March?  Hopefully the ground will start warming up soon and enable us to get started on so many garden tasks ahead.

Now’s a good time to check and clean those vital tools with a wire brush, not forgetting the lawn mower.  If you use an electric mower, after cleaning, give it a safety check on a dry day, first plugging it in to a circuit breaker socket, if any smoke appears switch off immediately and decide if it requires expert attention.  Check cabling for any faults especially if there is damaged, exposed or loose wiring. Similarly check a petrol mower with due regard to fuel safety.

Cutting blades for all tools will require sharpening with a carborundum sharpener, available from a garden retailer.  It’s worth doing now for when that tough post winter pruning starts.

Have you done that dreaded greenhouse, shed and garage clean and clearout you have been promising yourself?  Greenhouses act as a luxury hotel winter break for pathogens and insects and pests.

Plant feeding

Replenish solid and liquid plant feeds.  Tomato food is often a favourite liquid feed.  Don’t forget your acid loving plants (Ericaceous family) which require a separate liquid feed boost NOW; Camellias and Heather, are starting to flower already!

Add organic fertiliser, seaweed (for a hormone boost), blood, fish and bone or pelleted chicken manure and lightly hoe in, it will bring great benefits in Spring and Summer.

Plant now 

Plant bare root trees and shrubs as February is the best time, but avoid frost and very wet conditions. Prune overgrown evergreens and late flowering shrubs not forgetting that (post July flowering) clematis should be cut hard back.  (Pre July) woody clematis should just be trimmed back.   Tidy climbers in general.

Enjoy February