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Jobs for February

As I am writing this I am sure their are two things going through your mind, one being 'ohh this will be useful, what can I do in the garden?', or more likely 'really? another blog about what I can do in my garden this month? I am sick to death of this!', which is fine, I won't be lecturing about what is right and not right for the month, I am simply stating what I will be undertaking and how to do this.

So moving onwards and upwards, Jobs for the month of February are:

Rose pruning: most gardens around Britain have roses for the good reason of our fondness for them and how world renowned we are for them, if you do not believe this on my visit to Japan a couple of years a go, most of the gardens (not temple gardens) had a rose garden named 'the English garden'.

When pruning, you will need to understand what rose you have, whether it is a Shrub, Floribunda, Climber, Rambler and Ground cover, all are pruned different from another. I will not be typing how to prune each one but I will give a slight interaction, Shrub and Floribunda are pruned similarly , needing a goblet shape and pruning to an outward facing bud; climbers and ramblers should be supported by an arch, so most of the pruning is to remove the old flower head, remove older stems that are being replaced with younger shoots and tying in to fill the area; lastly is ground cover, pretty much giving a hair cut (I use to take a hedge cutter to them).

Apple pruning: I have already explained this in a previous blog (please head over there after).

Growing plants: some seeds can be now, please always read the seed packets with instructions of how to grow and when to sow. If you are lucky enough to have a heated bench, you are able to start some dahlias now, these are started now to create an nice growth for cuttings (always love making free plants), there are many more plants that you are able to take cuttings of now (mainly hardwood cuttings.

Mulching: I like to wait slightly longer till late March or early April, but still can be done now, a question I get asked regularly 'is mulching worth the money?', my answer is always yes! mulching is great because it stops annual weeds from growing (not perennial), locks moister in the ground (great when summer comes!), worms decompose the mulch and does the same job as digging without the back ache, also can add a small amount of nutrients into the ground. If you shop round you are able to get mulch for £35m3 (loose that is not a tonne bag).

Collecting sticks: I don't mean go to the local woods and find random sticks, coppicing either birch or hazel for supports in the garden, making structures are great as its cheap, looks natural and great for plant supports.

Cleaning/disinfecting: I always clean and disinfect my tools when moving from garden to garden, but for the home gardener now would be a good time to do both to all the tool that one has, also now is a great time to disinfect greenhouses and clean the glass so plants are less likely to get diseases and they will get more light for the growing year ahead, to clean glasshouses I use a simple mixture of washing liquid and a cap fill of vinegar.

Weeding: if the weather is nice and you are wanting to get out, weeding is always a task to be undertaken.

Cutting back herbaceous perennials/grasses: not much more needs to be said, to let the plants grow for the coming year cut most things down now.

Planting trees and shrubs: now is a great time of year to be plating trees and shrubs, you are able to buy these plants as rootballs or bear rooted trees, this is considerably cheaper than buying pot planted trees.

Hope this helps you with everything you will want to undertake in your own garden and thanks you for reading, I will be writing again soon, till then ta ta for now :)

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