Valentine’s day has come and gone so now it’s worth investing a bit of love outside this month for a long-term relationship with your garden.
Fill the house – Windowsills are a great place to get things going. Seeds are unlikely to germinate outside at the moment so use your light filled indoor spaces to get your ‘grow on.’ You could start now with almost anything you want some of my favourites would be broad beans, peas, spinach, tomatoes and lettuces. Whilst sowing imagine the first barbeque of the year and plant what you’ll need to compliment your smoky meats and chilled beers.
Get Chitting – If you want to grow potatoes this year then it’s time to get started. Choose your favourite variety and buy some seed potatoes. Chitting is the process of putting your seed potatoes in a cool light place and allowing them to start sprouting shoots known as ‘chits’. Spread the potatoes out in seeds trays to allow them the space to start. Potatoes are a great crop and are versatile – however, if space to grow crops is an issue perhaps grow things that are slightly more expensive to buy in the shops instead.
Tunnel of Love – If you are lucky enough to have a polytunnel then the increasing daylight hours are going to be creating an atmosphere in the tunnel that will support the planting of seeds. Beware, plummeting temperatures will have an effect on what’s going on in the tunnel. To be on the safe side keep an eye on the forthcoming weather forecasts. To avoid getting caught out you could even create a mini tunnel inside your polytunnel with some clear plastic.
Winter Pruning – If you have any fruit trees now is your last chance to prune. If you leave it until spring they may have come out of dormancy and bleed sap when pruned.
Always use protection – If you’ve got any crops that you’ve been harvesting over the winter, now’s the time to protect them from hungry birds. Use nets on things like cabbages. If you want to help the wildlife then set up some bird feeders – making sure they’re away from your crops and out of reach of watchful pussy-cats.
So whether you’re shot with cupid’s arrow or not in February – there’s plenty to love about your garden this month. Have a good one!