Pete's Piece - Down the Garden Path - February 2011

Sometimes this month can be deceiving in the garden and generally for that matter. Lovely days that seem to announce the arrival of Spring are quickly followed by bitter winter weather. The mild spells, when they occur really do give us time to start the new season’s gardening in earnest, providing, of course, that we don’t forget that winter is still with us for a while. Monthly reminders:

You will, hopefully, have spent January deciding which seeds to sow and which plants to purchase as young plants or ready grown seedlings. This is a good month to sow many seeds both indoors and out, but always check packet instructions first. When sowing in trays and pots, make sure you use a good seed or general purpose compost and keep it moist. In the greenhouse you will need to keep frost at bay and perhaps increase the heating. Propagators (with or without heaters) can help maintain temperature and humidity over seeds without the need to increase general greenhouse heating too much. If you don’t have a greenhouse, that sunny window sill will do a good job, and here again the propagator can help and also keep night frosts at bay When planting outdoors, try using horticultural fleece to warm the soil BEFORE planting and afterwards to protect seedling and plants from frosts, but remember to fix it down again. Fleece will also offer some protection against rabbits and insect pests.

February is a good month to carry out those alterations that you may have planned. Take care however to complete your plans in full before starting work, and don’t forget any appropriate protective clothing or equipment.

Complete winter sprays on apples and pears. but remember to make sure you are using chemicals that were not banned last year.

Start to prune climbing roses, removing weak and old shoots and tying in new growth to fill lower spaces. Some strong new growth may need to be positioned in stages by tying in, leaving a few weeks and positioning again.

Carry on with general pruning and try to complete this month.

These are now on sale at Farnborough Garden Centre but shop early for a full choice.

Carry on feeding and position nest boxes to enable birds to select nesting sites. Some birds will be starting courtship and mating activities this month and will be looking for new homes.

Continue to take steps to prevent frost damage, the maincause of which is waterlogging.

Hellebores - These evergreen perennials are looking good, especially some of the hybrids or unusual types.
Viburnum Tinus - This bushy evergreen has flowers opening this month.
Dwarf Narcissus - These short stemmed varieties flower earlier than larger daffodils.
Species Crocus - This smaller crocus will start to appear followed by its larger flower, the Dutch crocus.
Mahonia Japonicas - The different varieties of this evergreen plant are still flowering beautifully.

The work here at Farnborough is already changing with hand watering outside already underway during dry, windy spells. Our feeding schedule is well underway and weeding has begun again. Our displays are changing to incorporate the new season’s plants with the first of the starter plants and seedlings soon available for those customers wanting to grow on their seedlings and basket plants for an early start.

We are constantly adding to the range of plants on offer and hope to see you all again this season.

This article has been kindly written by Farnborough Garden Centre

> Return to articles

Articles Published during 2011
Article Name Author
> Cardalls Corner - April 2011 - Weddings in the News Robert Cardall
> Southam of Yesteryear - Looking Back - April 2011 Bill Griffin
> Pete's Piece - Down the Garden Path - April 2011 Farnborough Garden Centre
> Pet Corner - Fresh Eggs for Easter - March 2011 Avondale Veternary Centres
> Pete's Piece - Down the Garden Path - March 2011 Farnborough Garden Centre
> Pet Corner - Lost and Found Pets Avondale Veternary Centres
> Cardall's Corner - February 2011 - “Money Matters” Robert Cardall
> Southam of Yesteryear - February 2011 - Agatha Christie Bill Griffin
> Pete's Piece - Down the Garden Path - February 2011 Farnborough Garden Centre
> Pet Corner - Fresh Eggs for Easter? District Advertisers
> Pet Corner - Keeping Pets Safe in Winter Weather Avondale Veternary Centres
> Cardall's Corner - January 2011 - “Snow Business” Robert Cardall
> Pete's Piece - Down the Garden Path - January 2011 Farnborough Garden Centre
> Pet Corner - Keeping Pets Safe in Winter Weather Avondale Veternary Centres

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