Guest post by Erin aka @hortihunny
Welcome to our February Gardening Guide. After a cold and blustery January we’ve finally started to see the first signs that spring may be on the horizon and spotted our first snowdrops over the weekend! It can be tempting to make a start on your sowing but remember we are not quite out of the woods yet. In Scotland we’re very likely to get a colder snap in February and March so here’s some jobs you can be getting on with as you try to hold off…!
- Chit Early Potatoes
Chitting means to let your potatoes start sprouting.
To start your seed potatoes off indoors: Place your seed potatoes upwards in egg boxes or trays in a cool, light, frost free place until they start to sprout.
Prune Wisteria back to two or three buds and cut back the hard wood of deciduous winter flowering shrubs. Ornamental grasses can be chopped to a few centimetres above ground.
Summer flowering Clematis can be pruned towards the end of the month. Deadhead winter pansies to keep them flowering for a bit of colour on the dull days!
- Cut Back and Tie In Raspberries
By pruning away the old canes now, you’ll give the new shoots plenty of time to grow and strengthen to hold the fruit crop.
Cut the old canes (they’re usually paler and snap easily) down to the ground, to allow the new, healthier growth (darker with green through the stem) more room to emerge between them. It’s a good time to tie them into their supports to shelter them from high winds.
- Mulch your Beds
Now is a good time for mulching your beds with compost, woodchip or well rotted manure to add nutrients to your soil.
It can also help to protect your plants from frost and the colder weather we sometimes get in February and March. I like to use the Caledonian Horticulture Green Goodness as it releases nutrients into the soil as it breaks down and works with my no-dig principals.
Prune your roses by cutting them back to allow airflow in and around the centre.
Prune any stems that are crossing as they will rub against each other.
It’s good practice to cut at a 45 angle to allow water to run off and try to cut just above a leaf node where possible.
- Weed & Protect your Crops
Try to keep on top of the weeds in the cooler weather by pulling/digging them out by their roots. You’ll thank yourself for this when the weather warms up and your borders start blooming!
Putting some netting on fruit and veg can help to keep the birds off. Pigeons can make pretty short work of munching your crops, especially brassicas. Tidy up your veg patch by removing any yellowing leaves/debris (This can help stop the spread of brassica downy mildew).
If you find your brown bin is overflowing after all the cutting back and pruning, remember we offer our Caledonian Collections service to all EH postcodes and operate EcoCollect in the Scottish Borders.