Tick, tick, tick, the seconds turn to minutes and another month is gone. Totally mad, Christmas seems so far behind us and the seeds that were my Christmas present sit on my desk and tease me. January was an acceptable mix of confusion, with the weather not wanting to work to a plan, so we had the lot. As we move forward into February, accepting there may be some cold to come, the Spring does seem close and in just seven weeks the clocks will change.
The garden calls. I am hoping to get some pruning done this month. Whilst you will need to avoid the very bleak days, restoring order generally and particularly with some of the fruit, is a good plan. Tidy up anything that has flowered through the autumn and winter too. New growth will happen in March and plants repair very quickly. Finish turning over ground on dry days and if you have space, some bits can go into the vegetable plot, most notably onion sets, shallots and garlic. Not much harm will come to early peas and bean seed now either, just stick them in, they are not going to rot and the slight lift in temperature will have them pipping as we hit next month. If you can find sheltered space, have a greenhouse or an empty window sill then you could be starting off a few seeds. Many things don’t require heat, just a bit of protection. So green leaf vegetables including lettuce can all be sown (in moderation) as indeed can some annuals.
We always used to start off early bedding in February and pansies, calendula, dianthus, antirrhinum and many others are quite straightforward. Garden centre shelves are full of seed, so do some swatting and have a play. Of course we are also well into spuds now and here again there are plenty to look at everywhere. There is no panic, but early purchase ensures that you get exactly what you want. Don’t rush to plant yet unless you want to stick a few in the bottom of a pot (which can be fun and bring a taste by the end of May). I am going to be trying a new second early introduction called ‘Lipstick’. I love quirky, I am not sure what it says about me, but I am curious. It’s a very flirty red.
And finally, it’s the last call on bare root hedging. If you have gaps to fill, save money and get organised.