Hints & Tips
Like the old Barbara Dickson Song (penned by the great Alan Tarney) ‘January – February’, the months always seem to turn around so quickly and one minute you are sitting, thermostat cranked to the max, curled up in your armchair, sipping warming soup and watching the eternal loop of ‘Friends’ on Comedy Central and the next you are standing in a the garden thinking “Where in the name of Billy Ocean did those plants come from?” Well, this is your early alarm call … it’s time to get ready folks. Summer…welll… spring is ‘a cumin in’. February has slipped in through the back door unnoticed. February with it’s special celebrations like the 2nd, Groundhog Day (again) and February the 14th, St Valentines Day when people who should know better spend more than usual on chocolate, flowers and ‘special’ menus (the same food at twice the usual price). When single men send cards to themselves in the hope of impressing their friends and no-one is fooled by the anonymous sympathy card from their Mother. Ah. I’m an old romantic fool. Don’t tell Mrs Drew. Anyway, the weather is going to change soon (ish) and whatever the season brings, it is inevitable.
So what to do in the February garden? Other than wondering whether Mrs Drew would appreciate a Dine-In-For-Two meal from M&S this year or insist on going out somewhere. I mean, does she care about Valentine’s Day? Really?
Hmmm. Can you tell I’m worried? Anyway, back to the garden. Tidying is the order of the day really, and if you have a chainsaw and a log splitter, you can tidy, clean up, trim and make firwood from any branches that have been damaged by the long queue of friendly named storms that have been spitting on our chips since Christmas. Barney, Abigail, Eva, Frank ands Imogen are not people I want in my life thank you! If you don’t have a chainsaw or a log splitter, it’s about time you read our Dick’s excellent blog and took advantage of some of our amazing special offers
Meanwhile, try tidying your beds. Clear up the debris, make sure no weeds are lurking under the mulch (carpet, plastic, whatever) you out down and if you have an infestation of couch grass… get rid of it. You’ll have to get into the roots and it will take hard work so make sure you are warmed up and watch your back!
Rake up any left over leaves and twigs from your lawn, beds or paths and chip or shred them if you have a chipper/shredder. This will give you a handy supply of mulch. If you don’t, think about getting one. Perhaps one of these .
Some lawn people think this is about time to scarify but I would be very careful if I were you. It’s a bit early and I would wait until mid April when the weather is a little warmer.
It is also a good time to prune and tidy up plants, bushes and trees, taking off dead wood and any broken twigs and branches. If you’re tackling trees, you’ll need a good pair of long range tree pruners.
There are those who statrt to think about scarifying their lawns around now. I woul say this is too early. You need a bit more warmth and I’d wait until early to mid April, depending on the weather.
You might want to start thinking about indoor seed planting in trays, broad beans, carrots, summer cabbage and so on can be sown and prepared and sprouts can probably go in outside of your ground is soft. Cover or protect them though.
Most of all, get out there and start to plan your growing and planting, landscaping or whatever. Breathe that air in, take a notebook and start to visualise the coming season. Oh, but wear a pair of fingerless gloves and take a flask of hot tea out with you. We’re not out of the woods yet. Enjoy your garden. Drew Hardy
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