Fiveways Gardens...February 2014

Must-do 10-minute jobs in February include:

  • rake dead leaves from ponds and lawns
  • make sure buckets and watering cans are on their sides or in a shed, so as not to trap frogs
  • take saucers away from plant containers so you don't drown your plants
  • continue to provide food and fresh water for birds
  • check tree ties and adjust or remove as appropriate.

Now is an ideal time to plant bare-root hedges, shrubs and trees.  They are cheaper than container-grown plants and often establish better.  You only have till around early March, depending on the weather, though, so get researching if you want a bargain new hedge.

If your deck has proved a bit lethal with all this rain we've had, get scrubbing!  A stiff brush and an aerobic work-out will do wonders for it and you.

I'm sometimes asked what vegetables are easy and suitable for growing in limited space.   Top of my list are onion, beetroot, carrot and a lovely, waxy salad potato, such as Charlottes.  Nip out to your local garden centre or chat up friends that have an allotment, who'll be able to get you a dozen or so seed potatoes from the allotment shop.  Growing potatoes is simplicity itself. 

1. Buy seed potatoes ASAP. 2. Put them in a dark, cold place (the loft works well for me) for a few weeks to "chit" or sprout. 3. Push these potatoes into the ground or container where you want them to grow and cover with about 3-4 inches or 10cm of your garden soil. 4. Relax and go and do some other things for a month or two.  5. When there's lots of green leafy growth to about 8-12 inches, put another few inches of garden soil (or the bought stuff) onto the growing potato plants.  You don't want to completely cover them up, but this "earthing up" process means you won't get green bits on your spuds and you'll get a bigger crop.  Do this several times over the early summer months.  Keep the plants well watered once there's plenty of foliage. You don't need to feed them. In about late June/July, you'll find a lovely crop of salad potatoes that you can just dig up as and when you want them.  Easy, huh?

Finally, take time to enjoy the gorgeous perfume of winter flowering shrubs - Daphne bholua and winter flowering honeysuckles are among plants earning their keep right now.

Best wishes


Office: 01273 500407 Mobile: 07957 751218