Why is it that February always seems the darkest dankest month when although the days are slowly lengthening the dark and cold seem more intense. Cold wet hands and frozen feet do not make good gardening companions but despite that there is life appearing in our borders and hedgerows.
Snowdrops, primulas, cyclamen and hellibores are even now flowering and many bulbs are showing their fresh green tips. What at first glance from a warm lounge window appears to be a dormant landscape on closer inspection can be full of new life.
On a fine sunny day check that dead leaves are not covering new growth and encouraging slugs and snails to picnic. Cut back roses,hypernicums, hydrangers and winter flowering clematis. Also heathers and lavenders will appreciate a gentle haircut to encourage new growth as soon as the days warm.
Winter pansies and violas need deadheading frequently to encourage continual flowering , also moving pots into early sunspots helps to extend their colour. Bare root trees, shrubs and fruit bushes can still be planted untill the end of Feb.
Sirprisingly birds do start busying themselves looking for nest sites this month so it is wise to have cleaned out nesting boxes and don’t forget to continue feeding and providing water.
If you possess a greenhouse or cold frame some early crops can be sown ie: lettuce, pak choi, radish and broad beans but chillies and peppers which need a long growing season need a heat mat to encourage growth. If the days are really dull germination will be somewhat erratic and experience has taught me to try and be patient and wait a month or two.
That said with the first hint of spring the urge to plant is strong,so happy gardening from the BHS.
BIB in 2019
Birstwith in Bloom are once more gearing up for a busy year and will be evident in our village. We are entering Yorkshire in BLoom this year and will be judged in spring and summerso fingers crossed for mellow weather with sun and rain in equal measures (well we can but hope ). Keep a look out for our infomation updates and activities.
Working party dates are the first Sat of the month meeting 10am at the shop unless otherwise stated.
Maureen Smith: 01423 779885
Amy Howard: 07703857662