Jobs For February

Some handy tips for the month ahead...

Top Tip - Plant raspberry canes

Raspberries are expensive to buy in the supermarkets, so why not grow your own? Apart from saving you money, the taste of perfectly ripe fruit is far superior than anything available to buy in shops.

Now is the perfect time for planting bare root raspberry canes in a sunny or partly shaded spot with well drained soil. Most will take a couple of seasons to establish before they bear fruit, but ‘Glen Lyon’ long-cane raspberries will reward you with lots of large, bright red fruit this summer.

Plant against a wall, fence or support wires attached to stakes. Dig a 30cm wide by 8cm deep hole, and spread out the roots. Cover and water well. Space raspberry canes 60cm apart. Alternatively, plant several canes in a large pot and draw the tops together with twine to form a wig-wam shape.

Flowers, trees and shrubs

• Cut back dogwoods to within one or two buds of last year’s growth, leaving a stubby framework
• Give summer and autumn flowering heathers a light trim to keep them compact and bushy.
• Remove old flower heads from mophead and lacecap hydrangeas. Cut back to a pair of healthy buds, then trim out any dead, diseased or spindly stems.
• Prune buddleia to encourage a great floral display this summer. Cut back stems to within 10cm of the permanent low framework.
• Control brown aphids on conifers by spraying with Doff Universal Bug Killer.

In the kitchen garden

• Get a head start on veg. Use a windowsill propagator kit to sow seeds of tomatoes, chilli peppers, sweet peppers and aubergines.
• Plant shallots in sheltered gardens – space sets (small bulbs) 15cm apart with a gap of 30cm between rows.
• Sow pea seeds 5cm deep in a sheltered spot outdoors and cover with cloches to protect from frost.
• Plant Jerusalem artichoke tubers in a sunny or partly shaded part of the garden.

Don't forget...

• Lever dandelions and other weeds with long roots from lawns using a dandelion weeder tool.
• Prevent slugs and snails for chomping on the emerging shoots of perennials by thinly scattering slug pellets around individual plants.
• Rejuvenate soil compacted by winter wet. Fork over the soil, then spread some Blood, Fish & Bone fertiliser to replace nutrients washed away by rain.

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