February Garden Notes

February can bring some of the coldest winter weather, but can also produce unexpected warm spells. Whatever happens this year, spring is definitely on the way: buds are forming on deciduous trees and shrubs, snowdrops are in flower and other bulbs are confidently emerging from cold soils. Soon early daffodils will be giving us some much-desired bright colour to enjoy.

With the busy gardening period approaching, try to keep ahead of general tasks. Clear up any remaining fallen leaves from paths and borders. If it is dry enough, consider giving lawns their first mow. Prepare vegetable beds, dig over soils and remove any stubborn weeds from last season. If you are considering a bark mulch, now would be a good time for spreading to both retain existing moisture and to stifle annual weeds as they appear.

Although it is too early to feed and weed lawns, ever-threatening moss can be raked up to keep it under control. Apply lawn sand from early March: the sand will promote good drainage, while the ferrous sulphate element will kill blacken and kill moss within 7-10 days. It will also green up drab-looking grass. If you have a problem with too many worm casts, especially in the autumn, Lawn sand will also discourage worm activity. Alternatively for worm casts, brush them back into the lawn with a besom broom, as it is the finest top-dressing for your soil.

Make use of any greenhouses, cloches and sheltered areas to start the annual cycle of seed sowing. Light levels are improving daily, so germination will be swift when the sun shines !

David Hogg

Buckland Nurseries

All posts