Tag Archives: Monthly jobs

February jobs

Hoping the weather will dry up a bit so I can get some of these jobs done!  So far the competition parsnips have been sown and the mixes for my long and stump carrots have been prepared.  I’m hoping to sow the carrots in the next couple of weeks………

February is a time of preparation in the garden with an expectation of things to come. Early spring bulbs are coming through but, as we saw last year, the weather can bite hard and put back any of our best laid plans……….

So the list of February jobs is dependant on weather conditions and if your soil is workable. If you have use of a heated greenhouse or space on indoor windowsills then sowing can be started. But even if you just do some tidying up in the garden it’s time well spent before Spring starts.

Under Cover

• Sow Autumn leeks thinly in a tray of compost and cover lightly and keep moist.

•If you didn’t start sweet peas in Autumn sow in toilet roll inners now.  You can use the same method for broad beans if weather is too harsh to sow direct on the plot.

• For early potatoes start off varieties such as ‘Swift’ in large tubs of compost in a heated greenhouse.

• Start sowing early brassicas such as cauliflower and summer cabbage.

• Towards the end of the month sow tomatoes, chillies and peppers.  These need a long growing season to fully ripen so need to be started early in a heated space.

• Sow peas.  A good method is to sow in a length of guttering that can be easily transferred to the veg plot later to avoid handling the young plants.

• Plant garlic cloves in pots if not already done.

• Sow hardier herbs such as Parsley.  Rocket and certain varieties of lettuce can be sown towards the end of the month.

• Sow slower growing half-hardy annuals and perrenials such as Pelargonium and Begonia.

• Chit seed potatoes.  Stand in egg trays.

On the Plot

• Continue to tidy and dig the plot if soil is workable.  Well rotted manure and compost can be added if not already done.

• Hand weed around any Autumn sown crops such as Japanese Onion sets and Broad Beans.

• Jerusalem Artichoke tubers can be planted out.  If harvesting and re-planting be careful to dig out every bit of tuber.

• Keep filling runner bean trench with kitchen waste.

• Use cloches to warm the soil ahead of spring sowing.

• Prune fruit trees and canes.  Sprinkle a handful of potash fertiliser around fruit trees.  If you have bought any bare-root  trees get them in now.  Cut stems of Autumn-fruiting raspberries to soil level.

• Force established Rhubarb crowns by covering with a forcing pot or bucket.

• Draw up a plan of your plot so you know where each group of vegetables will go and have a record for future years to ensure good rotation.

• Clean the greenhouse, any frames, pots and trays.  Jeyes fluid is good for the inside of your greenhouse killing off anything nasty that is lurking to attack your spring plants.  Warm soapy water is a good start for pots and trays.

In the Garden

• Plant new Rose bushes.  But don’t prune existing ones until next month as harsh frosts can burn new cuts.

• Prune grapevines, Wisteria, summer-flowering Clematis, and Buddleia.  Deadhead Hydrangea flowers.

• Mulch around emerging spring bulbs.  Bring pots of spring bulbs into the greenhouse as required.

• Divide herbaceous perrenials that have become congested.

• Cut back last year’s dead material from perrenials as close to the base as possible before new growth starts.

• Clear weeds as they emerge.

• Scarify and spike lawn if required.  Clear any remaining leaves.

• Clear leaves from pond and check and clean pump.

Help Wildlife

• Put as much waste material from the garden on the compost heap as possible (rather than burning) to allow sheltering insects to escape as the weather warms.

• Continue to feed garden birds and provide a water source.

• Put up nesting boxes for birds.

Buy

• Check through stocks of compost, fertilisers, pots etc and buy whatever is needed for spring sowing ahead of time.  If you’re looking for a peat-free compost the brand ‘New Horizon’ has been recommended in recent Which magazine trials.

Harvest

Winter vegetables such as Leeks, Brussel Sprouts, Kale and Parsnips can continue to be harvested when the ground is not frozen.  If harsh weather threatens root vegetables can be stored and kept fresh in a box of damp sand.

If you have any suggestions for February jobs please add them to the comments on this post.

Monthly jobs – January

Despite the often freezing conditions there’s still plenty of jobs to be getting on with on the plot and in the garden this month………….

Under Cover
• Start to chit seed potatoes in trays making sure they are frost free.  The speed of chitting depends on the temperature so keep an eye on them as you’re aiming for a healthy chit of a few mm by the time you plant them out in March.
• Clean greenhouse panes thoroughly – Jeyes Fluid is ideal for this. Disinfect and light a sulphur candle to deal with any pests and diseases.
• Insulate greenhouse with bubble-wrap to retain heat if you are starting plants early.
• Pot on winter lettuces.
• Move strawberry pots into a warm greenhouse to bring them on early.
• Check stored fruit, veg and any tubers to ensure rot has not started.

On the Plot
• Keep removing yellowing leaves from brassicas.
• Firm any loosened shallots and onions. Plant sets if you haven’t already.
• Dig a trench for runner beans and fill with green kitchen waste.
• Plant garlic, sow broad beans if the ground is not frozen.
• Put forcing jar, or similar, on top of emerging rhubarb to force crop of tender stems early. Also a good time to lift and divide crowded rhubarb.
• Cover bare soil with fleece or cloches to warm up for sowing.
• If soil is workable continue to dig over and add manure if not already done so.
• Test soil to gauge its requirements for the coming season.

In the Garden
• Tidy up borders, cut back grasses before new growth emerges, and mulch.
• Good time to move shrubs if they are in the wrong position.
• Take hardwood cuttings.
• Plant new Roses. Prune existing plants.
• Avoid walking on lawns in frosty weather and remove fallen leaves regularly. If conditions are suitable it’s a good time to tidy-up lawn edges.
• Service lawn mower and check over garden tools.

Help Wildlife
• Continue to top up bird tables and feeders, and unfreeze bird bath.
• Great time to build a nest box to encourage more birds into your garden, they’ll return the summer eating pests in summer.

Buy
• Summer flowering bulbs for spring planting.
• Order veg and summer bedding seeds if you haven’t already.

Harvest – if you’re fortunate enough to still have any veg left on the plot……..
Leek, Parsnip, Swede, Kale, Cauliflower, Cabbage, Carrot, Celeriac, Brussel Sprouts, Purple Sprouting, Jerusalem Artichokes.

If you have any other January jobs please share them by adding a comment to this post. Whatever you decide to do this month enjoy your garden!