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February 2022 Garden Notes

Feb 3 2022
February 2022 Garden Newsletter Feature.jpg

It’s almost impossible to pick the weather at the moment, one day we’re sweltering in over 30-degree heat, and the next we’re digging in the wardrobe for a jumper!

Riding The Weather Waves

A positive to draw from this is that at least the cooler days are giving both us and our gardens a chance to recover before the next burst of hot weather! We’ve had some rain too, albeit quite patchy and not always enough to get down into the subsoil, so make sure you keep the water up to your trees and shrubs, fruit trees in particular. The humid weather is causing issues in gardens with various fungal diseases, powdery and downy mildew, plus black spots on roses. Keep an eye out for these and spray with a fungicide to control, if you’re not sure what exactly to use, ask one of our qualified staff to help you!

Keep Your Hoses Handy – Summer Isn’t Over Yet

February is considered a ‘between seasons’ or transitional month, a bit late for most summer planting and activities, but still not quite into autumn and the cooler weather tasks. While this is partially true, there are still lots of things that need to, and can be done in our gardens this month, which we’ll explore in this blog. Watching the weather and keeping on top of watering and mulching is still as imperative as ever, as we don’t want to let all our good work keeping the garden looking good throughout the summer go to waste.  

Implementing Damage Control With Your Sun-Scorched Plants

If your garden is like mine, you will have some plants looking a bit worse for wear right now, with scorched foliage where they copped the brunt of the heat over summer. It’s easy to get tempted to go out and prune all the burnt foliage off to make the plant look better, but refrain for the time being.  It’s almost guaranteed that we will get more very hot days, throughout February and March, and by pruning that damage off you encourage the plant to send out new, more delicate growth which is even more susceptible to the heat. The already damaged leaves will provide some protection for the rest of the plant underneath them and can be removed in 5 or 6 weeks’ time after the worst of the summer heat has passed.

How To Brighten Up Your Garden Before Summer’s End

As you are out and about at the moment, you will see the Crepe Myrtle in full flower. As well as the more common small tree (3-5m) varieties there are some shorter, shrubby forms available including the dark leaf Diamonds in the Dark series which grows up to 3m and the Enduring Summer series which gets to about 1.5m. This family of plants is a great addition to any garden, very hardy and smothered in red, pink, mauve or white flowers at this time of year. Another group of plants looking quite wonderful right now are the Bougainvillea family. Available as the traditional climber, or you can have one of the “Bambino” range, these grow much smaller, to roughly 1.2m. They are great for pots and even hanging baskets, I personally have one in a smallish pedestal pot, and the best part is it flowers for months! However, don’t forget that Bougainvillea loves the sun, so choose a very sunny spot and they will reward you with a glorious display of colour late summer and autumn.

Beat The Cold and Prep For Your Winter Garden Now

In last month’s garden notes, I said you can still plant late cropping veggies, although, some varieties are a bit hard to come by in the last couple of weeks. As aforementioned, the weather can still be quite hot in February and March, so delay putting in winter vegetables at the moment, even though stock is available. You can start some winter vegetables of from seed now though, by the time they get big enough to plant out the air temperature should be milder but the soil still warm enough to give them a great start. Delaying planting also gives you more time to prepare your winter bed. The Brassica family: cabbage, cauliflower etc really like a fertile soil. Digging in lots of animal manure and compost and letting it sit for a few weeks is the perfect preparation. If you garden in pots and raised garden beds, then you will need to freshen up the soil when you remove your summer veg. Completely remove the soil and start again ,or simply take some out and mix through fresh potting medium and compost.

Enjoy Your Citrus While You Still Can!

It’s a good time to plant citrus too, with reasonable stocks still being available for most varieties. Citrus do not thrive if planted into cold soil, so don’t delay too long or your plant will sit and sulk for months, if not years before it gets going again!  Remember to keep up a regular feeding schedule, with a light feed monthly being enough to keep them ticking along nicely. If your passionfruit is anything like mine, its loaded with fruit that is just about to colour up. Keep up regular, weekly deep watering and a monthly light side dress of fertiliser to help them produce plenty of delicious pulp. The fruit is ripe and ready to eat when they fall off the vine, so all you have to do is collect them off the ground and enjoy!

Garlic Lovers Rejoice

Daffodils, Tulips, Hyacinths and all the rest of the spring flowering bulbs, while not here yet as I write, are due this month so keep your eyes peeled for these when you visit. The popular varieties are often in short supply, so it’s worth a weekly check to see if stock has come in. Don’t forget Garlic and Eschallots are included in this month’s delivery too, so those of you who like to grow your own garlic, make sure to keep an eye out as well! Just a reminder, garlic needs a sunny position with well-drained soil to do well but can also be grown in pots if needed.

In closing, as previously said, while not the busiest gardening month in the calendar, there’s still enough to have us outdoors enjoying our gardens. A reminder again to remain sun smart while out and about and we’ll get ready to shift up a gear next month!