- Continue to hand-weed or hoe regularly to keep on top of weeds.
- Dig deep to remove highly invasive bindweed as it appears.
- Continue to mow or clip grass paths weekly.
- If you have sown green manure, dig it in this month to fix the nitrogen in the soil.
- Water potatoes well, for good-sized tubers and reduced problems with scab. (Remember to target-water, not spray, to avoid water wastage.)
- First, second and salad potatoes may be ready for harvesting. Tubers should be ready when plants begin to flower.
- Water tomatoes regularly and evenly. Uneven watering can cause cracked fruit and blossom end rot. Regularly pinch out side-shoots on cordon tomatoes and tie in plants to supports.
Feed every 10-14 days with a liquid fertilizer, changing to a high potash fertilizer once the first fruits begin to set.
- Plant out sweet corn 16” apart in blocks, not rows, to aid wind pollination.
- Continue planting out or direct-sow runner and French beans.
- Direct-sow courgettes.
- Sow radicchio in drills for autumn salad leaves.
- Sow fennel and oriental greens such as mizuna and pak choi. June sowings reduce the risk of bolting.
- Successionally, sow salads, rocket and basil etc every two to three weeks for continuous picking.
- Make a late sowing of peas for an autumn crop.
- Quick-germinating annuals, such as cosmos, that attract insect pollinators can still be sown.
Sow wallflowers for next year.
- Quick-maturing radishes or salad leaf crops can be sown between brassica rows. Ensure netting on brassicas is bird-proof.
- Sow overwintering carrots such as Autumn King or Chantenay. Cover with insect-proof mesh to prevent carrot root fly.
- Transplant pencil-thick leeks now into 6” deep holes. Cover with insect-proof mesh to prevent leek moth damage.
- Plant out pumpkins, squashes in well-manured ground. Plant out outdoor cucumbers and peppers. Protect with fleece on cold nights.
- In the greenhouse ensure adequate shading. Check nighttime temperatures and close door on cold nights.
On hot days keep greenhouse temperatures down by using maximum ventilation and damp down greenhouse floors to increase humidity.
- Keep fruit bushes well watered. (Target-water, not spray, to avoid water wastage.) Protect soft fruit from bird attack by netting securely and tie in new raspberry and blackberry canes.
- Continue to check for sawfly larvae on gooseberries. Hand pick off.
- On plum trees, after the ‘June drop’ of excess developing fruits, thin the fruits to prevent over laden branches breaking.
- Continue to regularly harvest established asparagus – mid April to mid June. If asparagus growth is weak, apply a general fertilizer of fish, blood and bone.
Download February 2018 Bulletin
- All you need to know about our potato varieties – 6 varieties available now
- February is a busy time: plot jobs this month (also on this website – in the ‘Growing Things’ section)
- How to make Cauliflower rice
- As crops are harvested clear debris and cover cleared soil with weed suppressant.
- Prune overgrown blackcurrant bushes- remove a third of the oldest stems to ground level.
- Prune freestanding apples and pears, maintaining an open centre. Do not remove more than 20% of the crown in one winter
- Sow broad beans (Karmazyn), aubergines (Black Beauty, Long Purple and Pinstripe), mixed spicy salad leaves or Mizuna and tomatoes (Akron is a new variety and remarkable for its high yields and sweet taste or Fandango which has good blight resistance) on windowsills
- Sow lettuces, radishes, salad onions, and spinach on windowsills. (All seeds available in store) Grow on in greenhouse and plant out late Feb under fleece or cloches. (Fleece for sale in store)
- Apply winter washes to fruit trees to control overwintering pests. (Winter wash available in store)
- Prune gooseberries, redcurrants by removing dead wood and low-lying shoots. Shorten branch tips by one quarter, cutting to an outward facing bud. Prune all side-shoots back to one to three buds from their bases.
- Start ‘chitting’ tubers of early potatoes, Swift, second earlies, Pink Fir and Kestrel, in trays in a cool, light, frost-free location. Start chitting salad potatoes, Charlotte and main crop, Picasso as ready. (All varieties available in store from January)
- Sow broad beans in pots under cover.
- Sow winter salads in a greenhouse or windowsill.
- Bring potted runners of strawberries under glass for forcing.
- Sow sweet peas now and those sown in autumn can be potted on. Place on a sunny windowsill, in a cold frame or greenhouse. (Sweet peas available in store)
- Pinch out tips of autumn grown sweet peas after four pairs of leaves have developed or at 3.5 cms.
- Plan a crop system for vegetables- leaving a minimum of two years before replanting crops in the same place.
- Open greenhouse vents on mild days.
- Spring Flowers
- Chitting Potatoes
- Franken-fruit – dual crops for small gardens