>February Gardening Tips

1. Money saving tip: Use old tights to secure young trees to the stake.They are strong and soft. Loosen or remove them before the following autumn to prevent strangulation of the bark.

2. Time saving tip: Another tip for tights. Use them to cover the end of the gutter down pipe. This will prevent leaves and debris getting into the rain water barrel. It will only need to be cleaned out once a year.

3. Stand your seed potatoes in empty egg cartons with the rose end (rounded end) up. There are more 'eyes' at that end. Give them plenty of light as they start to grow.

4. When soil conditions allow, dig leaf mould or compost into the vegetable garden. Apply lime at 4 ozs per square yard to area to be used for growing brassicas. Don't apply lime to potato ground.

5. Large flowering clematis which flower after June and the viticella and orientalis species are pruned now. Working up from the base find the lowest, healthy, fat, pair of buds on each stem and cut immediately above them.

6. If the ground is too wet for planting, heel in bare root shrubs and trees to protect them from frost and drying out. Use damp sand or peat, making sure the roots are in contact and there are no air pockets.

7. Keep an eye on seeds sown indoors. As soon as they germinate give them light but not direct sunlight. Turn those containers which are on window ledges every day to prevent the seedlings growing at an angle towards the light.

8. Protect the base of trees and shrubs from rabbits and hares. They will be hungry and will soon strip the bark off a tree or branch .Once they have circled the trunk the tree will die. Remember that hares can reach to about 3 ft when standing on their hind legs.

9. Refirm the soil round the roots of new plants. Frost and wind can lift the plants out of the ground. Firm with the foot and water.

Courtesy of https://www.bbc.co.uk/northernireland/gardenerscorner/calendar-february.shtml

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