Published: 10 February 2014
Ed's February Checklist
February can still be a busy time in the garden and under glass.
Ed Gent

Tomatoes and cucumber

Under glass, you can start some tomatoes and cucumber seeds. There are several different varieties of tomatoes out there on the market. If you like good flavours then try Ailsa Craig, these produce medium sized tomatoes. However, if like me you prefer a smaller cherry tomato I found sungold to be one of the best after trying out a few different varieties, its fruit is sweet and juicy and the yield is high.
Again, with cucumbers, there is a great selection on the market, Burpless and Telegraph to name just a couple, but I found the best one for me to be Tasty King which produces some great tasting and good size fruits.

Other Jobs

Check over your gardening tools making sure they are sharp and that their handles are all in good order ready for the coming season.
With the weather being so wet at the moment a garden centre visit would be good this month look out for some winter bargains and check out what you may need for the coming season, you may get them a little bit cheaper.
Continue to remove any weeds like annual mercury and groundsel that are still managing to grow in cold and wet conditions. Don’t waste them, put them in the compost heap to rot down.
Continue to prepare your beds within the polytunnel or greenhouse. Removing any old plant material and weeds, dig in some well-rotted horse manure or garden compost ready for planting-out later in the season.
You still have time to move any shrubs which may be in the wrong place, they will then be ready for the start of the growing season.

Cut out any reversion on your variegated shrubs this will help the shrub keep its colour for longer and stop the stronger green leaves taking over.
Check all your stored vegetables like onions and potatoes. With your onions check for any soft areas, remove any with damage to the compost heap and with your stored potatoes rub off any sprouts that may have formed.
Start sowing some broad beans now if you did not manage to get some sown before Christmas. Others seeds that can go in are cabbages, lettuce, celery, salad onions, peas, and carrots in trays or modules and place them in the greenhouse or frames. Always read the instructions on the seed packets for the best sowing method and temperatures, these can vary depending on what part of the country you are in.

Start to chit your seed potatoes especially early varieties like Swift and Arran Pilot just to name a couple, this will help the tubers to produce strong shoots before planting.
Continue to check over your stored apples and pears for any signs of rot and remove them to the compost heap.
If like me you have an early flowering apricot in your garden cover it over with some horticultural fleece to protect it from the frost, the same can be done with peaches and nectarines. You do need to protect the delicate blossom on all of these type of fruits trees.
Check your fruit cage for any damaged netting and replace it ASAP to stop the birds from getting in and pecking at the fruit buds that are starting to develop.
Reported by Ed Gent  

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