Saturday, 6 February 2016

Garden Checklist ...

Good Morning!
Here's a few things that you can be getting on with in the garden over the coming week ...

1. Deep Clean  -It's not the most enjoyable of jobs but it really is one of the most worthwhile!
Give the outside of your Greenhouse a good clean to remove any green algae that has built up over the winter months, this will improve the light levels inside which is especially important for the growing season!
Along with this give all of your plant pots, seed trays and plug trays a clean. If left unclean any overwintering pests and diseases could transfer to new plants and seedlings, reducing their quality. Don't forget about the green growth  on the outside of Teracotta pots too!
All you need is some hot soapy water and a stiff brush! This is also a good chance to take stock of what you have / need and also get rid of any pots that you know will never get used!

2. Buddleja  - If you have a Buddleja davidii or B. lindleyana (I have a Buddleja davidii 'White Profusion') growing in your garden it's time to give it a prune! 

It's recommended that you first prune your Buddleja's down in Autumn by a third and then again at this time of year to low growing emerging shoots. Don't worry if you didn't do this is Autumn, you can still prune it down the low height now. The main aim of pruning is Autumn is to reduce the chances of wind rock damage. 
Cutting the shrub down to a low framework allows the shrub to put on a show of fast growing shoots bearing flowers in Summer! If you don't prune the shrub the shoots will soon become out of control with untidy and sub standard branches. 
Don't worry if you don't have time to do this now, you have until the end of April to get this job done but bear in mind the longer you leave it the longer you will have to wait for the flowers. However this tactic can work to your advantage if you have more than one plant, pruning them a few weeks apart will prolong the flowering season of your plants throughout the year.

NOTE - If your plant is from the Buddleja Globosa family DON'T prune it now. 
This particular plant flowers earlier than those mentioned above and on the previous year's wood, it is best to prune these after flowering.

3. February Sowings - There are a few seeds that can be sown over the coming month. I will be waiting another week or so before I start due to light levels but to make sure I can get them going as soon as I am ready I will be doing the following ...
Make a list of the seeds that you have & want that can be sown this month and record the temperatures / conditions that they will need. You will find that some have similar needs to others and will make it easier for you to decide when they should get going and can be started at the same time! 
For example Celery, Tomatoes, Aubergines and Peppers can be started this month but all need a certain amount of heat. Sweet Peas can also be started this month but they prefer cooler conditions to germinate.

4. Wind Rock - I mentioned this particular subject briefly in the Buddleja post but due to the recent windy weather over the past week I thought it best to cover it quickly again. 
If you have done any planting recently they could have been affected, all you need to do is go round and check your newly planted areas and firm them back in to the ground.

5. Soil Warming - If you are planning on sowing direct over the coming weeks it's a good idea to start warming the soil now for it to be ready. Certain crops such as Carrots prefer to be sown direct but they need the soil to be at a certain temperature to germinate. Cover the soil you are planning to use with Cloches or a sheet of black polythene (weighed down at the corners) to begin the process.

Thanks for stopping by, don't forget you can find all the previous Checklists on the page tab above.

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