Alan Titchmarsh advises gardeners on watering their plants
With the third national lockdown continuing, one area of respite for many is gardening. Despite the cold weather and continuing frost, now is the perfect time to introduce some plants, fruits and more to your garden – either outside or in a greenhouse.
However, not all plants will flourish in the cold.
Snow and frost can kill off plants and prevent growth, but some are made of sturdier stuff.
If you’re looking to get some planting done outdoors this month, try and plant lilies and allium bulbs.
While the best time to plant these is typically in the autumn, you can plant lilies and allium bulbs until springtime.
Read More: Alan Titchmarsh explains how to water plants properly or risk ‘rot’
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Bare root roses are another go-to for this month, but try planting them in a sunny position.
Other good outdoor plants are daphne, arrowwood, witch hazel and wintersweet – also known as Chimonanthus praecox.
If you’re looking to add some colour inside or in a greenhouse there a number of plants you can buy.
February is the perfect month to start growing early potatoes – or chitting – on a windowsill indoors.
To do this, place seed potatoes in a tray (an egg box will do) in a light and cool place but away from direct sunlight.
After the sprouts are about one inch (2.5 cm) long, the seed potatoes are planted in the ground.
You can also start sowing cucumber and tomato seeds for the greenhouse, in warm conditions.
Another foodstuff you can try is peas, which can be grown in any spare guttering with drainage holes drilled in the bottom.
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For budding chefs, you can start growing basil on the windowsill this February.
Other vegetables you can try and grow indoors or in a greenhouse are Brussels sprouts, summer cabbage, cauliflower ‘All the Year Round’, and calabrese ‘Aquiles’.
In terms of fruit, you can plant raspberry canes and blackberries, as long as the soil isn’t frozen or waterlogged.
Bare-root strawberry plants can be planted outside now, and if you have any existing strawberry plants you should replace ones which are three-years-old or more.
Stone fruit trees can also be planted, such as apricots, peaches and nectarines.
What to do in the garden this month
The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has put together a list of gardening tips for February, including hazards which can strike in gardens this time of year.
These things can help you prepare your garden ready for spring, and prevent any damage.
Firstly, slugs can pose a threat, and slug controls are necessary now, as always.
Next, make sure to place mouse controls near stored vegetables and any in the ground still.
To avoid rot and clear the way for new growth, remove all remaining plant debris from the vegetable plot.
Try and dig-over your soil to expose any pests to frost and bird predators.
Spend some time clearing the ground under trees and bushes of weeds.
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