Sunday, 5 February 2017



Even in the midst of winter there is always a wee job to do in the garden or involved in forward plans. So far the winter has been almost non existent and with temperatures frequently in double figures, and dry weather becoming the norm, there is no excuse for not tackling those outstanding gardening chores. Digging, shifting compost, pruning and repairs to paths, sheds and fences have given us the excuse to get out into the warm winter sunshine.
Give the glasshouse a thorough cleaning
Winter cleanup for the greenhouse
A warm dry sunny day is just perfect to give the greenhouse glass its winter clean up, removing dirt, algae, moss and bird droppings. Inside it helps to clear out all those spiders and any overwintering pests eggs. Check and fix door and window openings as sometimes dirt can build up causing difficulty. Clear out gutters as usually there is a fair build up of old fallen leaves and growth of moss.
Rhubarb crowns are now quite prominent so where they have been growing in the same spot for over three years, now is a good time to lift up the roots and replant the strongest of the crowns.
Lift Timperley Early Rhubarb
Rhubarb is a heavy feeder that also likes plenty of moisture so dig over the area deeply and add in as much compost or manure as you can as this will feed them for the next three years. Space the new crowns about three feet apart as they need room to grow, and do not take any stems from them in the first year to let them build up strength. Where you have spare crowns left over these can be forced to give an early crop. If you have a greenhouse with a bench in it, the space underneath the staging is a perfect place to plant the crowns. Space them close together then cover the sides with black polythene to exclude all light. The rhubarb will soon grow with the greenhouse added protection and natural warmth. They will be even better if the glass has been lined with bubble polythene of you have started the gardening seed sowing year early and put in a greenhouse heater.
Spread lime
Add lime to areas intended for planting the cabbages, turnips, Swedes, cauliflower, kale and Brussels sprouts. In the planned four year rotation this area is usually the one that had a potato crop on it last
Spreading garden lime
year. Lime raises the alkalinity making the soil less acid which suits the brassicas and discourages the clubroot disease. However as a further precaution some of us that have soil badly infected with clubroot have to resort to using only clubroot resistant bred varieties. So I will be growing cabbage Kilaton or Kilazol, cauliflower Clapton, Brussels Sprout Crispus and swede Invitation, Gowrie or Lomond.
Choose a windless day for lime spreading if possible as it is very light and can blow everwhere.
Chit potatoes
Chitting potatoes
We have had plenty of time to analyse last year’s crops, and check with other gardening friends to sort out the best spuds for 2017. Seed potatoes are now available in the garden centres, so as soon as you buy in your chosen varieties it is a good idea to start the process of chitting. Place the tubers in a shallow container such as an egg box with the rose end upmost and keep them in a light frost free room or shed. They do not need heat as we want to see short jointed wee shoots that are green and ready to grow after a couple of months.
Pruning climbing roses

Wee jobs to do this week

Finish off any pruning of fruit trees and bushes, roses and other shrubs, while they are still dormant.  Climbing roses often start to grow early February if they are on a sheltered wall, so they are always a priority. All plants differ on type of wood to flower and fruit so check out each ones needs before getting out the secateurs and loppers.


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