Sometimes getting into the garden and doing the simple things will be most beneficial to your garden.
February has lived up to being a cold and windy month (for most of us). However, with all the changes in the weather recently, who knows, we might get a heat wave soon. This is a good time to take stock and check the condition of trees and shrubs.
Recently planted stock should be checked to make sure that they are still firm in the ground. The frosts can kill the roots if exposed. If they are too unstable, support them with a suitable stake. Also make sure that existing staked trees don't have their ties too tight.
The cold frosts can be your friend too. If you have heavy clay soil you should dig it over leaving it in big lumps. Pick a dry day when the soil itself is not too wet. A lawn that is prone to inadequate drainage will benefit from aeration. Ideally use a hollow tined fork (although an ordinary garden fork will do). This will remove small plugs of soil to a depth of about 6 inches, which can then be incorporated in the beds. If using a garden fork push it in to the full depth of the tines and wiggle it back and forth to leave holes. In each case immediately brush washed sharp sand all over the lawn, which will fill the holes. The area may look messy when you are finished but a shower of rain will soon clean it up.
DON'T FEED OR CUT YOUR LAWN YET.
Any reputable gardener will tell you that feeding your lawn too early will do it more harm than good.
Feeding the lawn causes fresh new young growth, which would be damaged by frost. The first feed should be no earlier than April and should be a lawn sand with a low level of feed, just enough to act as a tonic for the grass. Let it start the new season gently. Also don't be tempted to cut the grass yet even if it started growing during the recent warm spell. Frost damage could again result.
Being a gardener is one of the most enjoyable experiences you can have. But remember to keep doing the simple things…. Your garden will pay you back for doing it.
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