In February the Garden Club would normally be looking forward to our forthcoming programme of meetings and events, but this year it isn’t yet clear when we will be able to resume any sort of activity. Our AGM is due to be held on the 8th February but will have to be be a virtual meeting.
The zoom talk given by Philip Aubury in December apparently went well (though for some reason I found myself locked out) and we may have to explore the possibility for further talks in this format.
The late winter is generally not a time for much activity in the garden, as the weather is often too wet or cold for working outside, so it’s a good time to review the previous year and think of lessons for the coming year. Despite (or perhaps because of) the hot dry spells we had last year many vegetables did as well as, and sometimes better than, usual in particular brassicas seemed to be of particularly good quality, and my leeks were unfazed by the drought. Courgettes and squashes love hot weather if they have plenty of water, and so do tomatoes. I noticed some phenomenal crops of sweet corn, though not on my plot. Annual flowers seemed to keep on flowering for much longer than I would have expected. We planted some raspberry plants last spring, but the dry weather was too much for them and despite constant watering they all died. We have now replaced them with plants this autumn which should give them time to produce good roots before the dry weather comes. Will this year be a repeat? This is the challenge that gardeners face; you have to be ready for almost anything in the way of weather each year.
Although the weather is cold and wet at the moment, there are already snowdrops in flower and if there is a mild day the Sarcococca or Christmas box, which is already full of flower, will scent the whole garden with a spicy aroma. In a few weeks time as the weather warms the gardens will be full of flowers again, and hopefully full of bees too.
Things to do in February
1. Prune late flowering clematis down to strong shoots at the base of the plant.
2. Sow broad beans and sweet peas.
Things to do in March
1. plant early potatoes, onion sets and summer bulbs
2. top dress containers and pots with fresh compost
For more information visit the Heyford Gardening Club & Allotments page