Garden update Monday 18th February

A little late this week, sometime life is just life isn’t it! However, this month is for sowing seeds and pruning.

The weather seems to be settling down a bit now, with more sunshine and less storms. This is great and means more garden time. It is still quite breezy but that is what sheds are for. I love potting away, sheltered from the elements in here.

Inside little violets' shed.
Inside the shed

I have sown the first seeds, including the sweet peas I soaked in the last post. Also, some pak choi (var. green revolution) and shallots (var. zebrune). The propagator in the spare room has been cleaned up and switched on to warm up. The tomato and chilli seeds are going in there imminently.

Sweet peas, pak choi and shallots
Sweet peas, pak choi and shallots

Elsewhere in the garden I checked on the fruit bushes. I have gooseberry, redcurrant, blackcurrant, raspberries, blueberries and kiwi. All of these were new last year and all planted in containers. Many soft fruits do well in containers, including this selection. I bought all my soft fruit here.

Sadly the kiwi didn’t make it for some reason. I suspect it dried out when we were on holiday for two weeks last year, and never recovered. The gooseberry I am crossing my fingers and hoping. It was defoliated twice last summer due to caterpillar infestation. They munched through it in a matter of hours. I pruned a twig or two to see if there was any green wood inside, and there was. So there may be hope yet.

A little light pruning

The redcurrant and blackcurrant needed light pruning only as they are young bushes. I removed any dead or diseased looking wood, and any crossing branches. This helps with airflow around the bushes and reduces the chance of disease.

The blueberries still have some leaves and looked fine, so I will only top up their container with some fresh compost. Blueberries do not like ordinary compost, they like the soil to be ericaceous. This means that it is slightly alkaline. This type of compost is easily available.

Lastly, the raspberries were pruned to the ground. I have an autumn fruiting variety that fruits on the same years growth (primocane). Pruning right back will stimulate new growth. The other type of raspberry, summer fruiting, will produce fruit on last years growth (floricane). This type should be pruned in autumn, taking out only the canes that fruited that year. They will look brown. Any green canes should be left as they will fruit the following year.

What else is going on?

The spring bulbs are doing well. The primroses/primulas continue to flower well, tulips and puschkinia are making an appearance while the alliums continue to sprout.

I noticed that my small bee and bug hotel has been occupied all winter. The residents must be tucked up safe an warm in there. It took a little while for it to be noticed, but it got noticed!

Bee and bug hotel
Bee and bug hotel

It is getting near the busy time for us gardeners, what have you been up to so far this month?