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Week Eight

Things you can do this week The planting depth depends on soil type, three inches on sandy soil and two on heavy clay. On heavy clay soils the corms will benefit from a layer of sand underneath them to discourage basel rot. If you are planning to sow a new lawn in the next few weeks the site should have been dug in the Autumn in order that wind, rain, and frost have time to break the surface soil down to a fine tilth. Regular hoeing at this time of the year will keep the newly emerging weed seeds in check although the emerging weed seeds are a good sign that it is time to buy the grass seed.

Links to weeks throughout the year
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Gardening diary week 8 beekeeping blog

Begin planting gladioli. Plant a group every two weeks until mid May to ensure a succession of blooms.

Diary week eight Feb 19th - Feb 25th

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2009 Sunday planted shallots

Saturday February 21st. The sun was shining again today and everything was making up for lost time and flowering at once. The snowdrops, aconites and crocus were all open for business.

The snowdrops don't always flower together like they are doing this year. The early flowering varieties can often finish flowering once they are pollinated and that can be well before the later varieties start to flower if the weather is warm at the start of Feb. But this year the weather hasn't been good enough for the bees to get out and visit the flowers in the early part of the month. Who knows with all the different varieties flowering at once we may get some interesting hydrids from this year's seed.

So far I have only one flower from the seed that I have collected and sown myself. But hopefully from now on I will bet a new batch flowing each year.

Snowdrop seedlings

2008 The week started with freezing nights with frosty morning and bright sunny days
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2007 Sunday 25th February 2007. As it is nearly March and the weather is wet and mild I have sown my leek seed outside. Two packets this year.

I'm still moving Gooseberry bushes around and as yet still havn't pruned the oldest and largest bushes at the end of the plot.

Saturday 24th February 2007 At last! I have sown some carrot seed. I am a month behind on sowing my first carrot seed as I normally start sowing in the last week of January.

Thursday February 22nd It was raining today but still we managed to plant several roses against the newly erected trellis and sow some more peas (Early Onward) in the allotment. I also continued moving flowers around in the allotment. The area under the middle apple tree is looking a bit of a mess but still has a lot of plants yet to move. I have finished moving the snowdrops but there are now crocus in bloom that need moving and a lot of seedling aconites that are small and fiddly but need putting into pots.

Trellis

The trellis that we ordered as a result to our visit to to the yard in the country arrived this weekend and with Michaels help two of the panels have now been erected and we can plant the Roses that we bought from Peter Beales to climb up them




2006 Sunday February 25th 2006 With the cold wind blowing the south side of the allotment bee keepers shed out of the wind is the only place to be. As this area has been left to go rack and ruin for too many years now it was a good opportunity to move some rubbish out. There are three apple trees along the boundary fence with so much bind weed and bramble in them it is a disgrace. There is a lot less in there now, but it is going to take some real application to get that bind weed out completely. But I have made a start. It did occur to me that if I did get this area sorted out properly then under the apples tree would be another good site for moving more snowdrops and aconites to and the shelter on days like this would allow one to enjoy them without getting quite so cold.

Saturday February 24th 2006 The wind is stuck coming from the North East now for days on end. At this time of the year the sun is beginning to get some heat back into it but most of the time we don't see the sun - just put up with gray skies and the freezing wind. I have been itching to move the oldest patch of snowdrops in the allotment for weeks now . It looks like there were only two varieties to sort out. One was markedly bigger with a lighter green leaf and I brought that one back to the garden to plant. The smaller one was much more numerous and took some time to separate out and replant. I was going to put half of these under one of the big apple trees but decided in the end to just move them across the path and put them under the cherry tree. The other half I have put back where they came from. I have treated the ground well by digging muck in first. I also did a trip to the old apiary site to find what I had missed when moving them last year. Not many as it turns out, but the few that were there were also collected and planted out. There were seedling of this year and last in amongst the clumps I was moving so they will quite happily seed themselves without any help from me.

Dug up the remainder of the red potatoes.

Sunday 19th February 2006 the wind has turned to come from the North and it was cold again today. However, there is plenty of digging and clearing to do and I did manage to do some around the base of the seedling cherry tree before being entertained to Roast pheasant by David and Maria. I took along some autumn fruiting raspberries canes and a red gooseberry bush for their garden, pruned a couple of vines for them and was given three small figs in pots to come away with.

I am getting into the habit of moving the smaller gooseberry bushes at this time of the year. They don't seem to mind and if given a generous helping of muck under them they seem to positively thrive in their new position.

2005 Sunday 20th February 2005 There is snow on the ground today and although the wind is now coming from the east it has has dropped, the sun is shining through large clouds and from time to time and it is trying to snow with showers every now and then. I bought more packets of seed from the allotment shop. Lettuce Little Gem, Autumn Giant Cauliflower, Cauliflower Medallion (recommended) and for the first time Aster Ostrich Plume Mixed.

Saturday 19th February 2005 And we shall have snow. Although not a lot as yet. It snowed on and off throughout the day and was it coming down quite steadily by the end of the afternoon. However, it was still relatively warm and the ground wasn't frozen and I was able to dig a hole for the small preformed pond that was in the apiary and lay a slab for new hive site. As the snow drifted up the north side of my bee keeping shed I was on the south side out of the snow and digging the ground over. This six foot sheltered stretch of ground will prove to be quite a resource in years to come and will probably end up being the site for a couple of cold frames. In front of the shed is a quite large Cherry plum or mirabelle tree that I had to cut branches off to site the shed. It's in full bloom now.

So far the Robins that visit the garden haven't nested here - so, under instruction, I put two more Robin nest boxes up today and within minutes of putting the first one up a Robin arrived to check it out. Who knows maybe this year we will be successful and have a Robin's nest in the garden.

2004 Saturday/Sunday 21st and 22nd February 2004 Cold winds coming from the North meant it was better to work in apiary than the allotment where it is sheltered from the North. In the apiary the Aconites have already finished flowering. Some of the snowdrops have also got seed pods on now, although the main bulk of the snowdrops were in full bloom. I have been moving the snowdrops and aconites around in the apiary for several years and they are both self seeding so my stocks are beginning to build up quite nicely now. Even though the wind was cruel and the weekend ended with snow I did spend some considerable time in the allotment clearing up, digging and planted out more shallots. Pruned one small apple tree and bought some lime for the apple trees as I have been suffering from bitter pip which is apparently a sign of lime deficiency.

2003 Friday February 20th - the first warmish sunny day for weeks. We have had quite a few bright sunny days in the last week -- but with crisp cold breeze, but today was different, today was a day to take a look at the bees.

Bee report: Out of the four hives that have come through the winter (two didn't) three looked like they were in excellent condition with plenty of bees flying. The Cottager was however, not so good. It had bees flying three weeks ago when the weather had last been sunny and warm -- so where were they today? On a very quick inspection there were some bees inside but they didn't look happy. They had plenty of food so that wasn't a problem. I will have to open them up as soon as I can and make sure they have a laying queen as it looks bad for them at the moment.

2002 Saturday 23rd February Finished planting out Japanese onion plants (sown as seed early/mid August). Sowed two rows green broad bean seeds (originally Green Windsor - I have plenty left over - so anybody reading this who would like some - email me ) planted out yet another two rows of shallots. Continued pruning, clearing and this year for the first time burning (and as a result feeding trees, bushes and beans with ash). I haven't been to visit the apiary yet - so that is now high on my list of things to do and I still have plenty of digging waiting for me and even some potatoes still to crop. Bought packets of seed at allotment shed. Reading this page reminds me to prune the Clematis.

2000 Weekend 19/20 February 2,000. Another great gardening weekend and a shame that I couldn't take full advantage of it. However, I did manage to prune a couple of Clematis and do some general clearing up in the back garden.

1999 The weather is still to unpleasant for enjoying the garden or allotment. Pruning still has to be done before it gets too late and the weather warms up and seed sowing begins.

Pruned gooseberries and buddleias.


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J&S Email Patrick Laslettpatrick@laslett.com for further information or telephone 01603 617632