Garden jobs to do this month

It’s still a little cold but on a bright sunny day like yesterday it’s lovely to get out in the garden for an hour or so. At this time of year you want to have a number of small jobs which you can tackle on their own and then go back indoors for a cup of tea. My first task is to tackle the herb garden.

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  Take advantage of the fact that your       herb plants aren’t sprawling all over the place right now take notice of where you have bare patches that you can fill with new herbs. Now’s your chance to work out where new plants could fit into your herb bed.

 

If you have some gaps to fill think carefully about what to fill them with. When deciding try to choose species to encourage beneficial insects, such as hoverflies, lacewings and bees, into your garden. Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis), sage (Salvia officinalis) and thymes (Thymus species) are all popular with these useful creatures. Rosemary (rosmarinus) is a stunning plant in its own right. It can be used as a pot plant, hedge or shrub in a border. And bees flock to its pretty blue flowers for weeks on end.  


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Consider adding features to an existing herb garden. February is a good month to dig a pond, add a bird bath or sun dial or create new paths. Avoid treading on wet soil as this compacts it and damages the structure. If you have to work on open soil, lay down planks to spread your weight – old scaffold boards work well for this.

 

If you’ve recently taken on a garden, and the soil is heavy clay, dig in plenty of grit now. Most herbs prefer well-drained soil, and many will be short-lived in water-logged growing conditions. And don’t forget to regularly add grit to give plants the drainage they need.

 

If you’re growing Herbs in containers they will need top-dressing as conditions warm up. This simply means removing the top 5-10cm (2-4in) of compost and topping up with a 50/50 mixture of well-rotted garden compost/worm compost and leaf mould or green waste compost. Finish off with a layer of horticultural grit, to improve appearance and retain moisture in dry spells. If you have none of the above material, then use a commercial soil-conditioner mixed 50/50 with fresh organic potting compost.

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If the weather is mild, shoots of herbaceous herbs (those that die back over winter) may start emerging by the end of February. Improve the fertility by mulching with a layer of garden compost 2-5cm (1–2in) thick.

If you have a garden project in mind and need some garden design advice or help with planting then please get in touch. I work on garden and interior design projects across Lincolnshire, Rutland and Northampton. Tel: 01572 747318 or 07973843020.

I will design a garden to complement the architecture of your home and choose the right landscaping materials to complement it. If you are frustrated with endless searching for the right fabric or wallpaper and paint colours and overwhelmed with the enormous choice, then allow me to make a handpicked selection for you. I will complement the style of your existing rooms and provide a few choice pieces which will bring the whole look together.