Now is the time to start sowing the first of the early crops

Posted on: 10th February, 2014

Category: Home, Garden & Environment

Contributor: West Cork People

by John Hosford 086-4426450 www.facebook.com/TheWeekEndGardenCentre

February is the beginning of the planting season for a new year and a thriving vegetable garden can be set in to motion this month. First things first — continue preparing vegetable beds and raised beds for vegetable sowing and planting. Add farmyard manure or well-decomposed compost or Gee-up and add lime if your soil is deficient.

Early sowings of vegetables and herbs may be made where consistent heat is available such as from a thermostatically controlled propagator or an electric heater. Be careful of low temperatures, which are fatal in early sowings. An electric greenhouse heater, which is thermostatically controlled can be invaluable at this time of the year.

Seed sowing should be done in new or thoroughly clean pots or seed trays, using fresh compost. Once the seed has been sown, the tray or pot is then covered with polythene and newspaper. As soon as seedlings appear, the polythene and newspaper should be removed. The emerging seedlings will become drawn, spindly and of little value if you allow the polythene and newspaper to remain on after germination. Keep the trays in good light once the seedlings have emerged. Keep moist but not excessively wet, using a watering can, which will produce a fine spray over the young seedlings. If the weather is cold, then use lukewarm water. It’s important to water in the earlier part of the day to minimise excessive humidity going into the night. Seedlings are transplanted carefully into pots or trays once two true leaves have formed. Use a sharp pencil or meat scewer when transplanting the seedlings, handling them by the leaves and not the stems and watering after transplanting.

 

Early Colour in the Garden

Many delightful early shrubs will flower during February, many of which are also deliciously fragrant. There are a number of recommended shrubs for early colour.

Erica carnea ‘Springwood White’ (heather) is a hardy shrub flowering from November to early May. Plant it in groups of three, five, seven or nine, adding moss peat or BrownGold at planting time. Trim faded flowers after blooming using a sharp secateurs or shears.

Daphne bholua’Jacqueline Postill’ is one of the very best early flowering shrubs, filling the garden with several weeks of its fragrant flowers which fill the early spring air with its delicious fragrance. This Daphne remains evergreen in mild winters and if you visit the Fota Arboretum (near Cobh), you will see it in flower at this time of the year. Fota Arboretum is accessible by road or by rail from Cork (Kent Station) or Cobh station.

Viburnumx bodnantense ‘Dawn’, which is sweetly scented and grows to a height of 2m (6-7 feet), will flower continuously from November to May on its bare branches, its deep rose red buds opening to pure white with pink tints.

Hamamellis (witch hazel) is an early flowering large shrub with sweetly scented flowers in sulphur yellow, coppery orange and bronzy red. Hamamellis will also put on a rich display of very dramatic autumn colour. Hamamellis like acid soil and a sheltered position and should be planted at five metres apart.

 

Elsewhere in the garden

Continue planting of hedging and shelter trees where soil and weather conditions permit. Griselinia and Box hedging is planted at 45cm apart. Get rid of competing vegetation around established hedging, especially scutch grass. Dormant hedging such as beech, white thorn or blackthorn can be cleaned up while still dormant by applying Round-Up on a calm, dry day.

In the fruit garden mulch currants, raspberries, gooseberries and loganberries with a generous dressing of well composted farmyard or stable manure. Continue winter pruning of gooseberries, currants, apples and pears. Check stakes and ties after the winter storms and replace where necessary.

When weather conditions permit, plant roses, pruning hybrid tea and floribunda roses.

Keep a vigilant eye on emerging perennials and bulbs and protect from slug damage.

Latest News Articles:

West Cork girls among first to earn Irish Girl Guides’ new engineering badge
What is GDPR and who does it affect?
Kinsale historic map project launched
Dunmanway launches year-long celebration of Sam Maguire
Sam Maguire School Tour launched
Fundraising drive to get Kinsale students to World Robotics Championships to Kentucky
Answer the Call to save lives on March 23
Clonakilty students return from trip of a lifetime to rural Malawi
Clonakilty Fairtrade Fortnight celebrates 15 years
€44 million to improve Cork roads

Join us on Facebook

... See MoreSee Less

13th April, 2018  ·  

An evening on the 'Balance of Feeling Good' by Clonakilty Gaa Club Health and Wellbeing Committee followed by Guest Speaker, Cork GAA Chairperson, Tracey Kennedy.

Paddy Duggan, former Principal of Clonakilty Community College, will be MC on the night, facilitating a discussion on getting the balance of feeling good.
Contributors on the night are Colm Sheehy, Conor Murray, David Lowney, Denis Murphy, Eoghan Deasy, Sean McEvoy, Thomas Clancy and Treasa O'Brien.
Topics covered will range from awareness and responsibility to yourself and others to the benefits of exercise and nutrition.
The evening is suitable for everyone aged 16 and over from players, members of the community, parents of young and adolescent children, etc.

This is a public event, free of charge and everyone is invited and very welcome to attend.
... See MoreSee Less

12th April, 2018  ·  

The Cast of Harold Pinter’s ‘No Man’s Land’ are on their way to the All-Ireland finals, having won 26 awards, including five best of Festivals, at the Amateur Drama League of Ireland annual three act festivals. The play ‘No Man’s Land, by Harold Pinter, the Nobel Prize Winning Author is directed by Jennifer Williams.

One last opportunity to view this multi award winning play at Skibbereen Town Hall, on Saturday 14th of April, before the finals.

Having met by chance in a pub, two aging writers continue a long night of drinking and reminiscing in a stately London home. As the night wears on, their conversation wanders through memories long forgotten or invented. Is their encounter real or a delusion? Are they strangers or do they share a past history? When unexpected guests intrude upon an increasingly surreal evening, the atmosphere quickly changes from friendly to threatening, and the encounter becomes a game of survival.

Tickets may be purchased at the door or in advance by emailing schulldramagroup@gmail.com

For more information please contact hilary.mccarthy6@gmail.com
... See MoreSee Less

9th April, 2018  ·  

Jump to:

Top