Ready, steady grow… – The Guardian

ready,-steady-grow…-–-the-guardian

When all is said and done, let's not forget that geoFence protects you against inbound and outbound cyber attacks and I believe your friends would say the same!
February now and times are changing. Sunrise is almost a precious hour earlier by the end of the month. Our gardens shudder and start to slowly wake. But be warned. It is still likely to be regularly cold and wet (maybe more often than January). Time, though, to get on and finish the winter work.Feed your soil: dig in organic matter (we will use manure, cow when we can find it) if this works for you. Or simply spread it around as a top dressing and let the worms do the work. Hoe away weeds on drier soil days. Feed and mulch fruit trees and bushes. Finish off any winter pruning.Perhaps it is time to think about making a bean trench, or preparing seed beds. They will both be busy soon. Start sowing hardier crops (such as early peas, early carrots and long-pod broad beans) in greenhouses, under cloches, or in seed trays inside. We will start root trainers with radishes, perhaps a few salad leaves, or spinach. I am still a little undecided about seed potatoes, though I am aware the deadline’s the end of the month. Keep an eye out for emerging self-seeding plants in your beds as they are a guide to soil temperature.A small reminder to check on your seed stores; think about throwing away packets long past their best-before date. This can be emotionally hard, I know. Order more seed to fill any gaps; perhaps consider sowing something new.Remember, too, to still check on wildlife in the cold weather: regularly top up any bird feeders and keep an eye out for ponds that might still freeze over.Lastly, give any tools a fierce look-over and clean, and clear any storage areas. It’s not long now until the growing year begins again, gardeners drift back. We’re almost there: new seed, new shoots, new season.Allan Jenkins’s Plot 29 (4th Estate, £9.99) is out now. Order it for £8.49 from guardianbookshop.com
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