February Gardening Advice

January comes to a close and we welcome February with open arms. If you’re considering planting a hedge or just want some general gardening advice, you’ve come to the right place!

Now is a great time to think about planting a hedge. Planting hedges now means the shrubs will get established during the less stressful conditions during the cool season. Newly planted hardy shrubs will not be bothered by winter freezes. The most affordable way to plant a hedge is by purchasing bare roots (which we happen to have a few off!). As we are still in dormant season, this is the best time to be looking at getting your hedge in time before they cannot be lifted. View our full range of bare root plants here.

Why not go for a discount mixed native hedging pack? Our recommended mix for bare root native hedging is 50% Hawthorn or Blackthorn (choose Blackthorn for heavy soils or coastal/windy positions and Hawthorn for all others) with 10% each of Wild Cherry, Field Maple, Dog Rose, Hazel and either Hawthorn or Blackthorn (the opposite to the main component). These species have been selected to provide a long period of interest for humans (in flower, berries, leaf colour, leaf shape) as well as varying wildlife foods and shelter.

 

See the benefits of planting a hedge below:

 

 

February Jobs

 

-The first flowers of Spring… Yay flowers!

Look carefully and you will see some tiny and unusual flowers at this time of year. Catkins form on hazel and alder, which are the male part of flowers, as well as the tiny red female flowers of the hazel, and cones of the alder. Look in woodland edges and hedgerows for the tiny purple or white flowers of sweet violet. Also the green shoots of bluebells start emerging around this time, although they don’t flower until April or May- info taken from Suffolk Wildlife Trust
-Pruning

Many people think that pruning is more for aesthetic but pruning is crucial in allowing the production of fruit and blooms. Many summer-flowering deciduous shrubs can be pruned between February and March; usually those that flower on the current year’s growth. Delay pruning spring-flowering shrubs until immediately after flowering, otherwise this year’s display will be lost. Do not prune slightly tender evergreen shrubs (such as Choisya, best left until April), but do tackle hardier examples (such as Prunus laurocerasus, cherry laurel), if necessary.

Other bits & bobs….

Put rabbit guards around newly planted trees and shrubs to protect the bark.

Inspect sick looking box and holly trees for signs of box blight and holly leaf blight.

Prune Winter Flowering Jasmine (Jasminum nudiflorum) after flowering to encourage new growth for next year’s blooms. Cut back the previous years growth to 5cm from the old wood.

Hardwood cuttings taken last year may need planting or potting on now.

Trim deciduous  before the birds start nesting.

 

 

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