Greenfingers - February 2018

There have been wet days and windy days, and sometimes wet and windy days over the last few weeks, but also one or two magical days when the sun shone from a cloudless sky, slanting across the common and onto the brilliant snow. Special.

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There remains a good deal of tidying to do in the garden, removing last year’s stems and leaves from perennials so that new growth is encouraged and visible. Deciduous grasses can be cut back and dried leaves removed from evergreen ones. But try to avoid compressing the wet borders by using boards to stand on, and take care of the shoots from spring bulbs which may be just below the surface.

Prune winter-flowering shrubs when they finish flowering, and prepare beds for vegetables and seeds. This could be started with a membrane cover to help dry out and warm the soil. If space allows, consider an area for growing flowers specifically for cutting, including foliage plants.

Take care of indoor Christmas plants and flowers by finding them a suitable location, and maybe grouping them to generate a microclimate of higher humidity. Remember that the major problem for houseplants is overwatering.

The Stroud Potato Day this year is on 3rd February from 10am to 2.30pm in Merrywalks when Transition Stroud and Down to Earth will have a large number of potato varieties for sale, plus lots of advice.

January and March will see two full moons but there is no full moon during February. The full moon on 31st January also involves a total lunar eclipse, but this will not be visible from the UK.
Pete Smith