- Spread mulch around beans and other crops to help conserve soil moisture.
- Thin out heavy gooseberry crops by removing the smallest fruits, and use these for cooking.
- Sow seeds of rocket, spinach, beetroot, carrots, calabrese, mini-cauliflowers, spinach, chicory, endive, kohl rabi, peas, spinach beet, swede and turnips.
- Check pot plants and water if required.
- Pinch out cucumber sideshoot tips two leaves beyond a female flower.
- Tie in greenhouse tomatoes to their supports as they grow.
Plant of the Week
Sorbaria sorbifolia. A little-known shrub that giving all its superb qualities deserves a home in any Irish garden. In fact, it does most of the things that everyone is looking for. It can be described as a low growing shrub, producing fine pink tinted golden foliage in early spring. It starts to grow much earlier than most plants. Sorbaria sorbifolia Sem resembles a fine Japanese maple called ‘sango kaku’ but is much hardier having originated in eastern Siberia. It’s also much smaller growing 1m high. very easy to grow tolerating heavy damp soil, looks fantastic planted in groups on a bank and after all that produces an abundance of creamy white flowers in late summer. Planting companions would be any shrub with a white or blue flower or silver foliage and it is quite happy in an Irish winter. The good news it does all this for under a tenner.
Veg of Interest
Plan ahead, plant now.
Parsnips need a really long growing season but they're well worth the wait. Sow seeds early in the year and look forward to parsnips roasted for the Christmas table, or in warming winter soups. Do it: February - June. Takes just:30 minutes How to do it: using string as a guide and a trowel or draw hoe, dig a shallow trench about 15mm deep. Sow seeds individually along the row or in groups of two or three at regular intervals, about 10cm apart. You could use a pre-marked board for accurate spacing. Thin out the weaker seedlings to give your plants room to grow, so you're left with just one plant every 10cm.
Carrots and onions planted in alternate rows are good allies. The carrots help drive away the onion fly and the onions drive off the carrot fly. Plant the variety of carrots called fly away for extra protection. If it’s a big problem in your garden, I would also recommend in investing in some enviromesh cloche