Yay! Daylight hours are gradually getting longer and I have noticed some spring bulb shoots peeping through the winter soil too. As it is a leap year (which keeps our calendar and seasons aligned) we have an extra day this month to enjoy the plot.

February is a good time to buy seed potatoes. The early varieties can be started now indoors by arranging with their ‘eyes’ facing upwards in a light, frost-free room. These should be ready to plant before Easter.

There is still time to install a bird box in an outdoor space. Many bird and wildlife websites have information and templates on how to build and install your own bird box. Even though KALGA is on the edge of the countryside, with natural places to build, I am noticing that we have yearly broods in ours, so nest boxes really are relied upon.

Fruit trees and bushes can be planted until the end of March, so long as the soil isn’t frozen or really wet.  These can also be container-grown but will need more watering. It is also the right time, now that plants are dormant, to prune some fruit trees and fruit bushes too. Winter prune established apple and pear trees and also blackcurrants, redcurrants, whitecurrants, and gooseberries.

Autumn fruiting raspberries need cutting right down to the base during winter. To provide nutrients, and maintain moisture for coming months, add homemade compost or well-rotted manure to the base of trees and bushes.

Love in a Mist, also known as Nigella grows very well on our plot, is beneficial to pollinators, has a long flowering period, pretty seed pods and is great as a dried flower too. So if you are feeling romantic around the 14 February, why not buy some seeds to create a dreamy area in your garden or plot? Sow from March.

If you are interested in joining Kesgrave Allotment and Leisure Gardeners Association waiting list, contacting our Membership Secretary, Angela Brown, or emailing her at: kesgraveallotments@outlook.com

Wendy May