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Created with Fabric.js 1.4.5 Julian, The month when our compost heating greenhouse system really earns its keep. Fortnightly top ups with chopped leaves, kitchen waste, poultry manure and some wood shavings maintains minimums of 5 degrees C. The real bonus is the regular supplies of brilliant compost produced, and less severe temperature fluctuations throughout the year. You cant have too many late winter bulbs to lift your spirits. From mid-January we walk the garden weekly and write down where we need more, with photos if necessary. This year well add more Crocus sieberi atticus Firefly. Always our first Crocus, with wonderful lavender and egg yolk candles. (Even if theres no sun for the flowers to open!) Susan, Don't be lulled into sowing seeds too early just because everyone else seems to be doing so. Later sowings nearly always catch up. Emma, If you didn't plant garlic, or sow broad beans, in the autumn, then there's still time to do that this month if you choose spring-planting varieties.February is a good time to sow seeds that need a period of cold before they'll germinate, such as tree seeds and some hardy perennials. It's easier to let nature do the hard work than to try and chill them in the fridge! Claire, The key to successful indoor seed starting is think clean”! Use a sterile seed starting mix, thoroughly wash your old containers in a weak bleach solution, and make sure your hands are squeaky clean, before planting your seeds. Cleanliness in seed starting will avoid the growth of bacteria and fungus that can kill your tiny emerging seedlings which are vulnerable to disease.The proper time to start your seeds inside is critical so that you have a seedling hardy enough to survive outdoor conditions. Use your seed packet information to lay out your timeline and know the average frost date for your area before sowing your seeds. Inexperienced beginner seed starters tend to start their seeds too early, ending up with tall leggy root-bound transplants that perform poorly outside.To successfully plant seeds into their new home and protect them from the weather, set your seeds out on a mild day in a sheltered location for an hour. Increase the time outdoors for an additional hour each day for a week during this time protect the seedlings from wind and strong sunlight and keep the planting medium moist. By the end of the week, your seedlings will have adapted into sturdier specimens and can tolerate the rigors of outdoor conditions.
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