“Growth takes time. Be patient. And while you’re waiting, pull a weed“.
~ Emilie Barnes
February isn’t known to be a favourite month by many, and it can be a tricky time on the plot. For us growers it can still feel a long way to go until the frosts have passed and we can really get the allotment garden moving. However, there is never not a job to do, like cleaning and readying your tools, propagators, trays and pots.
It’s still chilly in February, although some winter sun is often emerging, keep fleeces and protective netting nearby. You never know when the temperature might drop and frost passes by.
Life outside is awakening and by the end of the month you will see the tell-tale signs that spring is very close to arriving. Snowdrops and early daffodils are in bloom as are hellebores and, here in Devon, our county flower, the primrose, is cheerfully brightening the grass verges and woodland. There are also numerous windowsills in homes across the country which might be hosting egg boxes filled with chitting seed potatoes beginning to sprout.
Dobies Spring Planner 2021 catalogue is about to arrive on the 27th February, so expect to see it on the doormat. If you don’t, then please order your free copy via our website and we will get one to you as soon as possible. This will keep you up to date with new varieties and exclusive products!
In this month’s newsletter, we will be discussing seeds to sow, veg to plant, monthly offers and so much more. This isn’t it, we have a one-off Valentine’s Day competition full of goodies up for grabs, and you can enter here and now today!
Spring really is around the corner now. Embrace this month with the opportunity it provides to prepare and plan for the season ahead! Here’s a list of 10 jobs to get busy on the plot this month:
- By the middle of February, it’s a good idea to try and have all your seeds ready for this year of gardening. On a day when outside activity is restricted, place all your seeds in one place and sort them into batches. Alternately, use a seed tin and get organised before the busy sowing period begins!
- It’s time to chit your seed potatoes. You can do this by standing them in empty egg boxes or seed trays. Keep them somewhere light, cool but frost-free and they’ll be ready to plant out when the soil begins to warm up in March.
- Over-wintered fuchsias can now be cut back to a couple of strong buds.
- Digging over the vegetable plot this month will warm you up nicely whilst breaking up any compaction, allowing air to enter.
- Autumn fruiting raspberry canes can be cut down to ground level. Strong new canes will grow and produce those delicious berries later in the year.
- Start planting your onion sets, garlic and shallots. If you feel ready to take a risk, go ahead and plant Jerusalem artichokes too!
- Your beloved rhubarb crowns are ready to be planted in February. This is a super easy crop to grow and the delicious stems are versatile in the kitchen! Use them in your home-cooked apple crumble or infuse within gin and tonic. Your established crowns can be forced by popping an upturned bucket over them.
- Continue planting your bare-root trees and shrubs. They will thrive best with a regular liquid feed to help their roots spread out and establish. They will grow to and produce great privacy and interest in every garden or plot.
- If you would like to attract pollinators to your garden this summer, then begin pruning your buddleia now to encourage new growth and flowers that butterflies and bees will love.
- Order your Dobies summer bedding before it all goes! Nothing beats being first come first served.
Febraury Flowers to Sow
February has arrived and there’s plenty of flower seeds to get sowing. This is a great month to start sowing your bedding plants under cover for a stunning summer display. Why not try geranium, petunia, impatiens (busy Lizzie) and nicotiana? There are perennial seeds to be sown now too!
A beautiful first year flowering perennial, bearing masses of double, white, globe-shaped flowers from mid-late summer. Ideal for borders, it also makes a superb bedding plant!
At last, a Bacopa from seed! This filler plant is the ideal ‘foil’ for larger-flowered items, and a good hardy alternative to trailing lobelia, with a cascading/trailing growth habit and masses of mauvish-blue flowers all summer.
This cosmos isn’t your average daisy-shaped cosmos. This little beauty is more akin to a pink rose, with its double flower of powder-pink petals; it forms a rather impressive plant that is literally covered in blooms. Keep picking for continuous displays of pink perfection all summer long. This flower was one of the ones that helped me win in the final; perfect feathery foliage and a beautiful bud really impressed the judges
New Flower Seed
The African Marigold Seeds – Cupid Orange is a magnificent variety that produces tightly quilled petals. This aesthetic resembles that of stunning Chrysanthemums – favourites for filling flower beds and flower borders. These perfectly formed African Marigolds are a fantastic tangerine colour that sits gleefully about luscious green foliage. The densely packed leaves mean there’s hardly any weeding required when you grow African Marigold Seeds – Cupid Orange en masse.
Longstanding Flower Seed
Sometimes a variety just stands out from the crowd and this special antirrhinum did just that when first viewed in a trial field in Holland. The unique blooms of deep crimson on a contrasting white base, are borne on long flower spikes. Ideal for borders, try growing with ageratum for a spectacular colour effect. Ht. 45cm (18”). Dark foliage. Height 45cm (18″). HP – Half perennial but best grown as an annual.
February Veg to Sow
It’s time to start sowing some carrots, parsnip and broad beans on the plot. Under cover you could be adventurous and start off some chillies in the greenhouse or a heated propagator. Alternatively, how about sowing some cabbage, celery, parsley, peppers, tomato, leek and onions?
This first-class asparagus produces tall, slender, high quality spears with tight green buds. Particularly delicious steamed, stir-fried or sautéed and topped with butter.
What are F1 Hybrids?
Seed can be either ‘Open Pollinated’ or a ‘F1 Hybrid’. Open pollinated seed is naturally pollinated and genetically diverse. F1 hybrids are deliberately created by crossing two different parent varieties to produce a seed which has particular characteristics.
Early maturing broad bean, producing many well-filled pods about 20cm (8″) long containing 5 or 6 plump, greenish-white seeds. Flavour and quality very good. RHS Award of Garden Merit winner. Recommended by the National Institute of Agricultural Botany. Suitable for deep freezing.
A particularly well flavoured onion with good medium to long term storage capability. The superb quality onions are uniformly shaped and have good skin colour. Maturing time approximately 24 weeks from sowing. Dig and manure the soil in autumn or early winter. Give the ground a light dressing of lime early in February and a week before sowings.
New Veg Seed
The Carolina Reaper was rightly voted the Worlds’ Hottest Chilli by the Guinness Book of Records! Bred in South Carolina by crossing a Ghost chilli with a Habanero, this chilli pepper weighs in at an incredible 2.2 million on the Scoville Scale. This devilish chilli pepper plant should be handled with extra care and is not for the faint-hearted! Each devilishly hot chilli pepper has a fruity, cinnamon/chocolate taste before the mind-blowing heat kicks in.
Longstanding Veg Seed
Pepper Chilli Seeds – Chocolate Habanero are a spectacular chilli variety originating from Jamaica. These chilli peppers are richly flavoured and used to make jerk sauce. With a rich smokey flavour, the habaneros that are produced by this variety are one of the hottest around! A fiercely hot 300,000–400,000 SHU! Called the Chocolate Habanero, not for its flavour, don’t be fooled this is no sweet treat. Named after its dark brown colouring, making it look like delicious chocolate.
February Veg to Plant
Veg planting on the plot is another job to do this month, and there’s enough to keep you busy until next month. Horseradish, various herbs and broad beans are waiting to hit the patch.
Offers This Month
We’re always looking to give you the best value vegetable plants, tasty fruit and colourful flowers. Shop our range of seasonal offers, updated weekly to get the best value for your outdoor space.
From pretty perennials to flower bed & border fillers and perfect patio plants, choosing new flowers is part of the fun of gardening, and who doesn’t love a good deal?
Need some inspiration? Grow something new this season and take advantage of our special vegetable offers for great quality and value.
Growing fruit plants at home is deliciously satisfying, and our fruit offers mean you can try more varieties for less! From soft berries to crunchy apples, you’ll find your next crop here.
At Dobies, we stock a superb range of excellent garden equipment and tools from the bare essentials to more specialist and luxury items. You can find everything from trowels and spades to powered hedge cutters and leaf blowers, greenhouses and raised beds to hose reels and water butts and much more.
Social Posts of the Month #dobiesgardening
The first month of the year is usually the quietest and coldest on the plot, but you’ve proved us how to keep busy with some inspiring social posts along the way. From young growers and the first signs of spring, you’ve certainly hit the allotment running!
Below are our top 5 social posts of the month and if you would like the chance to be featured in next month’s newsletter, all you need to do is tag us and use the hashtag #dobiesgardening.
Follow us on our social media pages and tag us in your posts and you could be featured on our next monthly newsletter!
Valentine’s Day Competition
Valentine’s Day might not be your thing but, we know that growing your own is! From tasty toms to fiery chilli-peppers we want to see what you LOVE growing the most. Three winners will receive a selection of seeds and accessories to help get you sowing this year, including the irresistible Heartbreaker Tomato seeds!
Our favourite entries which miss out on the prize will be shared in next month’s newsletter.
Terms & Conditions
- The promoter is Suttons, part of Suttons Consumer Products Ltd, Woodview Road, Paignton Devon TQ4 7NG
- No purchase is necessary to enter this campaign.
- This competition is open to persons aged 18 or over on the date of the draw, or persons under 18 with the expressed consent of their parent/guardian. Employees or agents of Suttons Consumer Products Ltd, their families or other persons connected with this promotion are not eligible to enter.
- Entries must either be submitted via this webform or via our Social Media Accounts by tagging us.
- There will be three winning images, selected by an internal panel, and the owners of those images will each receive a hamper of gardening gifts. These images and other chosen images will be shared on Dobies social media channels and an ‘album’ will be created on our blog.
- By submitting your image into the “Valentine’s Day Competition” you are agreeing that your image can be used across all Suttons Consumer Products Ltd’s brands, for any purpose.
- No cash alternative will be offered.
- The owners of the chosen images agree to take part in reasonable post-event publicity and to the use of their name and photograph in such publicity.
- By submitting your image, you are agreeing to receive occasional emails from Dobies, from which can you unsubscribe at any time.
- By submitting your image, you agree to be bound by these terms and conditions. 11. The promoter reserves the right to amend these Terms and Conditions. These Terms and Conditions shall be governed by English law. Entry to the competition shall be deemed full and unconditional acceptance of the terms & conditions
- Entries must be submitted by 10.02.2021 and the winners will be announced on the 14.02.2021
Birds & Wildlife
As gardeners, we know how important it is to attract birds and wildlife to your garden throughout the year. A decline in natural habitats means it is important now more than ever!
Placing bird feeders around your garden not only gives our feathered friends a tasty treat, but allows us to sit back and enjoy their presence (often with a song or two). You can shop our range of bird feeders at Dobies, from something supersized to attract flocks, to pretty and unique ceramic feeders.
Make Your Own Bird Feeder
Pine Cone Feeder
Get ready to get your hands dirty because this might be a little messy! For this one your going to need more food than equipment, so gather together a pine cone, bird seeds, cheese, lard, raisins and string.
Step 1: in a mixing bowl, squish all your seeds, lard, cheese and raisins to make a tasty bird mix.
Step 2: Tie your string around and on top of your pine cone until it feels completely secure. Those garden birds can be stronger than you think!
Step 3: Cover your pine cone in bird feed mix as evenly as possible and make sure to get in all the nooks and crannies.
Step 4: Place in the fridge until the bird mix feels firm and set. When ready, hang up in the garden in a place the birds like!
Bottle Bird Feeder
Moreover, for this quick job all that is required is a medium to large empty water bottle, bird seed and string. Three bits of equipment and 3 easy steps!
Step 1: Cut two squares out of the centre of the bottle on both sides. These should be identical in size and directly opposite each other. This makes two entrances available for the birds.
Step two: Thread the string through the top of the bottle and fill the bottom of the bottle with bird seed. But be sure not to overflow it!
Step 3: Hang up in the garden and wait for the little birds to flock!
Some of these bird feeders might only be temporary, but they are that easy to make you can just do it again and again!
This month should be a busy one and there’s plenty to be done on the plot. If you have enjoyed reading, please come back next month and check out our March newsletter. There will be much more happening on the plot and Spring will be with us! Remember to share any of your growing antics with us this February on our social media pages!
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