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17/02/2013

Duration:
2 hours
First broadcast:
Sunday 17 February 2013

There is much to get under way now and February can be a great time in the garden.

Plant Apple tree varieties now that conditions in the garden are improving. Most Apple trees are available on dwarf root stocks so will not take over your garden and to make matters even easier trees can be planted in pots as well as the open ground. If planting in pots then use a loam based potting compost which is available at garden centres. "Discovery" is a sweet crunchy Apple and is easy to grow and will crop in early summer. For a mid summer variety then choose "Elstar" which has a greener skin and is very juicy. I always try and choose English varieties rather than they more exotic foreign types as conditions in the UK are more suited to Apples bred in this country. If you want a later Apple, the "Egremont Russet" has to be the ever.

Trim the old flowers off Heathers and Erica's and give the plants a good feed with Sulphate of Potash and make sure the plants are kept well mulched with a dressing of compost. Old flower heads will make excellent linings for hanging baskets.

Plant Jerusalem Artichokes once the ground has dried out. If you choose not to order them from a supplier then, later in the month garden centres will be stocking the tubers. If Globe Artichokes are your favourite then wait until March before planting as they are a little more tender and need good daylight hours to get going. When preparing the soil make sure the plot is well dug and incorporate lots of compost and organic matter. The tubers should be planted at least 6" deep and well firmed in. Make sure the plants have plenty of space as Artichokes once in full growth can reach 6' tall and 4' wide.

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