February 10th, 2010
There are many little tasks to keep us busy this month. The Bearded Iris (Iris Germanica ) can be lifted and divided this month. You need to lift the clump with a fork, and cut away the oldest parts. The really fun bit is triming the leaves to an inverted V, approximately 6 centimetres at the outer leaves, very neat! Replant your peices of rhizome on a slight ridge of soil leaving the tops exposed.
Another job for this month is to hoe around and under the lemon tree who could use a bit of feed this month, just to encourage it along.
Semi-Hardwood cuttings of many plants can be taken this month too, on my list is of course my Fuchisias – all of whom very badly need to be cut back, and waste not want not! It is how I got to have so many! They are good for swapping with friends and other gardeners too. To take semi-hardwood cuttings, cut off pieces of young but well-ripened (fairly hard) wood, about 20 centimetres long, preferably with a heel (this is the section that joins onto an older piece of wood). Make sure that you dip the ends of the cuttings in hormone powder and trim the leaves. Trimming the leaves helps the plant to save energy while it develops roots. Thats why you cut back the leaves on the Iris too. It gives the plant less to think about -less stress. Yes, its true, plants feel stress too.
But, why stop at fuchisias? You can also take cuttings of azaleas, camellias, pelargoniums, lavenders, rosemary Cistus…. the list goes on. Its fun and a very good way to increase your stock.
Those naughty weeds are creeping back in..so they will need to be dealt with and the usual care, watering, feeding, eating of tomatoes -all this must be kept up with. Tomatoes might also enjoy a little more mulch and if some of the leaves are turning yellow it is best to pinch them off, it looks better and helps to let more light reach the fruits to ripen them. So, much to be done, so little time.