Episode 11: Understanding Soil, Gardening Jobs and Plants of Interest for February

Episode 11: Understanding Soil, Gardening Jobs and Plants of Interest for February

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A discussion about different types of soil, our plant of the month; Winter Honeysuckle - Lonicera fragrantissima, perfect pairing (2 plants that go well together); Birch and Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens’ and jobs to do in the garden for February.

Download: Episode 11: Understanding Soil, Gardening Jobs and Plants of Interest for February
File Size: 13.3 MB, Duration: 28' 52"

In this month’s edition of the podcast we discuss the soil that makes our plants thrive, seasonal gardening jobs to do in the garden during the month of February and a selection of plants that look good at this time of year.

Understanding Soil - 1' 40"

We take a quick look at the science behind soil, why it's important and how we can control it to improve the growing conditions of our plants.

Plant of the Month - 9' 05"

Our plant of the month for February is Lonicera fragrantissima also known as Winter Honeysuckle.

  • Height 2m, spread 2m
  • Hardy shrub, likes full sun
  • Average growth
  • Soil: Moist, well drained loam
  • Flowers from February to March, creamy white fragrant flowers
  • Native to China
  • RHS Perfect for Pollinators

Perfect Pairing - 11' 42"

For the month of February we've picked two plants that compliment each other:

Betula pendula - Silver Birch

  • Average growing hardy deciduous tree
  • 20m tall, 10m spread
  • Full sun/partial shade, moist, well drained sandy/loam soil
  • Flowers: Green and Yellow from April to May
  • Mid-green, triangular and toothed leaves
  • Colourful autumn foliage
  • White bark

Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens’ – Black Dragon

  • Ideal to under plant the Birch contrasting with its light bark colour
  • Average growing, hardy, evergreen perennial
  • 20cm tall, 30cm spread
  • Full sun, Partial shade, moist, well drained loam soil
  • Flowers: purple bell-shaped flowers in July and August
  • Dark blue fruit
  • Black / dark purple, grass-like leaves
  • RHS Award of Garden Merit

Jobs in the Garden - 16' 39"

  • If heavy snow falls, shake off branches of trees & shrubs to prevent snapping under weight
  • Get lawnmower serviced and blade sharpened
  • Look through seed catalogues and decide what you would like to grow from seed when spring arrives
  • Wisteria pruning

In the Vegetable Garden - 19' 35"

  • Sow inside: Aubergines, Peppers and Onions
  • Sow outside: Broad beans, Onions and Carrots
  • Plant out: Rhubarb crowns, Garlic and Shallots
  • Harvest: Leeks and Cabbage

Plants of Note - 21' 30"

Another two plants that we felt were worthy of note for this month are:

Phyllostachys nigra - Black Bamboo

  • Fast growing, hardy bamboo
  • 5m tall, 3m spread
  • Full sun/partial shade, moist, well-drained soil
  • Evergreen, dark green leaves with black canes when mature
  • Not as invasive as many bamboos
  • RHS Award of Garden Merit

Corylus avellana 'Contorta' - Corkscrew Hazel

  • Average growing, hardy shrub
  • 3m tall, 2m spread
  • Full sun/partial shade, moist, well-drained, chalky soil
  • Flowers: golden yellow catkins from February to March
  • Twisted mid-green leaves / yellow in autumn
  • Twisted stems; good for flower arranging
  • Suitable for container growing
  • RHS Award of Garden Merit

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