Gardening Magazine

Pruning the Allotment Swamp

By Tuckshopgardener @tuckshopgardenr
A quick drizzly trip to the allotment revealed just how far from cultivation things still are - very claggy underfoot, still too wet to dig.  When you get clod-platforms from walking across the paths, you know that you should NOT be venturing into the growing areas...
Dragged down there by my children (interesting role reversal) who wanted to continue their treehouse building exploits, I had my second visit in a week yesterday.
No digging to be done as we squelched around the edges of the plot, so I continued clearing the path down the side, cutting back the hedge and digging out brambles.
Also tackled the list below:

Jobs for February

Cut down autumn fruiting raspberries to the base as they fruit on this year's growth - cut them down to get lots of new fruiting canes.
Prune roses - cut back hybrid teas to 4 or five growing points per stem.  Cut back English shrub roses  by about a third.
Prune blackcurrants - take out older wood (darkest colour) with few sideshoots, keep two year old wood (tea coloured) with plenty of sideshoots as these will bear this year's fruit.
Buy seed potatoes and stand the tubers in egg cartons, or a box, in frost free place to start sprouting those little knobbly shoots (long whizzers mean there's not enough light in the place where you've put them - keep them somewhere cool, frost-free and light).
Pruning the allotment swamp

Still to do this month

Prune apple and pear trees
Prune gooseberries
Prune redcurrants
If (as if!) dry enough, prepare planting areas.
Looks like I'll have to keep my secateurs sharp for the rest of the month and keep on chopping in the absence of other heavy duty tasks.
Have to keep myself busy to resist the urge to sow too many new seeds as it is still a bit too early really - trying to force myself to hang on for another few weeks.

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