The Gardener's Journal is a free monthly gardening guide delivered direct to your inbox.

Each month, receive tips on the top jobs needed in your garden as well as a wealth of information on a range of gardening topics. From sowing seeds to picking fruit, each month get access to information on the care and maintenance of your flowerbeds, vegetable plot and lawn. As with your own gardening diary, the journal is split into separate sections, each covering a different area of garden care.

Monday 4 February 2019

This Month in Your Garden - February

‘The flowers of late winter and early spring occupy places in our hearts well out of proportion to their size.’ Gertrude Smith Wister (1905–1999)

The Anglo Saxons had several names for February, one of which was ‘Sprout-kale’ relating to kale and cabbages being ready to eat, and another, ‘Fill-dike’, because the ditches would fill with the rain and melting snow. The month may find us nipping in and out of the garden when the weather permits, enjoying splashes of colour from snowdrops, winter aconites, irises, crocus and evergreens such as Viburnums, Mahonias and hellebores.

The Lawn Care Guide - February

The worm has turned

There was a time when pesticides were used to remove worms. Not so today. Twenty-seven species of earthworm reside in the UK and under your grass they will be working away, aerating the soil. Charles Darwin referred to worms as ‘nature’s ploughs’ and they’re perfectly designed to create tunnels which allow oxygen and water to enter and carbon dioxide to leave the soil.

Lawn Care: Questions & Answers

Q. Is it too early to apply fertiliser to the lawn?

The Vegetable Plot - February

What’s on the plot?

For those of us in milder areas and with sandy loam there’s a good chance the soil will have warmed up enough to be sowing a variety of vegetables under cloches. Carrots, parsnips, peas, spinach, summer cabbage, salad onions, broad beans, beetroot, radishes and lettuces are enough to keep you going for a while. Garlic and shallots can go into light soil.

The Big Glut Recipe - February

Honey-roast Jerusalem artichoke, parsnip and pearl barley salad with grilled goat’s cheese

A warming salad recipe of roasted Jerusalem artichokes, parsnips and pear barley, topped off with creamy, tangy goat’s cheese.


  • 500g Jerusalem artichokes, peeled and halved/quartered lengthways (or left whole if small)
  • 500g parsnips, sliced lengthways into wedges, woody parts removed
  • 300g banana shallots, halved lengthways
  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus an extra 4 tbsp
  • 2 tbsp sherry vinegar, plus an extra 3 tbsp
  • 2 tbsp honey, plus an extra 2 tsp