- Kick back with some seed catalogues! You still have plenty of time to explore new varieties and start planning for your 2020 garden. End of February is not too soon to start your cool crops such as cabbage, onion, leeks, leafy greens, chives and parsley - we will be coming in with more seed starting tips next month.
- Build a cold frame to get a jump on spring. We encourage resourcefulness in the design process - scrap lumber and an old window on hinges should suffice. Take a look at a few of the cold frames Mark has put together over the years.
- Feed the birds. There is not much you can do to improve the view into your backyard at this stage in the season, unless you were to add some birds perched to the dormant shrubbery. Start with quality bird seed as always, and consider a heated bird path to create some respite for our feathered friends - it's like a trip to the hot-spring spa Scandinave for birds.
MARK'S CHOICE PRODUCT OF THE MONTH
Backhoe (mini, mid-size, and full-size)
The Backhoe is a multi-function weeding tool. You can pop large, deeply rooted weeds out of the ground by dropping the sharp, pointy end of the head into the soil behind the weed. Give it a tug and out pops the weed.
This is the first weeding tool that you will purchase that does not need sharpening when you bring it home. It is pre-sharpened. It features a stainless-steel head, serrated back-side for combing chickweed and moss out of the garden and a 59" solid ash handle. We love this tool.
This run-away sensation also has a brother and sister. One is the same long handled tool with a head that is 2/3 the size of the original model. It is great for use in tightly planted gardens and small, urban spaces.
There is also a short-handled 'mini' backhoe. It features the same stainless steel, pre-sharpened 2/3 sized head on a shorter, 16-inch solid ash handle. Perfect for weeding and planting raised beds or while working in a crouch position.
Mark Cullen is an expert gardener, author & broadcaster and holds the Order of Canada. His son Ben is a fourth-generation urban gardener and graduate of Guelph and Dalhousie University. You can sign up for their free monthly newsletter and find his weekly podcast & blog at www.markcullen.com.
An Organic Approach (5010-205), is available at Home Hardware.