Unwins Seeds

February 2017 Newsletter

Are you itching to get started on your 2017 garden? Despite the weather there’s a remarkable amount you can do; and that's not just planning it's gardening in earnest, even as early in the year as now.

Do you have a greenhouse, a den or shed with enough space to sow seeds and start some young plants into growth – this is where the gardening year truly begins.

See our extensive range of flower seeds and vegetable seeds as well as our young plant range in our Unwins 2017 January catalogue. Need the equipment to go with it? Rest assured- our comprehensive catalogue includes everything you need to get started – from trays and pots to compost and reliable watering solutions.

Enjoy the start of the season.


Jobs to do

Sow hardy annuals

Do you have a workbench in a shed or outhouse? Perfect- now’s the time to start sowing seeds in seeds trays, modules and pots. Arm yourself with the perfect seed sowing kits and start creating a beautiful flower-garden now. Our seeds come in packets with full instructions and tips on sowing and growing perfect plants.


Prepare summer bulbs

Order summer bulbs and tubers now like lilies, begonias and dahlias as you can start them off in pots now. Keep them indoors overnight and place outdoors in milder weather. You just need pots, free-draining compost and a little space then you’re ready to start off beautiful lilies now.



Warm up soil for earlier seed sowing 

Place horticultural fleece over an area of soil and pin the fleece down with fleece pegs or equivalent. This will warm the soil beneath by creating a humid internal environment between the soil surface and the fleece. You can then start sowing some varieties of flowers and vegetable up to two weeks earlier than stipulated on seed packets.


Start growing sensual sweet peas from seed

Sweet peas are the epitome of beautiful summer gardens and you can start these lovely flowers off now as seeds for gorgeous displays. Grab yourself a module tray and sow one or two seeds per module. As they grow pluck out the weaker of the two seedlings and leave the stronger one to grow further.



Prune wisteria

If you have an established climbing plant of wisteria February is a good time to cut back long wispy stems that have grown away from the wall. If you pruned your wisteria last August, prune again now to short, stumpy stems with 3-4 buds. If you are pruning for the first time prune all wispy stems growing out from the main branches to around 6 buds.


Keep feeding birds outside

Birds are natural pest-eaters. Encourage birds into your garden now with bird food like seed mixes and fat balls and birds are likely to stick around in March when plant-eating aphids and caterpillars start to emerge.  They’ll pick of these pests each day as a necessary part of their diet.




A beautiful a dramatic flower that truly illuminates your flower bed right through the summer. This annual is so impressive that this year has been hailed the ‘Year of the Zinnia’. Zinnias look great in flower beds or container displays and equally as good shown-off indoors in vases and adorning your tables and mantelpieces.

Zinnia Zahara Double Fire - Vibrantly coloured, double flowers on disease and drought resistant plants. Easy care plants that make unusual container plants and with their masses of showy flowers they will certainly pack a punch in the border. 

Zinnia Yellow Flame - This hot and fiery award-winning Zinnia brightens up any garden spot and illuminates your garden to the max, elevating your spirits. Looks fantastic outdoors and indoors as cut flowers in vases.

Zinnia Raspberry Lemonade Mix - Bred for outstanding garden performance. This gorgeous large flowered variety, in a mix of vivid colours has a neat bushy habit with masses of blooms throughout summer. Superb performance for all locations.


Pest & Disease Watch

Hellebore leaf spot

You may notice brown to black blotches on leaves of hellebores – especially older leaves. Simply cut the foliage away at ground level and put affected leaves in the general waste- do not compost.

Removing hellebore leaves now also emphasises the beauty of the individual hellebore flowers which you are able to enjoy year after year.

Try our beautiful Heuger-bred hellebore- like Hellebore Lily (pictured) specially bred from tissue culture. This breeding ensures the lovely markings and colours remain as vivid as ever with each and every year.



Bring on the Begonia Non Stop Mixed –our best-seller...

Fully-doubled (many-petalled) flowers to enjoy in hanging baskets from May right up to first-frosts in late autumn. Get hold of 48 medium plug plants for under £13 and this will fill 2-3 hanging baskets for generous overflowing displays of exuberant flowers.



And pair it with Calibrachoa Ka-blooming brilliant- hanging baskets

Charming calibrachoas are petunia-like annuals that are more button-like in size. Calibrachoa plants are free-branching, with a mounded, trailing habit so will produce a fountain of strong colour even under wet and low light conditions- lifting your spirits to the maximum. Calibrachoa Kabloom-ing Brilliant are perfect to fill your baskets and containers with masses of brightly coloured blooms all summer long.



NEW- Nemesia Scented Plus

New to the Unwins range is Nemesia Scented Plus flower varieties. This group of flowers give off an enchanting scent that guides you to the most charming and prettiest of flowers. And boy, do they flower! Each plant flowers so prolifically, the small leaves are quickly hidden to make way for fabulous blooms.



Royal Horticultural Society Early Spring Fair – 14-15 February

Fancy inspiration from top flower and plant growers? Take a trip to central London, see the sights and stop off at the RHS Early Spring Fair. Expert growers show off rare and unusual plants as well as firm favourites – they’re happy to give advice and tips and there’s plenty of opportunity to buy.



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