With the odd nice day once the snow has melted you'll have the chance to spend an hour or so back in the garden and thoughts turn to the growing season ahead and February can prove a busy time of the year for gardeners as there are lots of jobs you can do in the month. Some indoors or in the greenhouse, like early sowings of flower and veg seeds to give you a head start and the checking over of garden tools and machinery for the coming year. However, if the weather permits you can do outside jobs like the preparation for sowing new lawns, pruning, tidying, dividing perennials and mulching.
The Flower Garden
- If you haven’t already prune your Wisteria now, cutting back summer side-shoots to 2 or 3 buds.
- Cut back shrubs, such as Cornus and Salix grown for their colourful winter stems, down to their bases.
- Towards the end of February prune summer-flowering clematis before new growth begins
- Prune winter flowering shrubs like Mahonia and Viburnum x bodnantense after they have flowered.
- Trim winter-flowering heathers as flowers fade so they don’t become leggy.
- Move deciduous trees and shrubs or plant new ones if the ground isn’t frozen or waterlogged
- Prune overwintered fuschias back to one or two buds.
- Cut back the foliage of ornamental grasses to within a few centimetres of the ground before new growth
- Plant summer-flowering bulbs such as Oriental Lily, Begonia, Freesia, Gladiolus, Ranunculus, Nerines, Zantedeschia and dahlias.
- Plant bare root roses
- Start sowing summer bedding like nicotiana, petunias and impatiens (busy lizzies) in a greenhouse, propagator or sunny windowsill
- Divide clumps of perennials to make new plants
The Veg Garden
- Start chitting your early seed potatoes
- Force rhubarb for an early crop and plant new crowns
- Give perennial veg such as asparagus and artichokes a mulch with well-rotted manure.
- Weed veg beds
- In the greenhouse or undercover in a warm propagator, you can now begin to sow seeds of cabbage (summer/autumn maturing), celery, parsley, sweet and cayenne pepper, tomato, leek and onion.
- Outdoors (under cloches or in a cold frame) you can sow early varieties of carrots, broad beans and parsnips. Shallots can also be planted out from the middle of the month.