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February in the Garden


With the odd bits of sun shining through you'll have the chance to spend an hour or so back in the garden and thoughts turn to the growing season ahead. 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
  • rim 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
viburnum    taylors lilly    

The Veg Garden

  • Force rhubarb for an early crop and plant new crowns
  • 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.

rhubarb    seed potatoes    

 The Fruit garden

  • Prune apple and pear trees if you haven’t already
  • Plant currant bushes and prune existing ones plus gooseberries to maintain a productive framework
  • Protect blossom of peaches, nectarines and apricots from possible frosts and plant new ones.
  • Mulch fruit trees with well-rotted manure or compost
  • Plant new raspberry canes and cut autumn fruiting to the ground to encourage new canes. Summer fruiting can be cut just above a bud if they have grown beyond their supports.
  • Keep any areas prepared for sowing new lawns weed free
  • Trim deciduous hedges
  • Clean out water butts or install if you don’t have one

General Jobs.

  • Vines like Ivy, Virginia creeper and Boston Ivy can be pruned.
  • Clean out the greenhouse if you haven’t already for the season ahead, taking care with overwintering plants.
  • Think about a new shed if yours is too small for all your garden furniture, tools, pots, bikes etc.


Posted by Charlie Groves

Charlie is the manager at Groves Nurseries.  He is the 6th generation of C.W. Groves to run the garden centre. 

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