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Gardening jobs for February

February already and hopefully spring is not too far away! January gave us some cold weather but in most parts of the country it gave us what we really wanted – much-needed rainfall, to refill our reservoirs and bring much-needed moisture to our dry autumn gardens.

Judging by early sales figures from garden centres and mail order companies, our interest in the garden, stimulated by more spare time enforced by the pandemic, is here to stay.

This year, our interest in ‘grow your own’ may be more economic than ornamental, with vegetable seed sales already increasing! 

Let’s have a look at our February garden!

 


Lawns

Should your lawn be anything like as wet as mine the best thing you can do is keep off it! Compaction of the grass in this state can kill of tender shoots.

As the lawn dries, make a point of sweeping up any remaining fallen leaves which again, can damage shoots in the sward as they rot if left.

Sweep of any worm casts on the surface.

Maybe you are planning a new lawn from seed? Time then for soil cultivation to ensure a fine seed bed – if weather conditions allow.

Turf too can be laid on a prepared surface, but like seed sowing avoid any action if frost is forecast.

 

 

In the Flower Garden

Sweet peas compete every year with roses for the title of the nation’s favourite flower.

Don’t worry if you didn’t sow yours in January, there’s still plenty of time. They are best sown individually in tall pots as they like a long, unrestricted root run.

It’s time to sow annual and perennial flowers that need a long growing season in which to flower. Examples would be antirrhinum, begonia, geranium and dahlias.

Winter blooming bulbs like snowdrops and aconites will be fading towards the end of the month, so if the clumps are getting quite large, dig them up and split them to increase the population.

Summer flowering bulbs on the other hand, to be grown in containers can be planted this month in the greenhouse or conservatory to give them an early start.

If you still have crowded plantings of perennials in your borders, then lift and split them up as weather conditions allow.

 

 

The Vegetable Plot

It’s time to get your ‘seed’ potatoes if you are going to be growing an early variety. Start them ‘chitting’ by standing them on end in trays in a conservatory or greenhouse until growing shoots form and they are ready for planting.

Some vegetables such as greenhouse tomatoes, aubergines, chilli’s, and sweet peppers need a long growing season, so get them sown in trays in the greenhouse this month.

It’s always tempting to go for an old favourite, but find some space for one of the many new varieties – you’ll be impressed!

Continue to harvest your winter brassicas, leeks etc. as required.

Take the chance to enrich your soil by applying plenty of well-rotted manure or garden compost. Consider getting a cheap soil-test kit so see if your plot needs any lime applying.

 

 

The Fruit Patch

Fancy some delicious early strawberries? You can encourage early fruiting in two ways. Either pot up a few plants to grow on in the greenhouse, or cover some plants growing outside with garden fleece or cloches.

Complete pruning of autumn fruiting raspberries, currants and gooseberries.

Plant new rhubarb crowns or split large plants to prevent overcrowding.

It’s a great time to plant young fruit trees (as long as the soil isn’t frozen), when the plants are dormant and the soil will soon start to warm.

Continue to prune established apples and pears, opening out the centres to ensure air movement and removing any diseased wood.

Should you have outdoor peaches, apricots or nectarines, as the month comes to and end and plants are in flower you may want to cover them with fleece to protect them from frost damage.

 

 

Shrubs & Roses

Apply slow-release fertilizer around shrubs and roses to feed them through the coming spring and summer.

Pruning time and there is still time whilst plants are dormant. Examples would be rhododendron, roses and winter flowering shrubs.

 

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