GARDENING IN FEBRUARY UK
- Select seeds and buy from Dobies
Thompson & Morgan
- Check if winter-flowering shrubs such as viburnums need pruning now that they have finished flowering.
- Prune trees and continue to plant new trees, check ties, supports and stakes.
- Keep the garden tidy, free from fallen leaves and other debris, and weed free to give overwintering pests fewer places to shelter.
- Use cold winter days when it is not possible to work outdoors to plan design improvements and new plantings for the spring.
- Brush heavy snow from shrubs, conifers and hedges so that there is no danger of branches breaking.
- Firm in any autumn planted shrubs and border plants lifted by frost.
- Clear weeds from around the base of established hedges and cut back overgrown deciduous hedges.
- Apply a top dressing of gravel or chippings around plants in the rock garden to suppress weed and ensure free drainage.
- Dig in green manures where you can.
- Sow mustard and winter tares for green manure.
- Dig out perennial weeds.
- It is best to wait until the soil temperature has remained above 7 degrees C (45 degrees F) for a week before sowing anything outdoors. You can use a soil thermometer to test the soil temperature.
- Clean and oil the blades of cutting tools. Check electrical equipment before the busy spring season.
- If you keep fish, keep an area of the pond ice free.
- Sow seeds:-
- bedding plants such as African marigolds, petunias, lobelia and antirrhinums.
- begonias and pelargoniums.
- quick-growing perennials.
- See the greenhouses available at Greenhouses Direct");
- Bring strawberries in containers into the greenhouse for early fruit.
- If you are lucky enough to have a large, heated greenhouse, start melons and kidneys beans off there.
- Ensure fuchsias overwintering in leaf in the greenhouse get as much light as possible and are not becoming pale and leggy.
- Prune these half-hardy fuchsias as soon as the pink 'eyes' (embryo shoots) appear.
- Sow broad beans, onions, peas, lettuce, cabbage, spinach, parsley, carrots, parsnips, radishes and spring onions in mild, less exposed areas.
- Transplant overwintered cos lettuce to final position.
- Put cloches in position to warm the soil for early sowings of vegetables next month.
- Pot up mint roots to bring in for the windowsill.
- Prune peaches, apricots, nectarines and figs.
- Plant fruit trees and bushes.
- Check greasebands and renew grease if necessary.
- Net fruit trees and bushes if you spot bullfinches pecking off developing flowers and fruit.
- Prune out cankered branches of fruit trees and bushes and destroy.
- Spray nectarine and peach trees to prevent or eradicate peach leaf curl disease.
- Hoe lightly around fruit trees and fork around existing fruit canes to expose over-wintering pests to birds.
- Propagate grape vines
- Grow begonias from tubers
- Grow and propagate dahlias from cuttings
- Sow sweet peas outdoors in their flowering position except in very cold areas.
- Germinate seeds such as begonias and pelargoniums on windowsills indoors or in the greenhouse.
- Start forcing pots of lily bulbs for Easter and early summer flowering.
- Pinch out rhododendron and azalea buds damaged by frost to prevent the spread of disease.
- Sow under glass slow maturing bedding plants such as African marigolds, petunias, lobelia and antirrhinums.
- Also under glass, sow quick-growing perennials to flower this year.
- Protect winter-flowering bulbous irises in the garden from severe cold or damp.
Books on Gardening in Spring
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(c) Compiled by B V & T M Wood.