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FEBRUARY UK

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General

  • Select seeds and buy from  Dobies   Suttons Seeds   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.
     

Greenhouse

  • Sow seeds:-
    • tomatoes
    • bedding plants such as African marigolds, petunias, lobelia and antirrhinums.
    • begonias and pelargoniums.
    • quick-growing perennials.
       
  • 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.
     

Vegetable Garden

  • 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.
     

Fruit Garden

  • 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

Flower Garden

  • 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.

 

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