February’s here and along with some snowdrops and a few early daffodils it hints that spring is about to burst onto centre stage! In good weather, grab your gardening tools and head outside and when the weather isn’t so great, grab a pen and start planning for your seed-sowing year and tend to your indoor plants.
Pruning is the order of the day and there’s still time to cut back your winter garden. Prune fuchsias, by cutting last year’s growth back to two buds from the main stems. Cut buddleias and late-summer clematis back hard this month to 30cm above ground level.
With bush roses still dormant, prune by removing any spindly or dead growth, and cut the remaining stems back by half, cutting above an outward-facing bud.
Once winter jasmine has finished flowering, prune by cutting back all flowered shoots to strong buds close to the main stems and prune autumn-fruiting raspberries, by cutting all last year’s canes to ground level.
Deadhead winter pansies to encourage new flowers for spring.
Once your snowdrops have finished flowering, lift and divide large clumps into smaller ones, replanting them and encouraging your snowdrops to spread, giving you a fantastic display later on in the spring.
Pot up containers with hardy spring bedding, such as primroses, wallflowers and forget-me-nots.
Leave seed potatoes somewhere cool and bright for a few weeks to start sprouting and they’ll be ready to plant in 4-6 weeks.
Vegetable beds need clearing of any weeds and stones ready for the growing season. It’s an idea to put down wooden planks to walk on when working on the beds to stop the soil compacting.
Provided the soil isn’t waterlogged or frozen, February is a good month for planting new shrubs and trees.
Give your greenhouse and cold frames a good spring clean. Washing down the glass with warm soapy water will get rid of the winter grime and help let all the light in!
Sow sweet peas in deep pots and keep them frost-free. Tender crops such as tomatoes and chillies, tender annuals and summer bedding can also be sown in a greenhouse, heated propagator or on a sunny windowsill.
Mustard and cress sown in a small seed tray on a warm windowsill will be ready in just a few weeks.
Still keep watering to a minimum for almost all of your house plants, although Christmas cactus and poinsettias will still need watering whenever the soil feels dry.
Move house plants into brighter spots in darker months to maximise any light needed but try and keep them away from temperature fluctuations caused by draughts or central heating. Some house plants, like snake plants, are particularly good at collecting dust on their leaves, so give them a wipe with a clean cloth.
If snow falls, prevent branches from snapping under the weight by knocking it off evergreen shrubs, hedges and conifers.
Check fleece or any other insulation is still in place around your pots and tender plants.
Improve the soil by spreading garden compost or well-rotted manure over beds and forking it in, but avoid forking around roses as it can damage the roots.
Make or buy fat ball feeders and hang them among roses to attract blue tits, with the added bonus of them foraging for overwintering pests
Clear away old plant debris from pond margins and remove pond netting, scooping out any leaves that have fallen into the water
Have a good sort out and clean up of all your garden bits and bobs, canes, plant supports and tools, including garden power tools (they might need a service or be replaced!) so they are in good order.
Visit our centre, we have everything you’ll need to kick start a blooming great gardening year!