As we slowly approach the end of winter, days are still short and the weather is still cold but spring isn’t too far away. Now is the time to finish up your pruning giving plants new energy in the run up to the start of the growing season.
Find out the top Gardening Jobs for February and get your garden spring ready!
General Garden Maintenance in February
Warmer weather will encourage the grass to resume growing. If it is becoming noticeably long, go over it with your lawnmower on the longest setting. Avoid cutting the grass in wet weather and limit walking on it if it has become frozen.
Patches of green algae may form on paths if it’s been very wet. Brush or jet wash areas away to avoid them from becoming slippery and dangerous.
Prepping Soil and Beds in February
If you have heavy soil in your garden now is a good time to implement ways to improve the drainage. This will both stop the soil becoming waterlogged and prepare it for the rest of the year. Dig organic matter and grit through the soil as a way to increase the level of drainage.
Prepare the beds you wish to plant your rose bushes into. Making sure to avoid any areas where roses have previously been grown. as this can lead to the new bushes developing replant disease.
Weeds that have sprung to life should be removed and added to the compost bin. Take care in removing the whole plant including the roots to lessen the chance of them returning.
Once weeds have been cleared and the soil is prepped it is time to add a healthy layer of organic mulch to the topsoil. Mulch is beneficial for improving the soil conditions, it also helps to suppress new weed growth and works as a protective barrier for root systems in fluctuations of cold temperatures and frost. Mulch also helps to retain moisture in the soil.
If the soil if your garden is heavy wait till the weather has warmed up to add mulch. This can be left until March or April time.
Potted Trees and Plant in February
Pot grown trees and plants will benefit from some new compost at this time of year. Either add a new layer to the top of the soil or remove some of the old compost to make room for more.
Pots that are in sheltered locations or undercover will miss out on rainfall and can dry out quicker than others. Check the first few inches of soil, if it feels dry to the touch then add a little water. Aim to keep the compost moist without overwatering.
If you notice any pots that have become waterlogged check the drainage and add extra grit to compost if necessary. Make sure the pots aren’t left to stand in water and stand up on bricks to allow water t drain away fully.
Watering Trees and Plants in February
If this February has been very wet, continue to keep watering reduced. If the soil does become dry, water sparingly.
Pruning Trees and Plants in February
Finish off pruning your apple and pear trees, this should be done each winter to ensure the tree is still in its dormant stage.
The pruning should be done to keep the framework of the tree open and productive with a good cycle of fruiting wood. Always aim to keep the tree with four to five main branches.
Avoid pruning trees with both stoned fruits and prunus flowering varieties as these are susceptible to Silver Leaf infections at this time of year.
Finish pruning of hybrid tea roses and floribunda roses before the new growth in spring. The will encourage the plants to grow vigorously and have a productive flowering season.
Add mulch or feed to the soil around recently pruned trees and plants to give help give some extra energy as they start to regrow.
When pruning trees and shrubs aim to remove any dead, damaged or diseased growth first. Next, cut out any stems that are overcrowded or crossing each other, this will ensure the centre of the tree is open with good air circulation. This reduces the risks of diseases and pests.
Planting in February
Plant both bare root and container grown trees and plants. Hedging plants and climbers can also be planted at this time of year. Add stakes and guards to freshly planted trees to avoid damage from local wildlife such as rabbits.
Avoid planting if the ground is frozen or waterlogged and wait until the weather and soil conditions have improved.
If strong winds and frost have lifted any trees and plants slightly, just firm these back down to make sure they are secure.
What to Harvest in February?
Evergreen herbs such as Rosemary and Bay are perfect for harvesting year round. While there isn’t any new growth to pick at this time of year they can still be used in the kitchen.
Feeding your Trees and Plants February
As your garden starts to resume growing add fertilisers and feeds to the soil to give plants energy for the spring.
Protecting your Plants in the Winter
Fruiting and flowering trees and plants will soon start to bloom. Any late frosts or cold snaps can cause damage the blossom, adding extra protection to these trees will reduce damage.
Potted trees can stay in sheltered locations until the weather shows signs of improvement. At first signs of frost add a horticultural fleece or bubble wrap to the pots for root protection.
What’s Looking Good in February?
Most deciduous trees in the garden will still be bare however the garden will be starting to show new signs of life.
Evergreens will still be looking lovely so if you are still looking to add some greenery consider planting some different varieties.
Find out what tree and plants gifts are perfect for sending as gifts this month in our February Gift Guide.
Wildlife in February
Make sure to keep feeders topped up and water out for passing wildlife as food will still be scarce.
Indoor Gardening throughout February
Citrus trees will benefit from a new layer of compost, dress the topsoil with a fresh layer or repot if there is no extra space.
If your citrus trees are looking stressed, this can include the loss of or yellowing leaves, check their surrounding environment. Make sure they are away from any central heating or cold draughts. Also, check the compost to make sure they haven’t been left to dry out or overwatered.
Reduce watering of house plants and move them to a brighter area of the house where they can get the most sunlight possible. Make sure not to leave houseplants behind curtains on windowsills when the weather is cold or frosty. Bare this in mind especially if you do not have double glazing.
Stand houseplants and citrus trees on trays of damp gravel or pebbles to create slight humidity ad counteract dry conditions caused by central heating.
Other Gardening Jobs in February
Pests such as aphids and spider mites will try to overwinter some plants, check leaves on plants in the garden and in greenhouses and remove any by hand or by spraying with a soapy water mixture.
On dry sunny days ventilate your greenhouse to help the air circulation reduce the risk of pests and fungus from forming.