It might be cold outside, but there are still plenty of jobs to do in the garden this month...
Although temperatures should start to rise this month, there is still a risk of frost and snow. Protect vulnerable plants and pots from frost by wrapping insulation such as garden fleece around them. Tender trees will thank you for a generous application of dry mulch to protect their roots from the freezing winter conditions. This is a good time to pick up any fallen and dried leaves, and clear out garden sheds and greenhouses in time for spring. So, what other February gardening jobs should we be tackling?
Want more gardening ideas? READ: Small garden ideas to make the most of a tiny space
1. Create an indoor garden
At this bleak time of the year, dig up a few snowdrops and violets and plant them in a decorative shallow plant container. Surround them with a cushion of fresh green moss. Then bring them inside and enjoy this first taste of spring.
2. Plant new roses and prune existing ones
While old-fashioned roses are usually pruned in November, we usually prune modern roses by the end of February before they start to put on new growth. Some roses need pruning more than once a year. When pruning, don’t be frightened to prune hard and remove old wood and misshapen branches. Roses are rarely killed by hard pruning. People often mollycoddle their roses. They are tough plants.
3. Think outside the box
When the garden is bare it’s time to get structures and styles sorted for the warmer seasons. Wandering around shows last year, it seems that gabion baskets are high on the garden designer’s agenda. Gabions are made of heavy-duty welded mesh and when filled with stone keep banks of earth from eroding. However, they can be used for so much more: to make a bench, a boundary or raised terraces. Fill with stone that’s relevant to your area for an old-meets-new edge. Add pockets of soil and they become a place to grow alpines and herbs. When packing with anything other than stone you’ll need baskets made of thicker mesh.
4. Sow now for summer scent
Start the seeds off in moist compost on a windowsill and move to a cooler but frost-free area as soon as you see the first leaves. Keep seeds and seedlings covered at night to prevent visits from mice and place young plants in a cool place (outside in a porch, for instance). Plant out into well-prepared soil in spring after the last frost.
What gardening ideas should you be doing in March? READ: Jobs to do in the garden in March
5. Pick the perfect plants for pots
The intense blue flowers of Iris reticulata in February are a joy. They’ll bloom whatever the weather in late winter and, standing at just 12cm tall, they’re perfect for pots. Buy as flowering bulbs now or plant bulbs in autumn. Place containers in a sunny spot and ensure they are well drained. These hardy plants will appear every year, but with more vigour than the last.
6. Get pruning
Keep up with the pruning before spring. Prune apple trees and pear trees whilst they’re still dormant. Leave plum trees, cherry trees and apricots until the summer as pruning these fruit trees now will make them susceptible to Silver Leaf disease.
7. Add sparkle to a winter garden
Adding sparkle to our gardens in this chilly winter months is Cyclamen Coum. These tiny plants with mottled silver and green kidney-shaped leaves and pink flowers are on the same scale as their bedfellows – snowdrops. They’re fully hardy and will offer flowers from December into March. Plants are happiest when planted under deciduous shrubs. but can also be a success when left to naturalise in short grass.
Will you be undertaking any of these February gardening ideas?