As February arrives, I am sure many of you are eagerly anticipating the arrival of spring and itching to get on with those bigger jobs – I know I am! Whilst there are some more interesting jobs you can be tackling now (unlike the previous months), it is still that transitional period so it’s a month of a little more prep and tidying. But don’t put too much of a downer on these and certainly don’t skip them because these are incredibly important for the future growing season. Here are the top gardening jobs for February:
Pruning and Tidying
Before new growth emerges, February is a perfect time to prune deciduous trees, fruit trees, shrubs, and hedges. Remove dead, damaged, or diseased branches to encourage healthy growth and maintain the plant’s structure. Pruning and fertilising roses is also recommended during this month, cutting back last year’s growth to promote new shoots and abundant flowering during the summer months. Additionally, you can tidy borders by removing fallen leaves and debris from around the base/roots of plants.
This is a great time for preparing your garden beds for the upcoming planting season by enriching the soil with organic matter such as compost or well-rotted manure. Incorporating these nutrients should help to enhance soil structure, fertility, and drainage, laying the foundation for robust plant growth. Take full advantage of the dry days we have to turn over the soil, breaking up compacted areas and adding in your compost.
Seed Sowing and Propagation
This may make some of you happy, February can be used for the commencement of seed sowing!! If you are eager to get going this is the time for early-season vegetables and flowers. Indoors, you can sow seeds such as tomatoes, peppers, and aubergines. Use propagators or sunny windowsills to ensure they receive adequate warmth and light for germination. Annuals like sweet peas and calendula can be sown directly in your greenhouse. And you can even begin to chit your first-early potatoes. Spring is coming, it is just within reach now!
Protecting Tender Plants
As winter lingers and snow and frost can appear at any time in the UK, it is still essential to shield tender plants to prevent damage and encourage growth. Keep using your fleece or cloches on newly planted shrubs, perennials, emerging shoots, tender flowers and strawberries until the weather is ready to stay warm. You can also mulch around the base of plants with organic material to provide an additional layer of insulation, conserve moisture and regulate soil temperature.
Planning and Design
Use the quieter moments to plan your garden’s layout for this year. Maybe you want to take on something new? Perhaps you want a whole new design? Or are looking to add a new feature? This is the time to get inspiration, pop ideas down on a sketch pad and take a look around garden centres for ideas and costings.
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Cleaning and Organising
Now is a great time to clean, organise and check what areas of your garden or greenhouse/potting shed need some attention. With seed sowing season coming up, make sure your stored seeds are safe, dry and not damaged from the winter. This is also a good time to stock up on what you may need. Other jobs to consider are cleaning your greenhouse windows, repairing any drafts/cracks, monitoring the temperature with a decent outdoor thermometer, jetwashing pathways or patios, washing pots with warm soapy water, keeping your bird feeders cleaned and filled and cleaning up your tools.
So there we have it, February gardening jobs that will take us into the start of spring and sunnier, longer days. Which job are you looking forward to carrying out this month?
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