February in your garden

FEBRUARY IN YOUR GARDEN

February is the start of the gardening year with a multitude of jobs to keep you busy: spring clean the shed, wash pots and tools, place pots of early sown flower or vegetable seeds on windowsills and perhaps look for an allotment as you prepare to sow seeds with wild abandon! Even service the lawnmower! Prepare the garden for the coming year- dig over the soil and turn the compost if the ground isn’t waterlogged or frozen. Temperatures rise slowly by the end of February, light levels increase and the dawn chorus increases in volume. Buds on early spring blossom begin to open and flowering bulbs begin to push through the soil. Check fences and gates for storm damage and general wear and tear.

SHRUB PRUNING

Clematis

Cut back any Clematis that flowers in late spring and early summer: these need a light pruning in February. Remove all overcrowded and straggly stems and cut them as low down on the plant as you can. Tie in any stems that worked their way free from the plant support. Clematis which flower early  in spring and the winter varieties don’t need attention. Prune late-flowering shrubs like Fuschia and Buddleia, cutting Buddleia down to keep them compact (about a metre high).

Hydrangea

Later in the month, prune back shoots on mophead and lacecap Hydrangeas to a pair of buds. Hydrangeas mostly flower on last years ‘wood’ and they like being pruned to keep them youthful. So use this opportunity to prune out the oldest, most straggly and crossover stems, right down to the base. The total removed should be about a third of the total stems, so that over a three year period you have a new shrub!

Shrubs

Leave the shrubs which bloom before June , as they bloom on shoots which grew during last summer and autumn. Prune the shrubs which bloom after June as they usually flower on shoots which grow between now and then.

Tree pruning

Prune dead or diseased branches from trees.

INDOOR PLANT CARE

Cacti have once again become a popular choice of houseplant. They are easy to look after and require little attention. Winter is their dormant period, so they require little watering and no feeding. Water other houseplants a little during the next couple of months, particularly Streptocarpus and African Violets. Ensure houseplants are receive an adequate amount of light. Keep pests and diseases such as Whitefly and Aphids at bay using a diluted mixture of washing up liquid and water.

Flower bulbs

You can put indoor forced bulbs in a sheltered spot to die back or plant them directly into the garden, so they will flower next year. Keep Amaryllis indoors if you want them to flower the following year. Cut back spent flower stalks to just above the nose of the bulb and continue to water and feed until the leaves die back in late summer.

GARDEN COLOUR AND STRUCTURE

This is a great time for adding structure and colour to your garden. Contact Gardeneer office to make an appointment for Tony or Steve to come and discuss ways that this may be achieved so you can better enjoy your garden this season. Gardeneer provide a full service of recommending plants for your garden, selecting the most suitable specimens from a range of suppliers and then doing the hard work of planting them for you. This will help towards a cheerful garden with all the year round colour and or interest.

Gardening Jobs for february

  • Divide perennials that are too big, just keep the newer roots.
  • Give your lawn its first cut, but don’t cut it too short – just enough to top off the long spiky grass.
  • Rake up any leaves that you’ve neglected to collect, such as those that are hiding under hedges.
  • The birds have been having a hard time, so make sure you fill your bird feeders and try to remember to defrost the birdbath.
  • Jet wash patios and paths to get rid of any slippery mud or moss.
  • Keep your beds and kitchen garden as weed-free as possible. The time Invest your time digging up perennial weeds now, as this will save your time later on in spring.
  • Keep off the lawn during heavy frosts. If conditions are suitable re-cut border edgings or install permanent edging.
  • Trim back ivy and Virginia creeper and wisteria from around the windows and guttering.

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