February garden plant maintenance

February garden plant maintenance in Wokingham and Maidenhead

Berkshire and surrounding areas

Garden maintenance in February

Seedlings

Gardening always depends on the weather, don’t you think! Surely it used to be seasonal and gardening calendars could be followed. But these days the weather is so variable that rules don’t seem to apply any more. However, February/March is definitely a good time to prune (preferably during a mild spell) some plants and shrubs, for instance Buddleia, Clematis, Hydrangea, Roses, Winter Jasmine, Wisteria and shrubs which are overgrown and need encouragement.

Spring-flowering shrubs, on the other hand, are not pruned until early summer after they have flowered.

If you like to grow plants from seeds and are lucky enough to own a heated greenhouse, they can be germinated early in the year – or, of course, by bringing seed trays into the house or using a heated, sealed propagator. Due to low light levels in February, this isn’t easy and plants will need to be turned regularly to keep the growth even. When this seeding goes well, plants will mature earlier than seeds planted in March or April, although the latter months make it easier because it’s warmer and there’s more light.

Lettuce, Rocket, Tomatoes, Chillis, Aubergine and Beetroot can be seeded in February as can many of the popular flowers such as Calendula, Cornflowers, Marigolds, Salvia and Zinnia.

With any luck we should be seeing our Daffodils, Crocus and other bulbs growing well by this time. There are some lovely summer bulbs which can be planted in February to flower late in the spring and early summer: Allium, Lilies, Anemone for example.

Garden centres are wonderful places for exploring the summer flowering bulbs. Information written on the packets is worth reading to ensure they will survive any frosty conditions, and to make sure they will flower the following year they should be fed until they flower all during the growing season.

Easy to grow are Crocosmia which can be planted in spring and will flower vigorously in the late summer, returning each year.

As ever, Gardeneer is here to help with your garden, whether it’s regular tidy-ups, designing and landscaping, turfing, fences, decking and everything needed to make it the garden you wish for.

Garden maintenance in February

  • Clear away dead foliage from perennials, chop it up and add it to the compost heap

  • Trim back ivy and Virginia creeper from around windows and guttering

  • Cut back ornamental miscanthus grass before new shoots start developing

  • Order seed potatoes, onion sets and shallots

  • Cover clumps of rhubarb with buckets or terracotta pots to force early stems

  • Use cloches to warm the soil for early sowings

  • Water pot plants sparingly and avoid wetting foliage

  • Bring potted hyacinths and bulbs under cover to bloom

  • Some lawns will probably have a good crop of moss by now, especially if the drainage is poor. If there is a dry spell, spike or scarify to remove the moss and brush a top dressing of sharp sand into the holes.

  • Plants to look for in February: Mahonia Charity, Anemone, Snowdrops, Garrya Elliptica, Jasmine, Hellebore, Camelia Japonica