After such a bright and dry end to January you have probably been able to get out in your garden when the wind wasn’t too cold and continue the pre-Spring tidy-up. The days are also getting longer, heralding the approaching Spring season and there are already many buds forming on shrubs and roses. It is a very positive time of year!
You can now plant bare-root trees and shrubs in their final positions. Similarly, you can move or plant ‘in-the-green’ snowdrops (snowdrops with just leaves) so they will give you a beautiful show of white flowers in a week or so.
This is also a good month for planting shallots, raspberries and blackberry canes, if weather and soil conditions permit.
Make sure the frosts haven’t lifted newly-planted trees and shrubs, firm the soil around them gently with your foot if required.
Hedge cutting and Pruning
If you didn’t get a chance to prune your hedges last Autumn, February is a great time to do this. Deciduous garden hedges can all be cut back fairly hard now, before birds start looking for suitable nesting sites.
You can also cut back deciduous grasses, ideally down to 15-20cm before new shoots emerge and also deadhead any winter bedding plants for bushier displays later in the year.
If you have finished clearing off the old growth from your perennials and your flowerbeds are quite tidy, you can apply a top dressing of blood fish and bone or other granular fertiliser around the plants and gently fork this into the soil.
If you can’t spend much time in he garden at the moment, neatening up the edges of your lawn or flowerbeds is the fastest way to give the impression of a tidy garden and it makes you feel that the growing season is just round the corner.
If the weather permits, you can plant your sweet pea seeds outside where you wish them to flower but they may need to be protected with cloches. Alternatively, plant some seeds in plant pots in the greenhouse or on the windowsill to be planted out later in the spring.
Seed catalogues and garden ideas
You can get a lot of ideas for your summer garden from gardening magazines or seed catalogues, maybe finding some new varieties of striking annuals for your pots or hanging baskets. So, on any wet and cold February days, browse these catalogues or read through a gardening magazine or book for ideas for your garden.