With the way the weather has been this year, particularly with the heavy snow much of the country has had over the past few days and with temperatures set to plummet there’s no particular incentive to go outside other than to make snowmen, so spend some time thinking about what you want from your garden this year and plan accordingly. As far as gardening jobs for February, there’s not an awful lot to do that won’t wait until March. Unless we get some good sunny days and it dries out enough for you to get stuck in, keep warm and dry and stay inside. At least we can take comfort that with the snowdrops and aconites already in flower Spring won’t be too far away.
Here’s a few jobs to think about if the weather does change;
- Remember to feed the birds. Nuts and fat are better than bread. Putting out bread just encourages rats. Remember to clean your feeders regularly to stop any build up of bacteria. We find that the starlings love the fat balls and the robins and smaller birds love the nuts.
- Give your roses a boost with a specialist rose feed to encourage more flowers and get some manure on the beds.
- Cut back perennials to keep them tidy when it starts to warm up again and the snow disappears.
- If the weather does take a turn for the worst remember to fleece any tender plants or bring them inside if you can.
- Continue planting bare-rooted roses, trees, shrubs and hedging plants. A much more economical way of buying plants. Especially good time of year to plant a native hedge. You can get some great deals either online or at your local garden centre. Great for bringing wildlife into the garden.
- Start thinking about which varieties of potato you are going to grow this year. You can soon start chitting them (encouraging them to grow shoots). Put them in a warm light spot inside and they will soon sprout allowing them a better start when you do plant them outside.
- Service your petrol lawn mowers and check your other tools are all in working order.
- General hygiene – Clean out your greenhouse (if you are not using it) and give any pots or seed trays a good clean and disinfect if you are going you reuse them
- Get ahead of yourself now by digging over any bare soil and breaking-up any clods to give you a fine crumbly seed bed in preparation for sowing.
- It’s still too early to sow most things outside but you could have a go at planting a few radishes, leeks or parsnips if you are really keen. Inside, you can start sowing a few tomatoes on your window sills to get an early start.
- Get some instant colour into your borders with primroses or hellebores. Hellebore ‘Cinnamon Snow’ is a real beauty!
- Think about sowing sweet peas under glass
- Still a good time to move deciduous trees and shrubs in the garden before they wake up for spring.
- If you want to cheer yourself up, pop into your local garden centre as they’ve got a huge array of summer flowering bulbs, tubers and corms. Everything from gladioli to sparaxis and begonias to dahlias and of course a wonderful range of lilies. Personally, we recommend buying lilies loose; large firm bulbs, the bigger the bulb the bolder the flower! Dont forget you can always start off your dahlia tubers now in a warm greenhouse and take basal root cuttings in a month or so. (These are the shoots that come from the base of the old stem).