So, February to us brings the end of winter and the start of our gardening season. Bitter frosts and smatterings of snow join us, plus the low winter sun pushing through and encouraging the early growth of bulbs and some shrubs.
Jobs for February
Check stored fruit and vegetables and remove any damaged or mouldy produce to avoid spoiling the rest.
Seed potatoes are available now. Chit them (allow shoots to form) by placing them in a light, cool, frost-free place.
Moss will start growing on lawns before the grass, so now is the time to start killing it with ferrous sulphate.
This is your last chance to plant bare-rooted raspberries. Prune the canes of summer-fruiting types to 10in after planting, and autumn-fruiting varieties down to ground level.
Prune overwintered fuchsias back to one or two buds on each shoot. • Prune Winter Flowering Jasmine (Jasminum nudiflorum) after flowering to encourage new growth for next year’s blooms. Cut back the previous years’ growth to 5cm from the old wood.
Hellebores may show distorted foliage which is the result of stop-start growth caused by lower temperatures. New shoots should now grow normally. Prune your Wisteria now, cutting back summer side-shoots to 2 or 3 buds. • Towards the end of the month prune summer-flowering clematis before active growth begins.
If you need to move deciduous trees and shrubs, now is the time to do it provided the soil is not frozen or waterlogged.
Plant Lillies and Allium bulbs.
Plant bare root roses in a sunny position for spectacular summer colour.
Trim deciduous shrubs before the birds start nesting.
Begin to plan for spring, whether it’s hard or soft landscaping, now’s the time to get a plan on paper and change or evolve your garden.