Gardening jobs for February
By the end of February we’ll have daylight beyond 5:30 pm, giving us more motivation to spend time outdoors. So, let’s put that boost of energy from the extra sun to good use and get some garden jobs ticked off the list.
Here are four jobs you can do in your garden this month:
1. Preparing your beds
A few weeks before you want to sow your seeds, give your garden beds a once over with a fork to break up clumps in the soil and encourage any dormant weeds to grow, so you can clear them out before sowing the seeds you want to grow. Once you’ve cleared the weeds, scatter over some fresh all-purpose compost and rake through with a fork, removing any debris. You can also cover your beds with horticulture fleece or a plastic sheet for a couple of weeks before sowing to allow the temperature of the soil to increase and dry out the soil if you’ve had a lot of rain.
2. Sowing seeds
You can sow broad bean seeds outdoors towards the end of February if it’s relatively mild or if you’ve used a covering to warm through your soil earlier on. Salvia seeds can be sown indoors in a bright, warm spot during February, ready to plant out around April or May.
Basil and tomato seeds can be sown in pots on a sunny windowsill towards the end of the month. We recommend using covered trays to encourage germination even when the temperature drops overnight.
3. Tidying, pruning, and prepping
Prune back winter-flowering shrubs that have finished blooming. Trim back any damaged, dying, or twiggy shoots close to the base to allow the plant’s energy to be directed to new, healthy growth. Encourage better flowering by trimming back wisterias this month, cutting back to two or three buds. Plants do better in clean pots with good drainage, so now’s a good time to get out the scrubbing brush to avoid diseases and mould.
4. Chitting potatoes
You can start off your early seed potatoes indoors in February, allowing them to sprout before planting. Stand them in a tray or old egg carton with the end with the most ‘eyes’ facing up. When you’re ready to plant your potatoes, keep only about four of the strongest-looking shoots per seed, rubbing off the weaker ones with your thumb. If you need more advice on chitting and growing your potatoes, check out our guide.