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February in the garden

Snowdrop flowers growing in garden

Gardening jobs for February

We’ve made it! We’re finally through arguably the dreariest month of the year and we can start to look forward snowdrops filling woodlands and grassy verges, carpets of colourful crocuses and even some early daffodils popping out to cheer us up.

By the end of February, we’ll have daylight beyond 5:30 pm (I know, can you even imagine?!) giving us a bit more motivation to spend time outdoors.

So, let’s put that boost of energy from the extra hours of sun to good use with some garden jobs you can get to work on throughout February.

Here’s four types of jobs you can do in the garden this month:

 
Preparing your beds

We’re not talking about laying out your pyjamas and turning on the electric blanket – no, this is about getting your garden beds ready for some serious seed sowing.

A few weeks before you want to sow your seeds, give it a once over with a fork to break up clumps in the soil and encourage any dormant weeds to grow, that way you can clear them out before sowing the seeds you actually want to grow.  

Once you’ve cleared the weeds and, on a day, when the soil is relatively dry, 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.

Sowing seeds

You can sow broad bean seeds outdoors towards the end of February if it’s relatively mild or if you’d 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’d recommend using covered trays to encourage germination even when the temperature drops overnight.  

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 plants 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.

Chitting potatoes

You can start off your early and maincrop 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, only keep 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 own potatoes, check out our guide.

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