Your Garden in February
YOUR GARDEN IN FEBRUARY
When February comes, it's time to prepare for springtime
February is short but sweet for gardeners, as the first definite signs of spring appear. At the time of writing, a fairly mild winter has meant the bulbs are already peeping through and should be in plentiful supply by February, making the garden a cheerful place.
It can, of course, be a very cold month too but, if weather allows, there is plenty to be done in anticipation of the lovely, long gardening season ahead. Some of the stars of your winter garden will be starting to fade now, so let's start with some pruning.
Cut back the colourful winter stems of shrubs such as Cornus and Salix cultivars to their bases and prune winter-flowering shrubs, like Mahonia and Viburnum x bodnantense, once they have finished flowering. Roses and Clematis can also be pruned back this month and, whilst we cannot go into detail for every plant here, you will find lots of pruning guidance online on sites such as the RHS.
February is also the month to winter prune Wisteria, to ensure a fine display of flowers later in the year. First pruned around August, when you will have cut back the whippy green shoots of last spring's growth to about five leaves, these plants will benefit significantly from another pruning now. Cut back the same growths to two or three buds, tidying up the plant ahead of the growing season and ensuring that its magnificent flowers will not be obscured by leaves.
Cut back the old foliage from ornamental grasses before growth begins, as well as the dead leaves and flower stems of plants such as Crocosmia, if you haven't already done so. Cut back to within a few centimetres of the ground. The same applies to any hardy perennials, such as Geraniums, which haven't yet been cut back.
Trim winter-flowering heathers as the flowers disappear, to prevent the plants becoming leggy
Remove any faded flowers from your winter pansies to stop them setting seed. This will encourage a flush of new flowers when the weather warms up.
If you're lucky enough to have large clumps of pretty snowdrops, these can be lifted and divided whilst still 'in the green', creating new plants to move to different parts of your garden. You can also move deciduous trees or shrubs now, as long as the soil is not frozen or waterlogged.
If you're looking to add to your garden, it's a good time to plant lilies and Allium bulbs or to add a late winter-interest shrub such as a Daphne, Viburnum or Camellia. For instant impact in borders and containers, try the lovely Primrose 'Everlast', which looks particularly good partnered with evergreen ferns and Salix 'Kilmarnock'.
If you have enough space, February is a great time to add a Magnolia to your garden. I've chosen Magnolia soulangeana as my feature plant this month, a stunning tree-like shrub which in February will be full of furry-looking flower buds. The beautiful, showy, tulip-shaped flowers will appear on the bare stems in the weeks to come, providing a breath-taking display which cannot fail to make you smile.
FEBRUARY ON THE VEG PLOT
Whether you have an allotment, a veggie patch in your garden or just a few containers for growing your own, Ruth McNamee from our Plant Area can guide you through the edible gardening year.
This can be the coldest month of the winter so, although the light levels are increasing, the weather can still catch you unawares.
Start some early peas or broad beans, to get you in the growing mood. Place a cloche out on a prepared bed at the beginning of the month to warm and dry the soil, and sow beneath these towards the end of the month.
Cut back your autumn fruiting raspberry canes to ground level and mulch with garden compost or well-rotted manure, after giving them a feed with general purpose fertiliser or blood, fish and bone. All your fruit trees and fruit bushes would also benefit from an early feed, to give them a boost at the start of the growing season.
Towards the end of February, in the greenhouse, plant some seed potatoes into large pots. These can be easily covered with fleece if a cold spell is due. This crop will be most welcome come May time.
Dig over sandy soil to prepare for the coming months and enjoy the lengthening days on the plot.
thanks to https://www.bartongrange.co.uk/plants-and-gardening/gardening-advice/