February Gardening Tips

February Gardening Tips

February is the month when we all breathe a sigh of relief as the first touches of spring become apparent.

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We just can’t get through the summer months without the gorgeous smell of sweet peas so keep sowing them this month for successional blooms. If you started last autumn, you will be able to pot them now, still ensuring they are well protected from the frosts in your Rhino greenhouse.

Cornus, commonly known as dogwood, should have given you some striking colours throughout the winter. Now is the time to cut them back down to their bases if they are well established - a good tidy up is needed to ensure vigorous growth for next winter. 

Remove any damaged or diseased leaves, and all faded flowers from your winter pansies to stop them setting seed and to give them an added boost for another bloom. It is so lovely to make the most of your winter pansies, continuing the colour throughout February into March.

Many of our winter vegetables require a very long growing season, but they are worth the wait. Now is the time to start sowing vegetable seeds such as leek, celeriac, broccoli and cabbage, but ensure you keep them under cover to protect them from the late frosts. You’re then ready for a harvest of green goodness later in the year. Remember on warmer days, they may require some ventilation which is when our automatic vents really help!

This is the month to get on top of weeding and fork in some well rotted manure in your vegetable beds. After the soil preparation, cover the areas with ground cover to keep the soil warmer and dry until spring.

Eggshell seedlings

To give yourself the best chance of cultivating a really great crop of potatoes, start preparing them now by placing seed potatoes in an old egg box with the eye facing upwards. Ensure they are on a warm windowsill or in the greenhouse with plenty of light, but keep them out of direct sunlight. This helps to get new shoots off to a strong start, ready for planting in approximately four weeks.

Why not create a new wildlife pond? Make sure there is a minimum depth of 60cm to avoid total freeze through, and build it with sloping sides and contours to make it look both natural and perfect for different mini creatures to get in and out. Let the rain fill it up!

It won’t be long before our garden birds will be looking for nesting spots, so if you need to give your deciduous hedges a trim, make sure you have finished before the birds start nesting so you don't disturb them!

Whilst the days are getting brighter, it is still cold and food remains scarce for birds. They will thank you for any extra food available to keep them healthy ready for nesting, so ensure your feeders are clean, water is available and a variety of food is accessible.

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