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Gardening Jobs for February

  • Plant Roses – Avoid planting in areas where roses were previously growing otherwise they may suffer from replant diseases. If pruning, cut back all growth by two thirds, always to an outward pointing bud, and cut away any stems growing across the centre of the plant.
  • You can also plant Daylillies, Hostas and Bleeding Hearts.
  • Remove weeds from around the bases of young trees, flower beds and kitchen garden. Any time spent digging up perennial weeds now, is time saved later on in spring.
  • Cut back ornamental vines such as Virginia creeper and Boston ivy now, particularly those climbing house walls and heading for windows and gutters. They are vigorous, so you can hack back hard.
  • Fruit trees can be pruned now. There are many guides on the internet on the “correct” way to do this. Ideally, you want an open canopy that you can see through, allowing good air circulation which is important for disease prevention and enable to sunlight penetrate all of the tree to allow the fruit to ripen.
  • Tie wall shrubs and climbers onto their supports to protect them from wind damage.
  • Finish planting any bare-root or root-balled deciduous trees in shelter belts or hedges within the next month if the ground has dried out sufficiently — aim to get it done before the middle of March.
  • Take action to remove algae from paths if they start to become slippery. Power wash paths, scouring off all the slippery mould and dark patches that have formed over the winter.
  • Go through your shed and remove any old, out-of-date garden chemicals. Also take some time to check out your mowers and other garden tools. Don’t wait till you need them to find they need maintenance/repair.
  • HOUSEPLANTS: Deadhead Amaryllis leaving the flower stalks to die down naturally. Keep feeding and watering and you may be treated to further flowers in August as well as the normal blooms next winter.
  • LAWNS: If the weather is warm and dry your lawn can have its first cut of the year. Turf can be laid, provided the soil is not too wet or frosty. Work from planks, to avoid compacting the soil. Do not walk on the newly laid turf and leave undisturbed for several weeks to allow new roots to establish.
  • Sow seeds of tomatoes, peppers and chillies in the greenhouse or heated propagator.
  • Also Rhubarb, Horseradish, Artichokes and Asparagus can be planted. Garlic needs to be in the ground before the end of the month.
  • For lettuce crops in May and June sow now under cover. Plant them out under cloches once they are a few inches tall.
  • If you are planning to grow Parsley, wash seeds in warm water the night before you want to sow them, then lay them out to dry on kitchen paper overnight. This washes off the germinator inhibitor in the seed coat and will give you a harvest in a shorter time.
  • Turn the compost heap.
  • In dry weather, bring out your wooden garden furniture, sand them down and treat with Danish oil. They will look beautiful and have you longing for summer. The treatment also makes the wood water repellent and the furniture likely to last longer.
  • Hanging fat balls in your fruit trees will encourage the birds to come along and gobble up any greenfly or woolly aphids that have survived the winter on your trees. Don’t forget, if it snows, knock the snow off tree and shrub branches to avoid damage.
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