February Jobs in the Garden

I’m writing this on 5th February, the sky is bright blue and cloudless and the garden looks quite beautiful; but the frost is still sparkling on the ground and dusting the tops of the shrubs, so don’t be beguiled into thinking winter is past, just yet.

Work in a February garden is very much dictated by temperature, so if it’s bitterly cold and the ground is frozen, many of these jobs should be postponed.

  1. Deciduous grasses will be looking messy, so remove the old stems if you haven’t already, as new shoots will soon be appearing.

 

  1. If we do have snow, knock it off evergreen shrubs and hedges to prevent the weight damaging the plants.

 

  1. Later in the month, prune summer flowering Clematis (Group 3), cut stems back hard, to healthy buds about 30cm above the base.

 

  1. If you need to move deciduous shrubs or trees (small ones), now is the time to do it, while they’re dormant.

 

  1. Winter prune apples, blackcurrants and autumn fruiting raspberries.

 

  1. Divide congested clumps of herbaceous perennials and grasses, although some respond better if divided in the autumn, so it’s advisable to research specific plants as necessary.

 

  1. Snowdrops can be divided after flowering; they respond very well to this. For new stock always buy them ‘in the green’ – this just means buy them as small plants. Success with planting snowdrop bulbs is always quite limited as many of them seem to fail.

 

  1. Prune wisteria as soon as possible, if you haven’t already done it.

 

  1. Feed fruit trees and bushes with sulphate of potash fertiliser sprinkled around the base.

 

  1. Keep bird feeders filled and ensure the water is fresh and not frozen. Birds get thirsty and my blackbirds still love having a bath – even in this freezing weather!

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