February To Do List:
- Plan for the year ahead, look at what you would like to achieve in the garden such as:
What veg you want to grow including seeds you need, spacings and planting intervals.
What plants do you want to add or;
- Look at areas that need spacing, what needs pruning and perennials and grasses that may need dividing.
- Test soils if curious about pH etc. amend as required.
- Garden structures that may need repairs or painting.
- Clean and sharpen tools, we will be offering this on 18th/19th March.
- Divide Perennials
- Attend to ornamental grasses, cut back deciduous varieties and divide where necessary. Evergreen grasses can be tidied up by removing dead leaves. Particularly rough looking plants might be better off being pruned back and dividing, especially Carex/sedge varieties.
- Chit potato tubers ready for planting, especially important for early varieties, later ones can be done later. Allow sprouts to emerge to around 1 inch and remove all but the strongest looking 4.
- Be prepared to protect early flowering fruit trees such as Apricot, Nectarine and Peach, earlier blossoming fruit trees like these can be damaged by frost, affecting production. Use of a frost blanket will keep them insulated. Other plants and trees that start leafing out early due to warm spells might also need some protection.
- Prune Apple, Pear, Quince, Asian Pear trees if you haven’t already. Do not prune stone fruits at this time, these should be done after mid-Summer.
- Dormant Oil Sprays can be applied when temperatures are above freezing.
- Prune Winter & Summer Flowering Shrubs, plants such as Witch Hazel, Forsythia, Viburnum bodnantense. This will ensure the plant has enough time to develop flower buds for the next season. Removal of old growth on shrubs will allow new growth establish, thin out congested growth. Some shrubs can be pruned hard to the ground where new growth will quickly develop, such as Kerria or Shrub dogwoods used for stem interest. Smooth, Panicle Hudrangeas can be pruned too as well as Weigela, Buddleia etc.
- Prune Wisteria, cut back to strong growth to create a robust framework.
- Prune evergreen hedges and shrubs such as cedars, tie in bent over branches caused but snow and ice. Reverted growth in shrubs should be pruned out now.
- Prune bougainvillea that has been kept indoors
- Lawns can be edged
Mulch beds ready for the spring and hot summer months, remove any established weeds before doing so.
Flowers & Indoors
- Dahlia tubers can be brought into the light and misted to bring them into growth, do not allow them to dry out.
- Lily bulbs for summer displays can be started now in pots.
- Gladioli bulbs can be placed in seed trays in a bright warm spot in order to allow sprouting before planting.
- Hardy annuals, can be sown now directly outdoors. This is also a great time for sowing wildflowers where they benefit from light frost to encourage germination. Ensure the area is weed free before sowing.
- Sweet Peas can be sown now either under cover or indoors in a cool spot.
- Amarylis/Hippeastrum, flowers that have faded can be trimmed off, leave the stalk to due back naturally and you may get repeat blooms.
- Forced indoor bulbs, can be placed outdoors in a sheltered spot to go dormant.
- Citrus plants can be top dressed and re-potted if necessary.
Deciduous/ Woody Shrubs
Remove any dead or diseased branches, open up the interior of shrubs by removing any criss-crossing or inward growing branches that will inhibit air circulation. Continue to improve shape by cutting back any desired branches to above a nice, strong bud. For best results, do not remove more than 1/3 of the plant.
Now is the time to remove last years fruiting canes of summer bearing raspberries. These are normally a pale brown colour compared to the bright brown of the new canes. Tie the strongest new cane to a support structure for summer fruiting. Fall bearing raspberries should be completely cut down to ground level.
Gooseberries, Currants and Blueberries
Older plants benefit from some rejuvenation pruning by removing 1 or 2 of the oldest branches as close to the ground as possible. Remove any low branches that are touching the ground to discourage access from pests.
These can now be pruned of their old foliage. Herbaceous grasses should be pruned towards the end of February.
Evergreen & Semi-evergreen Perennials
These can be cut down to above new growth. Be cautious with Lavender and other Woody types to make sure there is a sign of new growth (buds) beneath your cut. Ferns can be tidied up or cut back above new emerging fronds.
Lenten Rose or Hellebores orientalis
Remove last years leaves for aesthetics and to improve the show of buds & blooms
Vines – Summer blooming (type ‘C’) Clematis should be cut down to above the 2nd or 3rd strongest set of buds from the ground (approx. 1’)
Honeysuckle & Wisteria – Prune to above the 3rd strongest bud on each branch.
After pruning, fertilize with an all-purpose fertilizer (such as 6-8-6) and mulch with an organic compost – we recommend MyGarden Compost or well composted manure.
Dormant Sprays for Fruiting Trees & Shrubs:
Spray a lime sulphur /dormant oil solution after. This one spray is extremely effective at eliminating over wintering diseases and insects before they can start. Watch video below to learn more!
Start Indoors – Artichoke, Arugula, Asparagus, Leeks, Sweet Onions & Sesame
Direct Sow – Broad Beans, Claytonia, Corn Salad & Mustard
Direct Sow & Cover – Pac Choi, Radish & Spinach
If you successfully overwintered annuals such as Fuchsias and Geraniums in your garage, cool basement or greenhouse it’s time to look for signs of new growth along the stems. Fertilize with an all-purpose fertilizer and prune back to above the new stem growth. Move it into an area where it will receive adequate light but is protected from frost.