Garden Jobs in February 2023
The countdown to spring has started. It's so cheering to see snowdrops, aconites, crocus, muscari and early daffodils popping out buds as they soak up all available sun rays! It all contributes towards a sense of excitement for the new gardening season, and it's just around the corner. Grab those mild sunny days with both hands and prepare your garden for a fabulous year!
1. February is the perfect month to plan any new beds and borders or renovation work you need to get done in the garden this year. If your garden has felt a bit bland over these last few months, why not plant up a border for Winter Interest now for a bright and fab display later in the year. Click here for some key plant ideas.
2. Almost all ornamental grasses look striking in winter, especially in crisp, cold weather, but most start to look tired this month. Cut back deciduous grasses, such as Miscanthus, Calamagrostis and Deschampsia down to the ground before new growth emerges. Evergreen grasses, such as Stipa and Cortaderia can be given just a good tidy by combing through and removing the old growth. 3. It's a great time to look at the shape and health of established deciduous shrubs. Check for broken stems or any branches crossing or rubbing that can be removed to improve the vigour of the plant. Be careful not to prune spring flowering shrubs, such as Forsythia. 4. Late flowering Clematis (group 3, which includes C. orientalis, C. viticella, C.texensis and C.tangutica) can be pruned to the ground now, so any new growth is completely tangle free. 5. Choose a rose with sensational blooms for a new display this year. We have a huge variety available, which quickly get snapped up for early planting, so don't miss out on your favourites. 6. Lift and divide older spring bulbs, such as snowdrops (Galanthus) and winter aconites (Eranthis hyemalis) once flowering has finished or buy new plants (in the green), these are often more reliable than bulbs. 7. Water greenhouse plants sparingly in winter and try to avoid wetting the leaves when doing so. This will prevent mould forming on wet leaves. Pick off any yellowing or dead leaves to help prevent disease from developing. Check over for aphid, mealybug and other pests that can multiply quickly! 8. Give your container-grown shrubs, trees and perennials a boost with a top dress, by removing the top layer of soil and replacing with new compost. 9. Bare root hedging is still available, and providing the ground is not frozen or waterlogged, it's the perfect time to create an attractive native hedge or fill some gaps in an existing hedge.
10. Feed the birds regularly, with a mix of feeds. Throw out the odd spare apple or two (cut in half). Blackbirds, thrushes, Fieldfares and Redwings love them! and make sure the ice in broken on water baths. Blackbirds and Thrush's especially like a good bath. 11. Give your borders a good tidy up and make room for some exquisite early spring flowering shrubs and perennials, such as Corydalis, Pulmonaria, Iris, Omphalodes, Euphorbia, Chaenomeles, Corylopsis. 9. Make a spring statement by planting up a large pot with a floriferous spring shrub or small tree, such as Camellia, Magnolia, Prunus or Rhododendron. There are no 'soil requirement boundaries' when planting pots as you buy and plant straight into the soil type they need, such as Ericaceous soil for acid-loving plants)
10. You can still prune apples and pears (click here for advice), grape vines and wisterias (back to a structural framework) before buds swell in the spring.
11. Put rhubarb forcers in place now to get those early succulent stems. 12. Check on overwintering tubers, making sure they are not too wet or too dry. Remove any areas of rot and mist any that are dry. 13. Thin and tidy established Bamboo. Regular thinning of canes to ground level improves their appearance and the removal of any fallen leaves that are stuck between canes, encourages new healthy growth.