In even the smallest garden its best to get ahead of the game during February and get on with jobs that will save you time once spring really gets underway. It is easy come April to realize that you should have pruned your roses in February. So here is a quick list of vital jobs to be getting on with in the flower garden during February to help you make sure you haven’t missed anything.
February is the month when you can really start to get the new season underway and one of the best ways to start is to sow plants indoors. Sowing your own seed is an economical way of raising new plants and sowing indoors will make sure they get a head start and also help to extend the growing season for tender annuals. Flowering plants that will benefit from being sown in this way include sweet peas and half hardy annuals such as petunia and lobelia.
Now is also the time to prune some of the gardens most stunning flowering climbers. If you have wisteria cut it back to one or two buds from the main stem, making sure to remove any whippy growth except those you want to train as new leaders. Late flowering clematis can also be cut back at the end of this month. Make sure you cut each stem cleanly above a low pair of green shoots.
In the flower bed, fork and rake over the soil where you plan to sow hardy annuals. Lift and divide clumps of snowdrops when in leaf or ‘in the green’ and replant around the garden. This is the best way of getting this stunning little bulb to spread. Now is also the time to lift and divide congested border perennials as long as the ground is not frozen. Also if the weather is not to severe, cut off the heads of hydrangeas and prune back the shoots to a pair of buds. Cut out any dead stems on hardy fuchsias. Winter flowering heathers will also benefit from a trim during this month.
Finally, make sure you fill garden planters with spring flowering bulbs and bedding plants to brighten up patios and infill gaps in the garden. You might also like to plant out lily bulbs in containers during this month. They are best grown on in pots first before planting them out in the flower border.
Jo Poultney is a RHS qualified gardener who has recently set up a business selling garden planters and garden related gifts via a website.
Photo. Hans Braxmeier