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Tips and advice on garden care in February
February is the perfect time to get out in the garden and do some essential maintenance and planning for the spring.
Watch the weather
For gardeners in the south of England, or if you benefit from a sheltered spot, you can safely make a start.
For those of us further north, things might not warm up much until later in the month. Possible even early March, so some of the jobs on our list will need to wait a few more weeks.
February focus: Propagation
This is the time you can get ahead of the season and start using a propagator to germinate your seedlings, ready to be transplanted when frost has lifted.
You could start off cucumbers, leeks and tomatoes indoors ready for a tasty crop of home-grown vegetables.
Find out more about sowing seeds with our handy guide.
Some bulbs such as snowdrops and winter aconites prefer to be transplanted while still growing, so now is the time to dig up and divide congested clumps.
Once replanted, they will quickly bulk up and flower well the following year.
Find out more about dividing plants in our how-to guide.
Grow your own: Raspberries
Growing raspberries is a fun and simple project, perfect if you want to get the family involved in gardening.
You can plant them anytime from November to March, if the ground isn’t water-logged or frozen.
Our guide will tell you everything you need to know about growing your own raspberries.
Garden jobs for February
Finish off winter digging (digging or forking over bare patches of ground, mixing in organic matter as you go).
Look out for aphids, they start to become active again as it begins to warm up. Try using a pest control spray if you notice unwanted garden visitors. We would always recommend using organic products which aren’t harmful to the environment.
Cut back ornamental grasses to ground level.
If it’s mild and dry, mow the grass and prepare the ground for a new lawn.
Fruit & vegetables
Cut back your autumn fruiting raspberry canes to the ground.
Prune dormant apple and pear trees.
Force rhubarb by firstly removing any old leaves, then covering the crown with a pot. Insulate the area with bubble wrap or straw.
Chit your seed potatoes.
Net your fruit and vegetable crops to keep the birds off.
Beds & borders
Start preparing the ground for new beds and borders as early in the season as possible so the ground is in a decent condition by the time you’re ready to start putting plants in.
Remove weeds from beds and cover with black plastic to help keep the ground dry and warm.
Trees and shrubs
Prune evergreen and deciduous or topiary hedges to promote fresh growth.
Tidy up and deadhead winter flowering pansies in tubs and hanging baskets.
Prune and rejuvenate old trees, shrubs and climbers, but don’t cut them right back to nothing. Just cut out the oldest branches (the ones that are thickest with the darkest bark). Leave the other branches for now. Just remove a few each year and in 3 or 4 years you’ll have replaced the whole plant.
Plant bare-root roses. These are not pot grown, so offer great value for money. Don’t forget to still protect these from waterlogged ground.
February garden project: Alpine Rock Gardens
If you’re thinking about adding a new focal point to your garden this year, a rockery is a great choice, especially for smaller and more awkward shaped gardens.
You can create a custom Alpine rockery, and you don’t need to be a gardening expert to have a go. Just follow our step by step guide for feature full of colour that’ll impress your friends for years to come.