It’s hard to tell what the weather will be like this month, there is always talk of deep frosts and potential snow, some of the worst words to be said to a gardener., however despite the weather warnings, there’s still plenty to be done in the garden and greenhouse.
If you haven’t done so already, now is the time to get the machinery serviced and tools ready for the new growing season.
You should have an idea of what you are going to sow over the course of the next year, sorting out your seeds into the months in which they will be sown will prove very beneficial.
Make your Bed(s)
Instead of burning the debris you collect from your beds, put them on the compost heap as most of the debris you collect will be home to insects. Getting your beds raked and cleared will prepare them for mulching and planting bulbs in the spring.
Some prefer to wait until the ground is slightly warmed however, if you have bulbs coming through, work in a 5cm layer of weed-free organic matter before they grow any further.
If your ground has weeds in, do not add a layer of mulch, this will only provide a better growing environment for the weeds, always make sure your ground is weed-free, not only is this a good growing practice it will also benefit anything your try to grow in those areas.
Don’t forget to mulch around your fruit trees and shrubs, use a good organic matter and try not to let it build up around the trunks.
Start Spring Cleaning
Although we have been saying this for a couple of months now, having a clean and plant friendly environment will set you off to a great start for the new growing season. If you’ve put off cleaning your greenhouse, now the weather is getting slightly warmer, get out the sponge and bucket and give it a thorough clean.
Being prepared as possible and ready for the new growing season will be a huge part of your success.
This also includes keeping your pits and trays well cleaned and organised too.
Checking that all of your gardening tools and lawn mower is in a good working condition will be a great help to getting started around the garden or allotment. Tools often get forgotten about and can be a right pain if you go to get started and they aren’t working as they should be.
Look after your lawn
If your eager for more jobs to do around your garden, try lawn edging, this will keep your lawn looking neat and tidy and will have your lawn ready for the new growing season.
For extra winter protection use a cold frame which should be placed where there is plenty of light and in an area that reaps the warmth of the sun. Make sure you don’t cook your plants though and remember to ventilate on sunnier, warmer days. If you’re due to have a really cold night, throw a blanket or rug over the cold frame for extra protection.
Keep Pests at Bay
Pests and diseases are a gardener’s nightmare. Whitefly should be one to watch out for and any infested areas should be sprayed thoroughly to get rid of it.
Trees and Shrubs
If you’re lucky enough to have snow in your area, use a broom to knock it off on your trees and shrubs to prevent any damage being caused to them.
Check the bark on your trees if you’re using tree ties to make sure they aren’t cutting in and any ties which have been damaged or have seen better days need to be replaced.
If you have shrubs which have outgrown their growing area, February is a good month to get them moved to a more suited place.
Complete Winter Pruning
If you haven’t already done so, fruit trees will really appreciate a winter pruning.
Any canes you have can be cut back so they can produce new canes and crops in the late summer and autumn.
Keep the birds happy
Birds love a garden with a clean water station and a good source of food, so keep the bird feeders topped up as food can be hard to come by during the winter months.
If you can, invest in a RSPB approved bird box to help them find a safe nesting site in the spring.