What to do in the garden in February…

There’s always something to be doing in the garden, whether it’s pruning, tidying or sowing, so we’ve put together our top gardening tasks for February.

Get ahead for spring with these top tips below:

Sow seeds

Sort your seeds into the months in which they need to be sown. A box with dividers is helpful: just slip the part-sown packet into the following month’s section and you will come across it just when you need to sow again.

Trim your vines

Cut back ornamental vines such as Virginia creeper and Boston ivy now, particularly those climbing house walls and heading for windows and gutters. They are vigorous, so you can hack back hard.

Treat furniture

In dry weather, bring out your wooden garden furniture, sand them down and treat with Danish oil. They will look beautiful and have you longing for summer. The treatment also makes the wood water repellent and the furniture likely to last longer.

Go green

Epimedium foliage has served us well all winter, but if you take the shears to it now you will make space for the flowers to emerge unhindered, followed quick on their heels by the lovely new copper spring foliage.

Pot tidy

Ideally, I pot on permanent pot-dwellers into slightly larger containers at this time each year, but after a while plant and container can become impractically big and hard to manoeuvre. If yours fit this bill, scrape off the top layer of compost now and replace it with fresh, plus a sprinkling of fertiliser.

Nest boxes

Put up some nesting boxes. The RSPB has boxes suitable for whichever birds you hope to lure into your garden, just site them somewhere quiet and out of the sun, then wait.

Love your roses

Instead of buying a bunch of overpriced roses this weekend, give your rose bushes some love. Cut back all growth by two thirds, always to an outward pointing bud, and cut away any stems growing across the centre of the plant.

Spring clean

Winter has taken its toll on my greenhouse and I have cracked glass and moss in the nooks and crannies. This does not make for an ideal seed-raising environment, so before the big sow it is time for new panes and a scrub down.

Turn compost

All of last autumn’s prunings and cuttings back will be starting to rot down on the compost heap. Give them a turn now and the compost may be ready for spring spreading.

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