February Garden Tips
Here are the tasks to be done this month:
If you haven’t ventured out much into the garden for the past few months, you’ll be surprised by what there is still to do before the end of winter. This year has proved to be fairly mild so far and spring bulbs are showing through earlier than usual. Tidying away the old detritus of winter shows off spring flowers and emerging bright green foliage to its very best, particularly when mulched with compost.
- Winter prune and thin out old wood in hardy shrubs such as Philadelphus, Weigelia and Deutzia
- If you haven't done it already, trim off the leaves of Helleborus orientalis as this reveals the flowers so much better and reduces the spread of foliar disease
- Carry on winter digging in the veg garden
- Plant shallot sets and spring garlic
- Sow small and slow germinating seed indoors eg. Lobelia, Nicotiana or peppers
- Prune late flowering Clematis hard back
Having seen people in the north west and Scotland experience flooding over Christmas this year, and remembering people in Somerset who faced a similar challenge the previous year, reminds us of the extreme fluctuations our weather patterns have and their effect on the whole of the UK. It shows we cannot plant for either increased drought or wet weather because we will experience extremes of both over future years. My best advice is to ensure that soil is well prepared with lots of good fibrous compost, as this will help heavy soils drain and sandy soils hold moisture. This ensures we can help which ever plants we have build more tolerance for extreme weather.
Stephen Relton, Horticutural Consultant, February 2016