Traditionally and for gardeners especially, February can be a very difficult and unpredictable month. Apart from being one of the coldest months of the year with regular spells of frosts and possibly even snow, the weather conditions can vary considerably from cold yet bright sunshine to very wet and windy conditions. But still there are also visible signs of the new spring to be seen in perhaps more sheltered areas.
Early blooming snowdrops, crocuses and even some daffodils are all now breaking through at ground level. Otherwise and similar to other winter months, the February gardening tasks are very much focussed on planning but when weather permits some gardening tasks might be possible.
- Tidy planted borders and remove any fallen leaf or debris from lawns, clean patio and pathway areas
- If you haven’t already done so, now is probably the last opportunity before the new season, to use any collected leaf to make valuable leaf mould
- Continue to plant bare root trees and shrubs so long as ground is not too wet or frozen
- Start pruning roses, reducing height to within 150-200mm of ground level
- Good time to prune to shape summer flowering shrubs and climbers (spring flowering plants should be cut back after flowering has finished)
- Save time and effort on preparing ground for new border areas by allowing lower temperatures to break down the clumpy sods after the initial dig
- Move any delicate plants to a sheltered spot and protect all potted planted plants during periods of hard frost
- Check lawns for moss (apply a moss treatment if necessary) and give lawn area a light mow (only during dry spells) to keep lawn looking neat
- Lightly brush off any snow from shrubs to reduce any potential damage to plants
- Improve the appearance of planted borders by applying mulch topdressing but do so now and risk disturbing or damaging newly emerging spring flowering bulbs
- February is often a very difficult month for our feathered friends, so do not forget to leave out some feeding (and water) for the birds.