February can be freezing and frosty, relatively balmy, boggy from non-stop rain, stone dry, or see 3ft of snow cover. Often it’s all of those things across the month – variety is one of the joys of living in England! But whatever the weather, your top job for this month is to warm the soil of your seedbeds towards the end of February, using horticultural fleece or cloches, so that you can get sowing!
- Snow is fairly likely in February. If it does snow where you are, make sure to clear trees and shrubs of snow or the weight of it could break delicate branches.
- Plant bare rooted hedges, trees, shrubs and roses as long as the ground isn’t frozen. Before planting, soak them and then dust mycorrhizal fungi over the roots – this will encourage an effective root system.
- Use mulch around hedges, trees, shrubs and roses, especially if recently planted, to increase moisture retention.
- Prune summer fruiting berries, and summer flowering clematis to the lowest pair of strong buds.
- Protect fruit blossoms from frost, but make sure insects can still access them for pollination
- From your roses, remove any damaged, old or congested stems
- Remove any weeds from around hedges and place a compost mulch around the roots, along with a dusting of good general fertilizer.
- Chit seed potatoes
- Cut last year’s perennials close to the crown of the plant
- Pick out weeds from the space around plants, and lay down 2-3 inches of organic matter mulch. Mulching seals in moisture, warms the soil, and feeds it with nutrients.