You can start your gardening on New Years Day or as soon as your hangover is cured. Do not have too many resolutions or you won’t keep any of them. I find it is a good idea to know roughly what you want to achieve in the year without being too specific as to how. For my part I have decided to have more soft fruit and ‘Shock and Awe’ type garden features.
Steps for January
- Prune apple trees and thin out the fruiting spurs. In my case buy cordons or ballerina trees.
- Cut out any dead or diseased wood and spray trees with winter tar oil wash to deter insects. Leave the plums till later.
- Remove any big buds on black currant bushes.
- Cover a rhubarb crown with a forcer to get early, thin, pink stems.
- Plant any new trees or shrubs – I want a dessert gooseberry
- Tie up raspberry canes and check for loose ties on trees and wall trained fruit.
- Order any seeds from a reputable supplier and sprout potatoes in a box with the rounded rose end upper most
- Sow some broad beans when it is mild
- Lime the vegetable patch that grew brassicas last year. Do not lime your potato patch.
- Plan where crop rotation is going to be.
Flowers and Shrubs
- Tidy the borders and plant lilies and Antirrhinums
- Ventilate your cold frame
- Check frost protection for new young shrubs
- Spray roses and the surrounding ground against black spot and mulch Rhododendrons
- Service the lawn mower ready for spring
- Keep clear of dead leaves Rake mossy areas
Greenhouse and Indoor Plants
- Clean staging and fumigate the greenhouse
- Take cuttings of late flowering chrysanthemums
- Keep houseplants on the dry side in the best light
- Pick sprays of Daphne & forsythia to flower indoors
- Don’t rush into doing anything too early but be prepared for your busy period
- Do any construction work except concreting during a frost
- Sow leeks and onions in boxes and even some lettuce and peppers in the warmth.
- Look closely around your garden there will be treasures to uncover. Hellebore niger, Winter Jasmin and Witch Hazel (above) are all flowering
Garden Tasks for February
- Finish Planting trees and shrubs. The earlier trees and shrubs can be planted the better
- Prepare Soil. If the soil is not frozen it is a good time to prepare the soil through digging where necessary.
- Finish Pruning of Roses or other shrubs
- Towards the end of February, you can start dahlia tubers and similar tubers such gloxina and Begonias indoors.
Vegetable Garden in February
- Sow early crops under glass. Early vegetables can included mustard, cress, parsnips, broad beans and lettuce.
- Towards end of the month you can start thinning out seedlings
- Prune Autumn fruiting Raspberries. Autumn producing raspberries want to be cut back to 6 inches as they fruit on new growth.
A bed of crocus
Things to Enjoy in the February Garden
- Early bulbs – snowdrops, crocus, early daffodills.
- Early primulas –
- Early pansies
- Camellia Japonica