There's a bit more light in the evenings and it's a hint that winter is almost over. But we mustn't get carried away as often the coldest weather is yet to come! Do check out my monthly gardening tips, to get a wider range of ideas for your garden in February.
Summer flowering bulbs
- If you've ever wondered how the professionals keep their gardens looking so good after early summer blooms have faded, it's because of potted lilies, dahlias and other summer flowering bulbs.
- They pot them up now and slot them into gaps when they are part grown. Why don't you have a go? Old flower pots and good potting compost is all you need.
Dahlias are great late bloomers
Epimedium or Barenworts
- Plant these tough and easy ground cover plants that even thrive in dry shade! Some are evergreen, but others lose their leaves for winter .
- The old leaves spoil the show when the pretty early flowers appear in spring so it's best to trim dead leaves off at ground level right now.
- Examples of deciduous Barenworts include Epimedium x youngianum varieties, Epimedium rubrum and Epimedium grandiflorum types. There's no need to trim leaves from evergreen types.
Epimedium x youngianum Sulphureum
- After you've trimmed back the Epimedium, it's time to tidy up hardy ferns before the new fronds unfurl.
- Remove old dead fronds from ferns such as the Shuttlecock fern Matteuccia, Lady fern Athyrium and Royal fern Osmunda.
Polystichum setiferum frond unfurling
- There's still time to plant raspberry canes and rhubarb but it's beginning to get late, so waste no time getting them in the ground.
- Rhubarb and raspberries takes a couple of years to establish, but you'll get a light crop of raspberries for the first year or two. The sooner they are established the better!
Forced rhubarb stalks
- This is a great time to buy your vegetable seeds. Shop for seeds on Candide.
Buy seeds ready to sow
- Celandines are very pretty wildflowers but can take over your garden and they are very hard to control. February is the time to get rid of them if you need to.
- However, as they flower in late winter, Celandines are a valuable source of nectar and pollen for bees and other insects so you may want to keep them!
- They are now actively growing and are susceptible to a spray of Roundup or Resolva. Beware that this is a non-selective weedkiller but the active ingredient is deactivated when it touches the soil. So don’t spray it on anything green that you want to keep.
- As with any weed with a shiny and waxy leaf, you will get better results if you add a few drops of washing up liquid to the spray.
Celandines are pretty but very invasive
- If you're thinking of sowing a new lawn, now is a good time time to prepare the soil. But if the soil is too wet and frozen then it will pay to wait awhile.
- You can safely sow grass seed from the beginning of March and, of course, you can lay turf anytime when the soil is not too wet or frozen.
Lawn turf rolls
- Good soil preparation will pay off later as it's very difficult to correct it after the grass is established!