Here are our Gardening Reminders for the month of February.
1) Cut back ornamental grasses.
2) Divide and replant Snowdrops as the flowers go over.
3) Clean out existing bird nesting boxes and put up new ones.
4) Take hardwood cuttings of forsythia, deutzia, honeysuckle, jasmine, Virginia creeper, holly,
privet, cotoneaster, poplar, willow, gooseberries, etc
5) Pot up or transplant last year’s hardwood cuttings.
6) Consider planting shrubs or trees to provide winter colour in those dull conrners.
7) Repair broken fences, trellices,steps, and walls.
8) Repair any uneven areas of the lawn when the ground is firm.
9) Push single seed potatoes into half-filled plastic pots, adding compost as they grow.
10) Invest in a soil thermometer, when the soil temp. exceeds 5°C start sowings of hardy crops such as carrots, lettuce and radish direct into the ground.
11) Ensure that borders have been forked over in preparation for summer growth or new planting. Apply a general fertilizer around the beds at 2-3oz per sq. yd, also apply to new areas.
12) If weather warms up, take the opportunity to prepare compost and boxes for sowing half hardy annuals by the end of the month. You should have a heat source available for cold nights.
13) Plant roses as soil conditions permit, prune stems of new roses down to an outward facing bud 3-5” above the crown. Cut the stem cleanly just above the bud. Plant graft union just below soil level. Apply bone meal at 2oz. per sq. yd. and prick into surface. Firm soil around roots.
14) Prune climbing roses this month, keep 5 to 7 strong shoots and prune back all side shoots to within 3 buds of the base. Tie in all shoots securely. Prune Rambler roses in the autumn.
15) Prune shrub roses late February to encourage growth from the base. Remove some old shoots but don’t reduce height too much as they tend to flower on older wood.
16) Cut back Clematis Jackmanii and C. Viticella groups to about 12”. Pyracantha should be pruned to within 2 buds of the main frame except for extensions, if not done last autumn.
17) Complete formative pruning of trees by the month end. It may be necessary to limit growth to one leader to avoid a fork in the main stem, or removal of the leader if a bush form is required.
18) Do not apply heavy applications of fertilizer to naturalized bulbs as this will only encourage the surrounding grass.