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What to do in the garden in February?

It might be cold out there, but in February the first hints of spring are everywhere. The daylight lasts that little bit longer each day, snowdrops start to flower and clumps of cheerful daffodils reappear. When the sun shines, it’s time to get outdoors and get a head start on the gardening. And when that icy wind blows, there’s still plenty for gardeners to do indoors in February.

 

What to prune and plant In February

Prune your roses now, before they really start growing again. When pruning bush roses, first remove any spindly growth and any dead or crossing branches. Then prune the remaining stems down by half, cutting just above strong, outward-facing buds so that you end up with an open, vase-shaped shrub. It’s a good idea to cut the ends of the stems at an angle so that rainwater drains away from the growing buds.

Cut back last year’s wisteria shoots to within 3-4 buds of the main stems, to keep them tidy so that the gorgeous spring flowers will look their best, and prune evergreen hedges.

Provided the ground isn’t frozen or waterlogged, February is also a good time to plant new shrubs and trees. Remember to stake young trees and water them in well once you’ve planted them.

 

Tidy up

Before the spring breezes start to blow, tie up any loose climbers and check stakes and tree ties. Pull up any weeds that have survived the winter, and clear away the last of the fallen leaves so slugs and snails can’t hide under them.

 

Seeds to sow in February

Tomato SeedlingsIf it's too cold to be outside, get started on sowing seeds indoors. Summer favourites like tomatoes and cucumbers need a long growing period, so now’s the perfect month to start them off. In late February, sow seeds in small pots and place them somewhere warm and bright like a greenhouse or just on a sunny windowsill to germinate.

5 seeds to sow indoors in February:

  • Onions
  • Leeks
  • Celeriac
  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumbers

From mid-February onwards, start chitting early seed potatoes ready for planting in late March.  This is really easy to do and a great way to get kids interested in gardening. Simply place your potatoes somewhere cool but bright indoors, with most of their buds (called ‘eyes’) pointing upwards, and leave them to sprout shoots. They’ll be ready to plant in 4-6 weeks, once the shoots are about 2cm (1in) long.

There’s nothing like a bit of gardening to make you feel that spring’s on its way, so grab your tools and get on out there! We have everything you need to get your garden looking great this year.