February brings us the first proper signs that spring is on it’s way, there are crocuses coming into flower and the green shoots of the other spring bulbs have broken through. This is when you can start to really get going with sowing seeds with tomatoes, aubergines and chillies being some that need a good long growing season. The weather can be a little temperamental but regardless of what we get dealt there is plenty this month to keep you busy.
- Sow broad beans, some varieties of onions and some of leek that have long growing seasons. It’ll get you an earlier crop and longer harvesting season too.
- Start chitting potatoes to plant out in the coming months
- Start to sow some hardy annuals so that you can get a long season from them, things like Antirrhinum majus and sweet peas (Lathyrus odoratus)
- Order seed and plug plants as before you know it we’ll be well into spring.
In the garden
- Cut back ornamental grasses before the new growth begins to a few centimetres from the base.
- Prune winter flowering shrubs after they have faded
- List and divide snowdrops ‘in the green’ if you want to spread where they grow.
- Check hardwood cuttings taken last year as they may need potting on.
- Prune apple and pear trees while they’re still dormant but leave plum, cherry and apricot until the warmer months.
- Trim deciduous hedges before birds start to nest.
- The weather will still be cold so keep topping up bird feeders, the birds will help keep pests in the garden down too.
In the vegetable plot
- Start forcing rhubarb for some early tender stalks.
- Prepare beds by mulching with plenty of well rotted manure if this wasn’t done in autumn.
- Remove weeds from beds that you’ll be growing in as they’ll be starting to really grow by now.
- If you can make some raised beds then do so as they’re a good way to get the soil warmer early
- If you have cloches then place these on the beds too now as again they’ll get the soil warm faster.