February gardening advice
By Paul Hervey-Brookes
The days are getting longer and the first signs of spring are starting to appear. Violets, crocuses and snowdrops are bring the first colour to the garden.
Shrubs and climbers can be pruned now to ensure that they flower at their best later in the year and ornamental grasses can be cut back before the new growth begins. Hedges can be planted now to give the garden a green framed early vegetables can be sown out doors. Onions, shallots and garlic can be planted at the end of February.
Later on in the month seeds for summer bedding and hanging baskets can be sown either in a heated greenhouse, propagator or on a warm windowsill. Annual climbers and dahlia tubers can also be started off.
Vegetable beds that were dug over in early winter can be broken down now and finished off as March is a busy month and will soon be here.
Lilies can be planted this month and Christmas roses and Snowdrops that have finished flowering can be lifted and divided. Also faded flowers from winter pansies can be removed to encourage new flowers as the weather warms up.
Now is the time to put up nesting boxes and to create areas of shelter from logs and rock piles. Continue to feed birds and ensure that they have plenty of water in the birdbath. You can also hang bee-nesting boxes outside.
Find a space to install a water butt ready for the summer and give empty pots a good clean ready for planting. Any unattractive sheds or composting areas can be screened with clematis or bamboo plants and finally take a good look at the lawn. Lawn edging will give a neat and tidy appearance and make maintenance easier and remove moss before the spring mowing starts.
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