Every moment spent in the garden and greenhouse in February can literally save you hours later on in the spring. Grab every opportunity to do a bit of gardening. Clean your pots and trays ready for sowing and cuttings. Now is the very best time to mulch your beds and borders, as the recent rain has completely soaked the soil. If you need to apply mulch at any other time then always soak the area first, preferably with rainwater, unlikely but maybe good to know.
- Clear away old plant debris from around the margins of ponds, and scoop out leaves that have fallen into the water.
- Snowdrops look great in clumps around the base of shrubs and in borders and are a welcome sign that spring is on its way. If you want to spread them around your garden then now's the time to lift and divide clumps and replant your new plants wherever you want.
- Sprinkle sulphate of potash fertiliser around fruit bushes and trees.
- Prune back shoots on Mophead and Lacecap Hydrangeas to a pair of buds.
- Apply slug pellets around emerging spring bulbs. If you can use the organic animal and bird friendly pellets as many birds will be on the lookout for an easy meal at this time of year.
- Prune Mahonia, removing old stems to make room for new growth.
- Use netting or bird scarers to protect fruit bushes from hungry birds, which can strip off swelling buds.
- If you like you can sow the following crops in pots or trays in your greenhouse ready to transplant outside later: Brussels sprouts, spring cabbage, cauliflower, onions, leeks, lettuce and salad leaves.
- Place some bird nesting boxes around the garden on suitable trees.
Get ready for spring. Did you know that the number of daylight hours has a dramatic effect on plant growth? Ten hours day light is the magic switch, the soil is warming up and plants are starting to grow and will be taking nutrients from the soil. Even though this may not be noticeable yet when you look at the plants in your garden, but it’s all going on underground. With that in mind, there are a number of things to be done in the garden right now. Shrubs that require pruning in early spring should be done now, be careful not all shrubs are pruned in spring the general rule is anything that flowers before June is pruned immediately after flowering and anything that flowers after June is pruned now. Make sure before you start that your secateurs blade is clean and sharp. This week you need to start feeding roses, fruit bushes and herbaceous borders they will all benefit from a good top dressing of farmyard manure. The good news is that farmyard manure is now available in pellet form supplied in a re sealable bucket with no weed seeds and a greatly reduced smell. If you didn’t put on potash on your trees, shrubs and fruit yet put it on now. It’s still a little too early for fertilizer containing nitrogen but for anybody growing vegetables the secret to sweet crops is in an organic fertilizer called Rock dust, it contains all the essential minor elements to produce premium vegetables, the difference I have tasted for myself is unbelievable. Rock dust for best results should be applied three weeks before planting.