Another record year
February looks like being fairly mild for many and if the recent cold snap kept you out of the garden there may well be the chance to start preparing for a bountiful year of plants and vegetables. If you have a heated greenhouse or cold frame you can sow into trays of compost a whole variety of flowers to bring annual colour later in the year: antirrhinums, begonias, impatiens, petunias, pansies verbenas and violas are a good start. Or you could simply grow them on a bright windowsill.
Dahlia tubers can be started along with lily bulbs and you can take root cuttings of acanthus, Japanese anemones, oriental poppies and phlox. It’s a good time to divide and re-plant snowdrops (Galanthus) while they still have leaves. They tend to do better than bulbs that may have dried out. Plant at the same depth as when lifted and water well; and should it be wet, cold and uninviting out there why not take to the plant and seed catalogue for inspiration for your best year of gardening ahead.
- Tidy herbaceous perennials
- Plant lily bulbs in well-drained soil or pots in the greenhouse for colour later in the year
- Protect young delphiniums and hostas from slugs with organic slug pellets
- Plant hardy climbers such as honeysuckle, Virginia creeper and climbing roses if it’s not too wet
- Sow sweet peas in a cold greenhouse, cold frame or even the conservatory
- Hard prune ivy
- Deadhead winter pansies
- Top dress container plants with fresh compost
- Prune summer flowering clematis, wisteria, buddleia and other winter-flowering shrubs and hedges