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Tuesday 1 February 2022

This Month in Your Garden - February

“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant.” Anne Bradstreet

The north-south weather divide looks set to continue, though the weather watchers’ forecasts vary in their extremes. Well, it is February and as gardeners we can expect winter’s last gasps to have us scurrying back indoors or into the haven of the heated greenhouse. There, or using a cold frame, you can be sowing a colourful variety of flowers and crops for later in the year, for borders, baskets and containers. 

From antirrhinums to verbenas and begonias to violas sown in trays of compost alongside a host of vegetables, there’s plenty to grow. Dahlia tubers can be planted as can lily bulbs in pots beside pots of broad beans and parsley. When fair weather days draw you back into the open, you might be found planting climbers such as honeysuckle, Virginia creeper and climbing roses if it’s not too wet. 

Cut down ornamental grasses before the new shoots appear, divide and re-plant snowdrops after flowering – they do better than dry bulbs. Divide and prune are bywords for the month. Congested clumps of herbaceous perennials will divide and make many more free plants. Prune winter flowering shrubs such as mahonia, heather and winter jasmine and take buddleia back to the base to keep it neat and a reasonable size. Trim back ivy and other creepers before the birds start nesting. Transplant deciduous shrubs if you want to put them elsewhere while they are dormant.    

  • Prune late-summer flowering clematis
  • Plant up containers with hardy spring bedding such as wallflowers, primrose and primulas
  • Lightly dress slow-release fertiliser around the base of roses
  • Protect young delphiniums and hostas from slugs with organic slug pellets
  • Cut back wisteria shoots
  • Protect young delphiniums and hostas from slugs with organic slug pellets
  • Sow sweet peas in a cold greenhouse, cold frame or even the conservatory
  • Deadhead winter pansies

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