OUR EXPERT’S TOP TIP:
Before doing anything in the garden, watch out for the weather! Those further south may be able to start some outdoor gardening now, but for most of us the weather will likely stay cold and possibly frosty. Be cautious that before starting some of these jobs, you might need to wait a few more weeks, or even until early March.
You shouldn’t start planting tender plants outdoors until all risk of frost has passed - but there’s still plenty of other things to do in the meantime to keep you busy!
THIS MONTH IS ALL ABOUT: PROPAGATION
Get ahead of the growing season by sowing seeds and growing young plants indoors. It’s one of the most economical ways to fill your tubs and baskets with cascading colour as soon as possible, giving you a head start on growing these plants outside when the weather warms. Use a propagator to germinate seeds and encourage young plants, and place them somewhere warm and bright like a windowsill, under an indoor light, or in a greenhouse
Propagating summer flowering plants such as begonias and geraniums can add early colour to your garden, or allow you to grow your own flavoursome veg to cook into all your favourite dishes
FEBRUARY SEEDS TO SOW NOW:
- Sweet Pea
- Broad Beans
FEBRUARY LAWN CARE
Your grass roots and soil will need essential nutrients after the tough winter weather, so aerate your lawn by creating holes with an aerator or garden fork. This prevents your garden flooding after heavy rainfall, or if your soil is feeling a bit dry as it allows in extra moisture
To get as much sunlight as possible to your lawn, rake up any debris such as moss or dead grass. Be careful not to damage the healthy grass underneath!
Avoid using any chemical lawn dressings while it’s still cold, as the grass is quite tender and can be damaged easily. Use a natural, peat free lawn dressing instead
WHAT TO DO WITH BEDS & BORDERS
To give your plants a welcome boost of nutrients and improve soil health, cover your borders with a layer of mulch, manure or a soil improver
Cut down deciduous grasses (ones that lose their leaves annually) to make way for fresh growth
Easy to grow hardy annuals such as the popular Love-in-the-Mist or English Marigold can be sown directly into borders where you’d like them to grow
FEBRUARY FLOWERS TO PLANT AND GROW
Summer flowering bulbs are super easy to grow and can flower into many different colours and shapes, making for great DIY bouquets or for brightening up your outdoors in the warmer weather. Plant pots of Lilies for a fragrant summer display, and pots or baskets of upright or trailing Begonia tubers for summer colour
WHAT TO PLANT IN POTS & CONTAINERS
Freshen your patio pots, hanging baskets and window boxes with a cheerful display of early season Primroses, Violas and Pansies. Plant potted spring bulbs into any gaps for an extra burst of colour in the coming months
You can grow ericaceous plants like Azaleas, Rhododendrons and Blueberries outside if the ground isn’t frozen, but it’s easier to grow them in large pots or containers filled with ericaceous (lime free) compost. These plants are great for providing structure and a splash of colour in the garden
FEBRUARY FRUIT & VEG
Buy your flower and vegetable seeds to prepare yourself for future sowing. There is plenty to choose from in our inspiring grow-your-own ranges that can give you a colourful and productive garden this summer no matter how big or small your space
Remove any weeds from your vegetable beds, then mulch them with plenty of peat free soil improver or farmyard manure. Cover beds with black weed membrane to control weed growth and to help warm the soil for when you’re ready to begin planting again in spring
Start chitting your seed potatoes to encourage new shoots to form before you start planting them in March. This can give you a heftier and earlier crop of tasty potatoes. To do this, stand them upright in an egg box or tray container, with the ‘eyes’ facing upwards, and keep them in a bright, frost-free place
Cut old canes of raspberries to the ground so new stems can grow in their place. Prune apple and pear trees and soft fruit bushes such as gooseberries and blackcurrants. When pruning, aim to create an open goblet shape for stronger branches.
Plant new fruit trees and bushes, such as potted raspberry canes, and look forward to delicious home-grown, fresh, ready-to-pick fruit from the garden all summer long
MAINTAIN TREES & SHRUBS
Keep planting new hedges, trees and shrubs to allow them time to establish before the summer. Our February houseplant of the month, the Magnolia, has beautiful, large, fragrant flowers which bloom in early spring, making a beautiful addition to any garden. These types of hardy plants are beneficial to wildlife, providing them with shelter and food
Prune any winter flowering shrubs that have finished blooming to encourage strong new growth and you’ll get vibrant colour in next winter’s display
Protect evergreens from heavy wind and snow with frost protection fleeces and stakes to keep them sturdy. After heavy snowfall, gently brush snow off any uncovered tree and shrub branches
For a fun gardening project to keep you busy, why not sow herb seeds and create your very own indoor herb garden? Grow your own herbs, such as oregano, rosemary or mint, indoors on a sunny windowsill or greenhouse in small pots or seed trays filled with well-draining seed compost. These kinds of perennial herbs grow back every year, so if you start now, you can keep reaping the benefits for years to come. Herbs are delicious, nutritious, and can be used every time you cook - don’t forget about desserts and cocktails too!
If you’re looking for something a bit easier to nurture, our February houseplant of the month, the Kalanchoe, is ideal. It has pretty, dainty, colourful flowers, and is super low-maintenance – perfect for beginners, or those with busier February schedules
Ice isn’t the only hazard to look out for in the winter! Clean your paths, patios and decking from moss and debris, as they can make surfaces even more slippery when wet or frozen
Have your garden shears become old and rusty? Did you lend your neighbour your favourite shovel last year but never got it back? There's nothing worse than getting ready to garden, only to realise you don’t have the right equipment! Make sure you assess your gardening tool kit to see if you have all the essentials or if anything needs to be replaced
We would love to see what you get up to in the garden this February, take a picture and tag us on socials with @dobbiesgardencentres for your chance to be featured on our social media channels