February Easy-Gardening Tips
It's time to get pruning and start planting as the garden comes to life
Seeing fresh green shoots emerge from the wintery soil always lifts the spirits, and this year it’s especially joyful given the winter we’ve been through. As the garden wakes up to the coming Spring, February is the month to start pruning before growth gets going, and there’s also planting to be done, especially favourite summer-flowering bulbs such as lilies and agapanthus.
Passionate about easy-gardening, we’ve featured these key tasks for the month, and also provided a Top 10 Checklist so you can plan all the jobs to be done as we venture outdoors again.
Prune your climbers & shrubs
Most climbers can be pruned from February onwards, including clematis, roses, winter jasmine, wisteria and hardier evergreen shrubs. With clematis, just check that yours is Group 2 or 3 flowering from May onwards and cut back to the lowest pair of strong buds; earlier flowering Group 1 plants should be left so you don’t trim the emerging flower buds. The RHS have guides to pruning clematis of all kinds, just click here to find your variety. And if pruning your wisteria is scary challenge, you can always watch one of the great videos on you tube; our favourite is from The Fully Charged Gardener with step by step tips on cutting back.
Summer-flower deciduous shrubs such as Buddleja, Hydrangea, Ceratostigma, Lavatera, Leycesteria, hardy fuchsias and deciduous Ceanothus will also need your pruning skills and some can be cut back hard or ‘stooled’. Again check on line for specific advice and if you need a sharp new tool for the job, we have a quality range of pruners and secateurs to suit every pocket.
Plant bulbs for summer colour
Although we usually think of bulb planting as later Spring activity, you can make a head start in February with some of the hardier summer flowers such as Agapathus, Lilies, Eucomis, Liatris and Ixia, all available at Thompson Morgan.
Hardy to a few degrees below freezing, bulbs generally prefer a light, well-draining soil. If you are worried about a wetter, heavier soil or February frosts, you can always plant in pots and containers this month for a more intense summer display, or even move into the border when they get going.
Please use our checklist below to tick off the full range of tasks back out in the garden this month. Here’s to a productive Feb and feeling hopeful for the coming Spring!
FEBRUARY TOP 10 CHECKLIST
Cut back summer-flowering climbers and shrubs
Prune apples and pears before the sap rises in March
Plant out hardier summer bulbs in well-drained soil, pots or containers
Cut back and divide ornamental grasses across the crown with a fork and replant divisions
Trim back hedges, especially deciduous varieties such as beech, to keep them dense and compact
Remove leaves and debris from the lawn but stay off the grass if it’s too wet or frosty
Scarify old lawns that are thatchy, removing dead vegetation at the base
Fork over bald lawn patches ready for sowing, tidy with an edger and treat moss
Check the mower is working, service and sharpen blades
If it’s mild and you want to mow, check the blades are on the highest setting (at least 4cm)