Our gardens start to wake up and come alive in February with Snowdrops, Daffodils and Crocus making a welcome appearance and brightening both our gardens and our lives.
Gardening in February can be a challenge and isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but in a rare sunny moment in the changeable weather it feels so good to have the sun on your back and to be outside again. The British weather can make for challenging working and planting conditions but if the ground isn’t too wet or frozen underfoot then you can dig over flowerbeds and start preparing them for the coming season. Don’t get ahead of yourself though as working in or on wet ground compacts it and you risk damaging plants or making your soil harder to work.
If the weather is particularly cold then knock snow from any plants or tree branches to prevent any damage under the weight and keep ice in the bird bath or pond defrosted.
Don’t be fooled by a few warmer days and a hint of Spring, keep tender plants covered or up against your park home wall to protect them from sudden cold spells and frosts. Try and also resist temptation at the Garden Centre as unless you have a greenhouse to keep tender plants in those splashes of colour you couldn’t resist may not make it through the month.
Drifts of snowdrops provide early interest in the garden and herald the coming of spring
Dividing up Snowdrops and replanting them elsewhere in your garden or gifting them to your park home neighbours is easy and you can never have too many! To transplant snowdrops “in the green” you’ll need to be very careful of roots and leaves, try to lift as much soil as you can and avoid damaging leaves. Make sure the hole you are placing them into is big enough so that you don’t damage the roots as you replant.
February is a lovely month for planning projects and getting ideas, as well as visiting your local garden centre and flicking through those tempting plant catalogues, have a look through gardening websites to get inspiration and ideas; we enjoy:
PLANTING AND PRUNING
Look after the birds, and especially don’t forget about hygiene. Bird feeders and birdbaths need cleaning regularly to prevent disease and if your feeder isn’t being emptied every week, you’ll need to clear out old food rather than top up. Keep an eye on your feathered visitors, if they have areas of missing feathers or disfigured feet then you need to step up your hygiene to prevent them passing disease or mites on to each other. If you think your birds are an especially sickly bunch you may need to stop feeding for a little while to prevent it spreading.
Prune late flowering shrubs and any winter flowering shrubs that have finished flowering. You can also plant shrubs, trees and roses if conditions allow.
Keep out of cold winds but still get outside by clean your greenhouse ready for new plants. If your greenhouse is warm enough you can and sow a few hardy annuals but keep back some seed as early sowing can lead to leggy, weak plants and you’ll want to resow in a few weeks time. If you don’t have the space or budget for a greenhouse then you could make or buy a cold frame or plastic-covered covered shelving unit. Glass cold frames are better for the environment as they last and last whereas cheap upright units often suffer from wind or other sorts of damage so need regular replacing.