February in the Garden
There are lots of jobs you can do in February to help kick start the gardening season!
Start your spring clean
Clean your garden of fallen debris (branches) and add it to the compost heap. Check your plant ties to make sure they haven’t loosened from the storm winds and check that your plants are protected from wind rocking.
Give your greenhouse, cloches and any other frames a good spring clean so they are ready for the season. On the sunny days ventilate your greenhouse to prevent any fungal problems. Make sure that your pots, containers and gardening tools are clean and ready for planting.
Around the garden, remove weeds before they have time to establish and save a bigger job later on. Moss will start to grow before the grass does so it’s time to spray your lawn with a moss killer like chemical-free MossOff. Don’t be too quick to mow or spray dandelions as they are a vital source of food for our Irish bees as the queens emerge from hibernation in early Spring.
Freshen up your shed or garden furniture with a layer of fresh paint and wood preservative. After the darkness of winter some bright garden colours will cheer up your garden.
Prepare for planting
Start forking your beds. This will prepare your soil for spring and will help you to get rid of the pests by exposing them to the hungry birds. Speaking of hungry birds – make sure that your shrubs are protected by netting. The birds will also soon start to look for a new residences so put up nesting boxes.
Sow potatoes. Keep the seed potatoes in a cool, frost-free environment while they are being “chitted”. Remember not to force them – If you want to learn how to prepare your potatoes for planting check out Malachy’s Blog ‘The Perfect Time to Plant Potatoes’.
Mulching. Start mulching around trees and shrubs. This will help to keep the moist in the soil and will protect the roots from freezing as we might still see some cold weather.
Roses. February is ideal month to think about your roses – your pruning should be done now and you can start feeding once the first few leaves start to appear, with a good granular feed applied once a month until the end of June. Start spraying every 10-14 days with Rose Clear within the next few weeks to prevent blackspot.
Planting. It’s the last call to plant raspberry and blackberry shrubs and hedges. If you don’t do it this month you’ll have to wait until next year.
Time for a Trim
Now is the time to cut back to allow for the growing season, so lots of pruning, cutting and deadheading.
It’s time to prune wisteria and grapevines – if you leave it too late the plants will bleed.
Cut back ornamental grasses left in your garden for winter interest. Prune summer-flowering clematis, cutting above a low pair of green buds. Deadhead Hydrangeas at the end of the month and into March.
We’re here to help
If you have any questions about looking after your garden talk to any of our horticulturists in store. If you have a specific problem like pest damage on a plant, it’s really helpful to bring us a photo of it. We’d love to help.
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All products mentioned in the above blog can be bought on countrylife.ie or in you local CountryLife branch. To find your nearest store click here.
Gardman Beach Hut Nest Box
The Gardman Beach Hut Nest Box is a beautifully made from FSC certified timber and with an attractive sage green colour. This nesting box has a high quality design and contains a removable floor for easy cleaning. The box has a 32mm entrance hole which is also surrounded by a metal plate which strengthens the box and protects smaller species of birds from predators.
Rose Clear Ultra Gun 1L
A convenient hand sprayer that combines a systemic insecticide with a systemic fungicide to control pests and diseases on roses and other flowering and ornamental plants.
Miracle-Gro Rose and Shrub Continuous Release Plant Food 1kg
One application of Miracle-Gro Rose & Shrub Continuous Release Plant Food in early spring feeds for the whole growing season, removing the need for regular feeding. Can also be used in the planting hole with new plants. A special coating on the granules controls the release of plant food, so that it matches the plants needs. It only releases nutrients when conditions are right for plant growth and when the plants need them. This ensures that plants are not short of balanced nutrients for up to 6 months from just 1 application.