February garden tasks

February is always an exciting month for the keen gardener- with the sun sitting higher in the sky, the evenings becoming lighter and the first flushes of colour appearing in the form of spring bulbs and spring flowering shrubs.

Tasks to do in your beds and borders this month:

-Prune your Wisteria now, cutting back summer side-shoots to 2 or 3 buds

-Cut back shrubs such as Cornus and Salix cultivars down to their bases.

-Prune winter flowering shrubs such as Mahonia and Viburnum x bodnantense after their colourful display has finished.

-Plant Lilies and Allium bulbs.

-Towards the end of the month prune summer-flowering Clematis before active growth begins.

Tasks for the vegetable garden:

-Start chitting early potatoes - place in a module tray or egg box and store them in a bright, cool, frost-free place.

-Start sowing vegetable seeds such as leeks, onions and celeriac under cover.

-Prepare vegetable seed beds by removing all weeds and forking in plenty of compost.

Tasks for the fruit garden:

-Mulch fruit trees with well rotted manure or garden compost.

-Cut autumn-fruiting raspberry canes to the ground. They will fruit in the autumn on the new canes.

-Force rhubarb shoots for an early crop.

-If it’s not too frosty, you can plant fruit bushes and trees now.

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