Your Gardening Jobs for February

Your Gardening Jobs for February

February is an exciting month in the garden… it’s the time of year to really start planning your kitchen garden and order your seeds in ahead of the ‘big seed sowing month’ of March. Luckily for those of us that are keen to get ahead, there’s also plenty of seeds that can be sown this month too. I’ve already had some strong shoots coming through on my sweet peas, and my first batch of micro greens has already been harvested! So buckle up… it’s about to get busy!

 

1 – Plan your kitchen garden

February is the time to plan ahead for the year; think about the veggies and plants you LOVE to eat, and how they will grow next to each other, as well as the timings.
If you don’t have something similar, it may be a good idea to get your hands of a copy of either Allotment, Month by Month by Alan Buckingham or A Year Full of Veg by Sarah Raven.

Both of these books give great month by month advice on what practical jobs to do in the garden, as well as letting you know which vegetables will be ready to harvest from the kitchen garden. These books are therefore super helpful when planning as they’ll help you to make sure you’ve got delicious fresh produce available year round!

 

2 – Prune your roses

If you haven’t yet pruned your roses, now is a great time to do it, as it’s a job that’s got to be done before all of the new growth begins in the spring. To prune your rose bush, get a pair of sharp pruning secateurs and cut each stem back by around a third. The idea is that you’re preventing your rose from becoming all long and spindly, and instead keeping it in a nice neat shape.

 

Try to get all of your stems roughly to the same height, and then also remove any dead or diseased wood as well. Once you’re done, it’s best to put the clippings in your green bin rather than on your compost heap, as any diseases in the rose could end up in your compost which isn’t ideal.

 

 

 

3 – Go seed shopping

Once you’ve planned what annual flowers, vegetables and herbs you’d like to grow this year, you can start stocking up on seeds. When it comes to seed shopping, you don’t have to ask me twice! I often get a bit carried away as I’m so excited to grow lots of new varieties. One of my favourite places to buy seeds is Burford Garden Co; certainly pop in there if you’re local.

You can of course purchase seeds online too. One of my favourite websites for ordering seeds is The Heritage Organic Seed Company, and also Vital Seeds, as well as Sarah Raven for flowers.. They’ve got an excellent selection of vegetable and flower seeds, and they stock some really interesting varieties which you often can’t buy in shops.

 

4 – Build your raised beds

If you’d like to start growing more veg this year and have been considering adding raised beds to your garden, now is a great time to get the project completed. The benefits of raised beds are that you’re able to have more control over the growing conditions of your plants, for example you can fill your bed with a more nutrient rich mix to grow in, when compared with your garden soil. It also allows you to get your plants going a little earlier in the season, as the bed will warm up quicker than the ground.

You can either buy a raised-bed kit which just needs assembling on arrival, or you can quite easily build a raised bed yourself, using some pressure treated timber sleepers and some long screws. Fill your bed with a mixture of top soil, compost and sharp sand to improve drainage. Leave your bed to settle for a few weeks, and then your bed will be ready for planting out your seedlings in the spring.

 

 

5 – Order your bare root perennials

If you’d like to create a new herbaceous border this spring, or fill gaps in an existing border, February is a great time to order your perennials. Bare root perennials are plants which are sent to you while they’re in their dormant phase. The plants will arrive as just a bundle of roots in a little bit of soil, and may or may not have any green growth sprouting from them. You simply pot up your bare roots in individual pots, keep them watered, and once they’ve grown into solid little plants in spring, you can plant them out into your borders.

The benefit of buying bare roots is that they’re often more affordable than buying established plants, and you’d be surprised at how quickly they go from a bundle of roots to a large healthy plant. A great place to buy your bare roots perennials from is Farmer Gracy, which is a company based in The Netherlands. Farmer Gracy will always ship your perennials to you when the time is right to plant them, which takes away some of the guess-work!

 

6 – Begin sowing

What you can sow in February depends on your personal set-up. If you’re lucky enough to have a greenhouse or a cold-frame, you can begin to sow quite a lot of your veg, herbs and annual seeds in February. If however, you are sowing your seeds inside your house and keeping them on your window sill, you need to think about whether your seedlings will get enough light. Having said that, I always start off my seeds in our house, where the warmth helps them to germinate

If your seedlings don’t get enough light, they will become leggy which is not ideal, and so it may be best to wait until March to sow most of your seeds if you only have a window sill to grow them on. Be sure to check the back of the seed packet as that will tell you when to sow your seeds, but don’t be tempted to sow things too early as it will create weaker seedlings.

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